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post #5688 of Old 01-09-2014 Thread Starter
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Fantastic story: mini racers are very strong boats!!!

I have posted recently a video of a mini boat being salvaged after being thrown to a beach, well, I have another rescue story, one even more unbelievable, regarding this Pogo and Federico Fornaro:

He was doing the last Transat, everything went fine till only 300NM from the finish where he broke both rudders and have to be rescued leaving the boat. Later he tried to find the boat on the islands.... Here is his incredible story, translated from Italian:

Federico Fornaro , an Italian skipper (from Roma) saw his dream to finish the last mini transat end at only 300 miles from Guadeloupe.

The failure of both rudders had forced him to abandon his Mini racer, Jolie Rouge, to be rescued by the Imaginaire, one of the six support boats that followed the race.

For a sailor, losing his boat, it's like losing a loved one . Federico once arrived on land forget the disappointment for not having made it and started ...the search of his beloved 6.50 racer.

This is the story:

... After 30 days at sea , a few miles from the finish, with damages on the rudders the Roman navigator is on trouble.... ""I felt the tiller blocked, the steel support broke and the left rudder was slamming against the transom risking to open a breach in the hull".

Frederick disassemble the damaged blade and continues to navigate with a rudder alone, hoping not to over stress it. " Vain hope: the blade of the right rudder cannot stand alone and on the night the steel support broke in a way that could not be repaired. The boat was uncontrollable....I can not fight anymore ... help arrives and... I've abandoned my girlfriend , I've sacrificed it so I can save myself ... I still watch the waves roll Jolie and it breaks my heart.

...But his boat is his traveling companion. For him it has a soul that is invisible to the eyes of others and abandoning it in the middle of the sea is like leaving a friend drown in the waves.

The eyes of Frederick , on arrival in Guadeloupe, express a tired deep sadness but on the middle of that anguish , you can see a shimmer , a little hope of finding Jolie Rouge and save her from the cruel fate of finding eternal rest in the bottom of the ocean or in the clutches of sharp rocks.

... "I left the satellite locator working and it has continued to emit a GPS signal , and so every day I received the coordinates of the drifting boat" . Thus began a treasure hunt : "The boat pushed by winds of South- East advancing at the speed of 1K with a route that took over the West Indies. I went to the island of Saint Martin that lying to the North seemed to be the best starting point to begin a search . "

Madness ? Tenacity ? Romance ? Maybe a little of all drove Frederick. "The wind increased to 30 knots forming a beautiful sea. I am struggling to find a boat available to leave for what would be a great amount of upwind sailing.

Then I remember Manu, a Brittany sailor who sails the Atlantic avoiding as much as possible land. He offers me help and is available to sail away. ... two great sailors in search of adventures, begin the search for the small sailboat . " It is now a race against time, the boat could either be intercepted by some local fisherman or worse, crashing on a reef in Barbuda."

After a night of navigation , at dawn, the first good news: " Near the north-east coast of the island we see a tree without sails that appear and disappear on the waves that break on the reefs: Jolie Rouge seems to have stopped just before the breakers. "

But it's too dangerous to approach Manu's boat , we need to find fishermen for helping with the rescue. " I went ashore and found a village with a few low houses, a small bar and an immigration office where we are forced to fill a lot of forms, piles of paper and stamps. ....

" A small group of local fishermen agrees to take us out with their motor boat , but not before putting gasoline, which means losing more hours to go to fill the tanks on the other side of the island ." ..." we saw first the inclined mast and then the boat lying on its side on the reef. As if that were not bad enough , other men on a small boat were looting the boat. Between shouts and curses I jumped to my boat and they, in minority give up quickly , but not before stilling the generator the, GPS, various equipment .

The boat had small fractures, but it has a hard "skin" and we manage to tow it to Saint Martin were it was put on the hard. It is saved!!!

Now I can go back to Rome, glad to be able to change the ending of this story. But is this really an end?

L?incredibile storia di Federico Fornaro e del suo Jolie Rouge, ritrovato dopo due settimane! | Giornale della Vela - notizie di vela - regate - crociera

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Last edited by PCP; 01-09-2014 at 12:34 PM.
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