Giorgio Falck: “Only those who have a boat can understand me.”

giorgio falck
Giorgio Falck tells what it’s like to lose a boat in the April 1976 issue of the Journal of Sailing

The Guia III in 1976 sank struck by a killer whale in the ocean while engaged in the Atlantic Triangle. Owner Giorgio Falck (1938-2004), who is not on board, in the April 1976 issue of the Giornale della Vela recounts what it feels like to lose a boat of which, more than an owner, he felt he was a lover.

Giorgio Falck: “Only boat owners can understand.”

“This in captain Norman speaking… The crew is fine, but the boat sank…The instant effect was that of the world turning upside down,

as had happened to me, physically, as a child, when I had fallen off a horse. Only boat owners can understand. He can understand the affection-no, the accumulation of affections that a boat contains: the quartz watch “guaranteed two seconds a month,” a gift from my uncle and companion to the many stops during the round-the-world voyage; the sextant with which I had made my first points, hesitantly, in ’71; the blue blanket on which a gentle hand had embroidered “reserved for George.”

And that wonderful smooth, jewel-thin hull that Gigi and I had wrested from total destruction on the beach at Baratti: it had been a matter of hours, at four o’clock the boat was deposited on the tombolo, and at six o’clock a force-nine swell hit the beach…But everything was contained in that damned monosyllable: sunk.

“My name is Vincenzoni, I’m a friend of your brother-in-law, I’m calling from Los Angeles. I’ve been studying killer whales for three years; I’m writing a book on them.” “Say, say.”. “It is a terrible and fascinating animal: once in New Zealand a fishing boat injured a female with its propeller. The male sank the fishing boat, planking seventy millimeters (the Guia has 35 mm). A month later, in the same place, a crew of six was killed by the raging beast.”

I know, dear Mr. Vincenzoni, that sea monsters are all the rage…. But I, you see, am interested in boats and not in orcas, hateful animal of all. I am interested in racing and not in violence. Disjointed things. At least I thought so. And I curse those who said, “II Guia is an exceptional boat that doesn’t win, it’s unlucky.”.”


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1976 Anno 2 n. 3 aprile pag. 3-5 + n. 4 maggio p. 40-43

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