Route du Rhum, Andrea Fornaro and that damn keel.

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Andrea Fornaro at the arrival of the Route du Rhum in Guadeloupe

It is just past midnight on Saturday, Nov. 26, after 17 days 10 hours 30 minutes and 46 seconds of sailing, when Andrea Fornaro, the third Italian (after Ambrose Beccaria, second e Alberto Bona, 8th) racing in the Class40 class, crosses the finish line of the Route du Rhum, the ocean race that starts from St. Malo in France and finishes in Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. Fornaro, on the Class 40 Influence, finished in 21st position.

Andrea Fornaro, “all-around” navigator

Maremmano, from Orbetello, Andrea is a modern-day navigator, capable of going from an ocean crossing to a race on the buoys, a role he plays aboard Roberto Lacorte’s flying hull FlyingNikka.

Influence, a Class40 launched last year, his boat, gave him no small amount of worry on this 3,542-mile crossing (our Andrea actually traveled 4039.70 at a speed 9.65 knots, looking at the log), forcing him to make a pit stop in the Azores to secure the keel, which, at the first few upwinds, began to make suspicious movements.

Andrea Fornaro and that “cursed” keel.

We went through three very tough fronts, and I went through them seeing the keel bolts go up and down in the casing with each wave. When I closed my eyes for a few minutes, I would do so on the survival suit to be ready to put it on in case the keel came off and the boat capsized” declared Andrea a few miles from the finish.

Welcoming him to Pointe-à-Pitre at the dock, in addition to his wife and daughter, were the legendary Ambrogio Beccaria and Alberto Bona, second and eighth in the rankings.

Andrea Fornaro
From left, Alberto Bona, Andrea Fornaro, Ambrogio Beccaria at the finish of the Route du Rhum

I am so proud to be part of this group of skippers who are so capable that they know how to cross the Atlantic solo. I am honored to be a part of this community” are Andrea’s first words as soon as he stepped ashore.

A new Class 40 Made in Italy for Fornaro

Andrea crossed the finish line in 21st position but we are sure we will see him back on the water soon and maybe even at the next Route du Rhum 2026, because, in addition to stating that he is ready to leave tomorrow, he is said to have already purchased from Edoardo Bianchi’s Sangiorgio Marine the sister boat of “Alla Grande Pirelli” (the boat in which Ambrogio Beccaria came second at this regatta) and we look forward to seeing them sail side by side.

James Barbaro

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