This is the forth consecutive victory for Andrea Mura, the Sardinian sailor who just few days ago has reached the American coastline on board of his “Vento di Sardegna”. So, after winning the Route du Rhum in 2010, the Twostar 2012 (he set the new record of the regata) and the Transat Quebec-Saint Malò 2012 (when he beat the previous record set by Giovanni Soldini), Andrea is now the new champion of the Ostar 2013, the Atlantic Ocean crossing that departs from Plymouth in Great Britain and finishes in Newport, Rhode Island, after seventeen days of solitary navigation.
I met him yesterday, during an event organized to celebrate this historical moment, both for Andrea (this is first time in New York), and Sardinia. We are on board of the “Arabella”, a boat that the Yacht Club of Manhattan has reserved for this occasion and next to us, resting in the Marina after a long and rough voyage, “Vento di Sardegna” is now lulling in the American waters.
“Did you feel you were going to win this regatta?” I ask him.
“Yes, I’ve never had any doubt, even if the French Roger Langevin with his trimaran Branec IV has given me a hard time”.
“Seventeen days are a very long time to be alone in the middle of the Ocean. Which ones have been the hardest times?”
He’s been spurred by Suomi Kudu of Peter Crowther, that has left a gash on the hull on Andrea’s boat; his strength and determination have been tested by five big storms he encountered during the crossing and right when the finishing line was near, the weak wind has contributed to the frustration of the Sardinian seadog.
But he has won anyway: his face, and most of all his hands, are marked by a hard-fought and difficult race, but the taste of victory makes everything else go away. He will take a small break now before leaving for a new adventure.
“I am going to stay in New York for about a week and I would like to put together a crew to sail to Bermuda first, reach the Cayman Islands afterward and then we will see from there”.
My Gypsy soul and my hunger for adventure make my mouth watery, but I do not have the courage to ask how much such a trip would cost as my finances are quite limited right now, therefore I can only dream about it.