For Ultravox and the courage of two sailors to embark on the RMSR challenge for the first time ….



The next lines that I am posting today are again from the rubric Interview with a competitor after RMSR, but here the competitors are only two in the Double-handed class, Class6. While I was anxiously waiting for the start, a lot of boats were moving around me, but the thing that caught my attention was these boats with two people on deck. I asked myself, in the event of a sudden storm, what will happen and how will the security obligations of the vessel be divided between these two people? Although they did not finish, these two gentlemen deserve admiration. The fact that they are throwing themselves into a Rolex race for the first time under the difficult conditions offered by this year’s edition makes them winners. There is no greater victory than to be saved when your gaze ahead does not see a timely way out …. I present to you the different interview of Leonardo Fonti and Filippo Butti ….

Hello, could you share information about the boat and something about the crew?

Filippo Buti:

Hello, our crew is only two people, we are Leonardo Fonti and Filippo Buti, the boat is called Ultravox! This was our first time at the Rolex Middle Sea Race, we signed up in a double hand (category 2 crew), as the Ultravox X332 sport was updated and optimized for D-h regattas. We had the opportunity to test the brand new boat during the year in some smaller regattas such as 151 miles, Giraglia, Palermo-Montecarlo, and ended the year with a Rolex Middle Sea Race.

What do you expected before the regatta and what happened in reality? Emotions and situations after the start …..

Our “Middle Sea” adventure began with the transfer from Livorno to Malta, where we faced force 7 seas between Ponza and Milazzo. We arrived in Malta a few days before the comp in order to carefully prepare our boat. The first day of the race was very exciting for me, especially those few hours before the start, with the dock packed with boats in such a beautiful venue: I realized that one of my dreams was coming true. Our expectations and our goal were to complete the race, trying to push harder in the right moments and not be pulled ahead of by the leading group. We managed to do so until our gennaker tore apart off the coast of Trapani. With the only use of code zero, we slowly made it to Lampedusa 10/12 hours late on the schedule. During those same hours, a strong low pressure reached the southern Mediterranean sea and positioned itself between us and the finishing line in Malta. With 510 miles covered and 90 left, it was a very tough call the one we had to make the chances of cutting the line in time by the evening 29th were very low and we would have put our lives at risk sailing into the storm. We decided to call it off and our race has ended. Three days later we left the port of Lampedusa heading towards Livorno, we were a bit frustrated but at the same time very happy for the great experience we had. One of the most interesting things we have learned during the race is about sleep management in a small crew: understanding our own sleep cycle and its duration is very important and can significantly enhance crew performances. During most part of the regatta, we found strong winds and rough sea, it has been hard work for all the crews we guess. Planning at 16 knots downwind off Stromboli Island has been very exciting, We think is the peculiarity of the route that makes this regatta so special and unique.

Leonardo Fonti :

“After 30 miles we start to have the first problem, the Jib halyard sock breaks, we manage to sew it but we are forced to fix it on the winch without using it on the stopper, we always proceed upwind down to Calabria with wind and wave increasing, in the tight, there are 4.5 knots of contrary current but we manage to pass always keeping the boat fast. After the strait the expected wind arrives immediately, we go on with only the mainsail with 2 hands, we reach the speed of 16.8 with continuous glides, at the height of Palermo the wind drops to 20/25 knots, we put the A2, unfortunately at the second broach it breaks and we are forced to continue the regatta with the code0, for this reason, we arrive on Tuesday night in Lampedusa, too late to continue in Malta given the prohibitive conditions. There are 4 other boats with us, we wait for a window to start and finish the race in good time, 2 boats try on Thursday, but they return, outside they register under a gust of 72 knots. We just have to retire with great regret from the race just 90 miles from the finish. However it went for us it was an incredible experience, we made friends with many crews and shared their knowledge and experiences, surely these off-shore regattas, in the end, are made by all the smaller crews who with many sacrifices before and during the regatta experience such a difficult competition with a competitive and seafaring spirit.”

Your future plans for the next sailing season?

Next year we will participate in the offshore Italian championship. We want to thank everyone who watched and supported Ultravox through the seas and winds, thank you very much!

And we thank Leonardo and Filippo for this comprehensive interview.

Our next article will be published on November 20.

Pictures : Leonardo Fonti ; Yachting info;