With less than a week to go before the start of the Route du Rhum (3,542 miles solo nonstop from Saint-Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe, one of the most epic challenges in Atlantic sailing) Alberto Bona and his team are completing the planned tasks.
A reminder that at the Nov. 6 start, there will be three Italians competing on the Class 40 (the 12.19 x 4.49 m ocean open class): there is Bona with the brand new IBSA-marked hull (of his round bow we told you about here, instead here his latest interview with us), Ambrogio Beccaria on AllaGrande Pirelli(info here) and Andrea Fornaro on 171 Influence. The only “paisan” among the IMOCA 60s, however, is Giancarlo Pedote with Prysmian.
Alberto Bona from Saint Malo
“We are well on our way,” says Alberto. we find ourselves in a wonderful and exciting setting. Around us an anticipation and celebration that is hard to describe in words, and that makes me really grateful to be here. We arrived in St Malo before the opening of the event, and day by day the passion and interest is growing: IBSA is already moored in its place, I see so many people getting excited about our challenge and about Sailing into the future, IBSA’s three-year project in sailing. The numbers of this edition of the RdR are impressive, the organization is doing a great job: what we see here is a great passion for the sea and a genuine interest in the enterprise that all the skippers are preparing. Friday’s parade was a beautiful moment“.
Boat and skipper: now it’s time for action
From a technical point of view, boat and skipper are ready: “We are finalizing the planned activities, preparing the crates with everything we think is useful and is necessary to bring to keep the boat competitive, we are preparing the food, divided into portions per day. Compared to the preparations I have gone through in the past to participate in the Mini Transat, there are many more elements to take into account and many more variables, but there is also more opportunity for management because of the more information I will have during the race. Here you don’t work alone, you remain a team even when I’m sailing in the middle of the ocean, and that’s certainly one of the most fascinating parts of this challenge with IBSA. All the preparation of these months now moves into action, and the more things there are to do the more we have to be quiet and thoughtful“.
Weather and sail selection
One of the central themes of this step of technical preparation concerns weather analysis and sail selection: “We are working, as are all teams, on weather analysis. – Alberto Bona comments – you start acquiring data, analyzing trends to have as much information as possible that will allow us, in the coming days, to have all the elements to make decisions and make our choices“.
Who is Alberto Bona
Born in Turin in 1986, Alberto Bona belongs to a family of sea and sailing enthusiasts. As a boy he built himself a “barque” in his garage to make the crossing of the Tyrrhenian Sea: the feat, which has remained epic in family stories, left him with a great passion for adventure at sea.
His first Atlantic crossing would come in his undergraduate years: he was aboard Stormvogel, a fast ULDB and historic boat, when he won the ARC with a New Zealand crew. From the self-built hull, to the climate of crewed Atlantic regattas, to the Mini Transat was a short step: at age 27, Alberto Bona won the Italian Mini championship and with the support of the YCI participated in his first Mini Transat, finishing in fifth place.
In 2015, a new campaign begins in Mini 6.50: Bona starts a collaboration with a young group of designers from the Faculty of Nautical Engineering in La Spezia, wins the Italian Mini championship, finishes second at Le Sables-Azores and participates in his second Mini Transat, where, however, he is forced to retire due to boat problems.
In 2017, supported by renowned Italian ocean sailor Giovanni Soldini, Alberto switched to Class40 and participated in the Transat Jacques Vabres, where he was forced to retire when in sixth place. In 2019, he is part of the crew of Maserati Multi 70, Soldini’s foil trimaran for the transfer from Okinawa to Hong Kong, the tour of Europe dedicated to testing the trimaran’s new flying trimaran trimaran trimaran trimaran trimaran trimaran trimaran, and the Pacific Transpac race.
2019-2020 sees Alberto Bona racing in the Beneteau Figaro 3 class. The only Italian entered in the class championship, he finishes 7th among rookies in 2019 and 16th overall in 2020. In the 2021 season he led a team to win the Italian offshore title and won the Europeans in mixed doubles, again aboard Figaro 3.
In 2022 the new project begins with the support of IBSA Group, with the guidon of Circolo Vela Bellano. He chose to move to France, to La Trinité-sur-Mer, where he began the construction of the IBSA boat and where he built his base of operations and training ahead of the Route du Rhum.
Class40 IBSA – data sheet
– Hull length = 12.19 meters
– Hull width = 4.50 meters
– Weight= 4.5 tons.
– Upwind sail area = 115 square meters
– Slack area= 300 square meters
– Tree height=20 meters
– Shipyard: JPS Production – 2022
– Sails: All Purpose – 2022
– Navigation Instrumentation: Garmin
– Sheets and ropes: Gottifredi Maffioli
– Clothing: Sebago
– Technical clothing: Zhik