“NodoXnodo” is the name of a sailing adventure born thanks to the sponsorship of the Italian company Guidi, global leader in the production of nautical equipment and accessories, and the creative partnership of the Italian skipper Andrea Fantini, who, in turn, is accompanied by the world-renowned sailor Monsieur Charles Louis Mourrau. The duo aboard the Class 40 yacht – baptised “Guidi” for the occasion – took part in the Les Sables/Horta/Les Sables race and will not fail to prove themselves in two further competitions in the near future, including the autumn Transat Jacques Vabre.
For the Fantini-Mourrau duo – one from Ferrara, the other obviously a native of the other side of the Alps – it was their first race together to the islands of northern Macaronesia and it did not go exactly as they had hoped. “Covid-19 caused us some logistic problems, leaving us just 2 weeks before the race – the skipper explains – so we had very little time to prepare our boat, which inevitably affected the final result. However, I’m very happy because it’s not a latest generation boat, in fact it’s a penultimate generation boat that comes just before those rounded bow boats that are monopolising the first positions in every race because at certain speeds they go faster than all the others”.
“Recovering the boat”
What does it matter about the final result if the Class 40 Guidi was accompanied by “dolphins”. A magnificent “Flipper”, in fact, appears quickly in one of the scene of the beautiful video filmed during the outward leg, with wonder expressed in the close-up of the Ferrara skipper’s lips. Gifted with great humility, Fantini tells us about the race, explaining that “there is a job-list to recover the boat” against a timid result that saw him in 14th position out of 25 boats in the race. There were plenty of problems, and then the health emergency meant that the 5/6 day stop in 0, unlike previous editions, was cancelled and reduced to a mere “virtual buoy”.
Moored in front of the thin and austere agricultural patching of the Azores island, the most picturesque under a urban point of view, in the port of Horta, Andrea Fantini wasted no time and managed to replace the on-board instrumentation in just three hours as it had gone into default. “On the mast you can have hooks, which are devices used to reduce the compression, so the sail doesn’t stay hoisted only through the halyard, but practically hooks on a hook on the mast and the halyard is only used to pull it up and down, we practically broke all the hooks on the mast, the sails fell overboard, we had less three sails than the others. Then we had problems with the electronics, we had no satellite so we had no weather,” explains the skipper with regret.
Fantini: Guidi in forced stop in the Azores
Moreover, an extended stop is imposed by the rules and takes 12 hours off the crew. Nevertheless, the skipper managed to recover almost 150 miles and overtook four other boats just before the finish. The weather conditions, which were unpredictable for everyone, added to the problem: “at this time of year you sail more or less on the edge of or inside the Azores anticyclone,” explains Andrea Fantini, “but this year the anticyclone was much further north than it should have been, so all the first seven days were under pressure, in front or behind the fronts, and it was tough.
The Class 40 Guidi is in any case the “crowning of a dream“, a laudable test and project which, despite having a “limited budget” available, overcomes the living trauma of a pandemic that is struggling to be resolved. And it was precisely in this difficulty of the second winter lockdown that Fantini managed to find the opportunity that brought him into contact with Enrica Guidi, marketing and communications manager of the company of the same name, with whom a bond of friendship was born; and there is also a lot of synergy aimed not only at promoting the spread of a healthy sport like sailing, but also at Guidi’s corporate communications, which until now had been oriented rather towards art and more conventional channels. This partnership was also and certainly created to “continue sailing in spite of everything“, explains Andrea Fantini, and “to communicate through the “NodoXnodo” project something about human relationships – adds Enrica Guidi – because the knot unites but is also a unit of measurement at sea, and this is perhaps the best time to try to shorten distances and to start living in friendship again by resuming contacts“.