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Sailing Legend and His Partner Finish the Rolex Fastnet Race, Fighting Bravely

Hungary Today 2023.07.27.
Nándor Fa and Szabolcs Weöres on board the New Europe after the finish

As it was already anticipated on Tuesday afternoon, the Hungarian sailboat arrived in Cherbourg harbor at 0:43 Hungarian time on Wednesday. New Europe finished 25th in the Rolex Fastnet Race – reports Feol.hu.

New Europe, a 60-foot IMOCA sailboat under the Hungarian flag, completed the challenge named after the Fastnet rock in 3 days, 10 hours 28 minutes 57 seconds, which was a mileage test race to test the boat out and for Nándor Fa to see how Szabolcs Weöres, who is preparing for next year’s Vendée Globe Earth Race, would fare in the refurbished and recently inaugurated boat.

Of the 29 IMOCA boats that started, two abandoned the race in strong windy conditions after the start.

According to the race organizers, 86 of the 430 official starters officially left the race. Amid the serious conditions, the Coast Guard rescued two competitors from a sinking boat on the first day.

This was the route taken by the Hungarian boat and the part of the field that did not abandon the race. Photo: Facebook/Szabi Ocean Racing HUN23

Szabolcs Weöres and Nándor Fa did not berth the boat after the finish. They set off “on momentum” to Les Sables d’Olonne, the home port of the Vendée Globe. The HUN23 team of Szabi Ocean Racing relayed that Szabolcs said the race went well and that they made the most of it. On the Fastnet, he gained 348 nautical miles for the Vendée Globe, confirming his chances of starting.

This trip was the first serious test for New Europe after her refit for next year’s Vendée Globe.
Photo: Facebook/SzabiOceanRacingHUN23

Szabolcs Weöres announced on June 28 that he will compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race with his mentor, Nándor Fa, who has circumnavigated the globe five times. The Vendée Globe mileage race is held every two years and is one of the most prestigious sea races. This year’s 50th edition saw more than 400 boats set off from Cowes, England, over 696 nautical miles (1,298 km) to round the legendary Fastnet Rock in the south of Ireland and finish in Cherbourg, France. This year, many of the sailors preparing for the Vendée Globe participated. New Europe finished in a respectable 35th place in the monohulls, 25th in the IMOCA field.

This was the first race for Szabolcs Weöres’ boat, the New Europe, after the refit.

The IMOCA 60-foot sailboat was built in New Zealand in 2007, and has circumnavigated the globe several times. After successfully completing the Route du Rhum (Route of the Rum) last year, Weöres decided that the refits were necessary as the class had changed a lot.

The 10th Vendée Globe, the world’s toughest sporting race, in which competitors must circumnavigate the globe in a 60-foot sailboat alone, without mooring or outside assistance, will start next November. Due to the huge interest, the organizers have set the number of participants at 40, who will have to meet tough qualification criteria. One of the mileage challenges was to complete the Route du Rhum, the famous transatlantic race in which Weöres became the first Hungarian sailor to complete it last year, in 14 days 19 hours and 22 minutes, within the time limit – a big step towards qualification.

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Featured image by Irina Gracheva via Facebook/Szabi Ocean Racing HUN23

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