Marco Nannini on the GOR: Celebrations, hard work and love from Punta del Este

Marco Nannini on the GOR: Celebrations, hard work and love from Punta del Este

Saturday March 24 2012 Author: Marco Nannini Location: none selected

It's been three weeks since we arrived in Punta del Este following our tough Southern Ocean leg from Wellington around Cape Horn. Life ashore brings always a great variety of emotions, from the happyness of celebrating the arrival, to the hard work we need to put in to prepare the boat for the next leg to the inevitable stress of the expenses we face each time we stop. Luckily we are being hosted in the rooms of the Yacht Club Punta del Este who has been extremely welcoming and nice to us as otherwise life in the Monte Carlo of South America is painfully expensive.

My new co-skipper for the remainder of the race, fellow Italian former Mini sailor Sergio Frattaruolo, has joined me in Punta and has been working hard on the boat, servicing whinches and helping me with all repairs.

Our broken spinnaker has been fixed by North Sails in Montevideo, we also had to replace all the boom reef lines sheaves which had become brittle due to prolonged UV exposure and had started to break. The rest was ordinary maintenance but even after 20 thousand miles at sea I'm still puzzled at each stopover at how long a job list can get. I spent 4 hours scrubbing the boat which was incredibly dirty (you could see we had green growth even on arrival which isnt too good for speed!), the scrubbing is not over yet as there have been some interesting exchange of opinions with the local diving service who was not to happy with the Financial Crisis do it yourself and save approach!

Of course the biggest piece of news of this stopover will remain that of my engagement to my girlfriend Ella. We have to thank my sponsor Ventana Group who has made it possible for us to meet at each stopver, covering the cost of her flights to Buenos Aires where I spent a wonderful week in her company, popping the question over a humble dish of pasta I was a little nervous which luckily she found very sweet - she said yes by the way!

The start is in just under two weeks and the schedule is packed, tomorrow a convoy of beautiful Mustang cars will drive from Montevideo to Punta del Este to great Financial Crisis, a gathering orchestrated by the Mustang Club of Italy who's been cheering and supporting me since the start. I will meet the Italian Consul for Uruguay and later the Slovak Ambassador, I am really happy of this moral support from both my home countries. We still have skipper briefings to attend, the prizegiving for the previous leg, a press conference... the weather is nice and the atmosphere is good, there is far less apprehension that when we were about to face the south but this is not to say the next leg will be easy!

A massive thank you as usual to all those who have kept sending messages of support and helped us with repairs and stopover costs with donations throgh the website at it is a lifeline that has helped us getting this far and pushing forward till the finish.

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