Brasil 1 is on its way to the Volvo Ocean Race. The first Brazilian boat to compete in the most traditional round-the-world regatta left Rio de Janeiro,Brazil on Saturday 20 August for Cascais, Portugal.
After three days, Brasil 1
already reached a milestone: with 25 knots of wind, the boat sailed with 25 knots of speed. The previous top speed for the boat was 20 knots, when Torben GRAEL
and the crew sailed to Ilhabela Sailing Week.
"This dawn marked our first test with tough conditions at the sea. We had high waves, rain and strong winds. With Kiko PELLICANO at the helm, we reached 25 knots of speed. We used this scenario to make some sail changes and the crew responded well", GRAEL
wrote in the boat's log.
See you in March
The farewell was celebrated in style. Around 130 boats escorted the Brasil 1
in a celebratory nautical parade from the Naval Institute as far as the Pai and Mae Islands at the entrance of the Guanabara Bay.
"We are finally making our dream come true, as well as the dreams of many who will follow. This is a historic day for Brazilian sailing and the beginning of a whole new era in this sport,"
skipper Torben GRAEL
The first Brazilian team to compete in a round-the-world regatta is sailing with 12 crewmembers onboard. In addition to skipper GRAEL, the team consists of Brazilian sailors Marcelo FERREIRA, Kiko PELLICANO, João SIGNORINI and Andre FONSECA. Foreign sailors include Australian Adrienne CAHALAN, the only woman in the race, New Zealanders Stuart WILSON and Andy MEIKLEJOHN, Spaniard Roberto BERMUDEZ (also known as Chuny), and Irishman Damian FOXALL. Brazilian Alan ADLER, director of the project, and Martin CARTER, who are not crewmembers for the race, are sailing with the team.
Marcelo FERREIRA considers the twenty days that it will take the crew to travel to Europe "worse than being part of a reality TV show like Big Brother." "In a house you can at least open a door and get away. On a boat where do I go? This transatlantic crossing will be a big test for us,"
says the two-time Olympic champion.
"Seeing the boat ready to go is proof that Brazil is mature enough to take on even more ambitious projects,"
said navigator Adrienne CAHALAN. Bowman Stuart WILSON emphasizes the support the project has received. "The first projects that took place in New Zealand twenty years ago received the same kind of support I have seen here in Brazil. And now New Zealand is among the elite in the world's major nautical events."