Stories from Giraglia – “So we got through the gale unscathed.”

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Not all crews at the Giraglia were unprepared for the gale. One of these is that of Carburex Globulo Rosso, Este 31 by engineer Alessandro Burzi. Alexander wrote to us to tell us how he came up with it
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UP TO THE GIRAGLIA ALL QUIET

I am Alessandro Burzi, owner and skipper of Carburex Globulo Rosso, entered in this tough edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, completed with an excellent result (6 Over All in ORC) and absolutely unscathed! I wanted to report our experience, with some considerations of how we dealt with the gale. We rounded the Giraglia rock around 7 p.m., in excellent position and in contention for the Over All victory in ORC class. Up to that point, the light air conditions encountered favored the agility of our Este 31, a particularly powerful and agile boat in light wind conditions that can race us in real with 40-foot boats.

THE GOING GETS TOUGH…
Beginning the traverse en route to Genoa with full mainsail and medium genoa, at 10 p.m. we began to reduce sail area by virtue of the first strengthening that brought gusts to 30 knots with an average of 25. The angle was about 95 degrees, and we took the opportunity to go up a bit in anticipation of the next reinforcement expected around midnight, and then we could go down at a smoother angle.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THE GALE
As early as half an hour later, gusts hinted that the air would rise earlier and stronger (up to 42 knots), even beyond what the models available to us predicted. We were sailing with one hand to the mainsail, and at that point we preferred to lower the racing mainsail and hoist the mainsail hood, broadside on the boom and reduce our 3 equipped with one hand reefing to the bow. This choice, albeit a tiring one given the crew’s commitment to fully lowering the mainsail, rewarded us by delivering a powerful and fast boat with restrained buoyancy at the heave.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
In fact, we had already envisioned what configuration to use during the arrival of this strong close-hauled gale, and had immediately assumed that we would “have” the boat pulled by the headsail instead of “pushing” it with the mainsail. I believe that in such conditions, a “light” and fast hull such as our Este 31, has greatly contained its efforts compared to hulls that, either because of a different sail configuration, or because of their design and construction characteristics born heavier, have complained of more or less serious damage at the end of the race. Clearly it was touch and go to work every single wave, punching and gliding on the steepest ones up to the record speed of 16.5 knots, but on arrival Globulo Rosso was perfectly intact, without any damage and in excellent position in the over all ranking.

SMALL AND FAST IS BETTER THAN BIG AND SLOW
Clearly, when we approached the Ligurian coast, about 20 miles from the coast, the expected drop in wind forced us to lower the mainsail and hoist full mainsail again, getting to gradually increase the area of the bow until the spinnaker was rigged as the wind gave “to good.” Amazing the work of my sailing team, maneuvering in those conditions is not for everyone, but I also have to thank the work done “ashore” in preparation for the many events that Globulo Rosso runs…without constant boat maintenance it is unthinkable to safely tackle an off-shore circuit. I remain of the belief that, small and fast is very often safer than big and slow!!!”

READ MORE – GIRAGLIA DOSSIER


SENSATIONAL: I LOST THE GIRAGLIA TO SAVE A BOAT


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ALL THE GIRAGLIA WINNERS
TALES AND STORIES LIVE FROM THE GALE JUGGERNAUT

GALLERY – SAVE! HOURS OF PANIC AT THE GIRAGLIA
THAT BURRASCA! THE TALE FROM ABOARD GIANIN VI

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