To celebrate the boat's farewell, a naval parade took place in front of the Naval School in Rio de Janeiro. When the navy fired of the cannon, the Brasil 1 and other 130 boats sailed over the imaginary finish line that the 70-feet vessel will cross again when arriving at the Rio de Janeiro leg of the round-the-world regatta.
'All of us are a little sad to be leaving Brazil. The time we spent here has been very nice but we know that we have to leave for Europe,' said Australian navigator Adrienne CAHALAN, elected sailor of the year last month in Australia for the fourth year in a row. 'This is the recognition of our work,' she said.
André FONSECA's father, Alvaro, who lives in Santa Catarina, in the South of Brazil, spent his son\'s last week in Brazil with him in Rio. 'As a father, you always worry. After he accepted the offer to sail I started studying the route and learned that it is quite dangerous, but after a while you accept it. The regatta is a lot safer today than it was in the past,' he said.
Another sailor who has been saying his goodbyes for the last few weeks is Marcelo FERREIRA. 'I am very emotional, everybody knows that. I think I am the most family-oriented person on the team. But it's not even that long an absence. When Torben and I were getting ready for the Olympics, we would be away from home for a month, which is more or less the length of the crossing or one of the legs of the regatta. Whenever I will have time off my family will meet me wherever I'll be or I'll return to Brazil to see them,' said the two-time Olympic champion.
Brasil 1's journey to Europe will take approximately twenty days and cover four thousand nautical miles as the crow flies. The Brazilian team, however, may sail hundreds of miles more.
'In a straight line the route takes four thousand miles but because of weather variations we may sail up to a thousand miles more,' explainesdAdrienne CAHALAN, who is also the only woman to compete in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race.
Brasil 1 is sponsored by VIVO, Motorola, QUALCOMM, Thyssenkrupp, NIVEA Sun, Agora Senior Corretora de Valores, and the Brazilian Government through Apex (the Agency for the Promotion of Brazilian Exports), the Ministry of Industry, Development and Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Sports, and receives special support from Varig.
The crew consists of skipper Torben GRAEL and Brazilians Marcelo FERREIRA, Kiko PELLICANO, Joao SIGNORINI, Andre FONSECA, and reserve Eduardo PENIDO. Foreign crewmembers include Adrienne CAHALAN (AUS), Roberto CHUNY BERMUDEZ (ESP), New Zealanders Andy MEIKLEJOHN and Stuart WILSON and Knut FROSTAD (NOR) who will only join the team in South Africa to sail in the southern ocean legs.