Gaetano Mura's "Solo Round the Globe Record"
Thursday, 05 January 2017
Safety first: Gaetano Mura abandons his record attempt
Several on board systems are affected at different levels and fixing even the priority one issues is going to take to much time
The situation overall forces Gaetano Mura to abandon the challenge
The favorable weather window to cross the Atlantic is going to vanish
Gaetano Mura's dream ends in Fremantle, in Western Australia, where Italia arrived on December 31st, affected by several damages. In the Australian port the issues have been assessed and the verdict was unequivocal: Italia needs to stop for more than just some hours. Not only the satellite system needs to be repaired, but some structural parts that have been affected by the impact with an unidentified floating object on the night of December 9th, just after passing Cape of Good Hope. Despite Gaetano trying to fix the damages onboard, the issue was not solved completely.
Further to an inspection the damages proved to be much more serious that initially suspected, so that the boat will have to be taken out of the water and taken to a specialized shipyard for repairs. The hull is delaminated, the auto pilot and the water maker have to be overhauled. Without these two vital systems it is impossible to sail single-handed and Gaetano's shore team 1Off, does not want to push him to take sea on a boat that is not totally safe and properly working.
Italia should have gone down the Indian Ocean to 48 degrees south, sailing past New Zealand, face the Southern Ocean going as low as 55 degrees South, round Cape Horn, and finally crossing the Atlantic and reaching Gibraltar. The time needed to complete the repairs in Fremantle and the route with unfavorable winds would have delayed Gaetano too much, forcing him to sail the last stretch in the Atlantic in a time of the year characterized by a significant weather instability and the first tropical storms.
Thus the unanimous decision, very hard to be taken for everyone in the team, to stop the record attempt and, possibly, resume it in the future. This option has been chosen despite the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) in a communication dated January 2nd, has given green light to Gaetano to go on attempting for the round-the-world record, with stops and outside assistance. This record, on the other hand, implies that the timekeeping is not interrupted during the technical pit-stop. The total reference time, then, would have been strongly penalized by the length of the stop itself, and also by the additional distance needed to sail out of the foreseen course in order to reach Fremantle and get back on track.
Reducing the time spent ashore for the repairs would have been risky both for the ocean racer and the boat. 1Off, together with Gaetano, have then sadly decided to abandon the challenge. All the people who have shared Gaetano's dream are sympathetic and never stopped supporting him in such a difficult moment. Both are determined to look for new, future challenges.
While Mura's shore team is organizing his travel back home to Italy, a small group of technicians will leave Cagliari to reach Australia and set everything for the boat to be shipped back with a cargo.
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 January 2017 )