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The Atlantic

SAILING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC WITH “POLPHARMA-WARTA” CATAMARAN IN 14 DAYS

The Atlantic
The Atlantic
The Atlantic
The Atlantic
The Atlantic
The Atlantic
The Atlantic
The Atlantic

SAILING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC WITH “POLPHARMA-WARTA” CATAMARAN IN 14 DAYS

When in 2000 we were preparing with Roman Paszke for the transatlantic cruise, this record had not been broken until that time. We wanted to challenge it. However, this was not the only objective of this cruise. The catamaran “Polpharma-Warta” whose skipper was Roman, was preparing for THE RACE 2000 – a race around the world without calling at a port. In order to qualify for that race our crew had to cross the ocean in maximum 15 days, 15 hours, 37 minutes and 51 seconds.

The organizers of the race established five qualification routes. The participants could choose one of them. Our choice was the route Cádiz – San Salvador. We had to sail 8 148 km. The Canarian Islands were the only control point on the way.

In 2000 the yacht Polpharma Warta was the biggest ocean racing vessel (over 25 m length, 13.58 m width, 32 m mast and maximum speed 36.7 knots). It has set a couple of records, including on the route New York – Lizard Point and Yokohama – San Francisco. Its successful starts in the races around Europe and Quebec-Sain-Malo made us believe that achieving success with this yacht is possible.

We set out on 13th February from Spain, from a port not far from Cádiz. The wind forecasts were favourable. However, some problems with equipment appeared already in the first day – we lost one of the sails, the bowsprit cracked, still, we somehow managed to repair it. We kept the pace which was giving us hope for breaking the record. Soon, however, the wind stopped to be favourable. We had to tack which made the distance to cover grow disturbingly.

The next two days are following smaller failures and, luckily, not too much dangerous accident of one crew member. We were fighting to the end, the chances to break the record were really substantial. But on the tenth day of the cruise we realized we will not make it. The wind was too weak and the distance to the finish was still too big.

However, we could still qualify for the races. On the thirteenth day of sailing we faced the greatest challenge – the mast cracked. In order to avoid damaging the hull we had to cut it off and get rid of its stump. We sailed the last 550 miles with provisional rigging, with the boom fixed vertically as a mast replacement. We reached the finish, however, almost two days earlier. Polpharma-Warta catamaran qualified as the first sailing craft for THE RACE 2000 competition.