Barcelona World Race: Nandor Fa and Rich Wilson. Older Guys Rule The Waves?
Two legendary figures of Vendée Globe and IMOCA 60 racing, both in their more senior years. Wilson competed in the 2008-9 Vendée Globe with distinction. The Great American turns 65 years old in the next few days and will compete in the next Vendée Globe with his latest IMOCA 60, formerly Dominique Wavre's Mirabaud. One rival will be Nandor Fa, 61, who is the first non French skipper to complete the Vendée Globe, finishing fifth in 1992-1993.
After passing through Gibraltar today, passing back into the Med 106 days after leaving Barcelona, Fa spoke today with Wilson. They will be rivals in the next race, but had a warm, personable chat and for sure look forwards to being comrades at sea in the next solo non stop around the world race.
RW: What changes do you need to make for the for the Vendee Globe in 1.5yrs?
NF: The boat is really nice, I enjoy it. It behaves very well. The abilities are as expected but there are a lot of problems, with the mast, the keel, the electronics and in the fittings. There are a lot of jobs and some new sails. Some are missing, we have never had them. There is a long way to go until the Vendee Globe but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I am really happy to do what we have to do.
She is my fifth daughter, I have two real daughters and this is my third and latest boat daughter, I am really proud. She is just nice, enjoyable, friendly boat which performs to a high level, but we have to make some modifications. But I am proud, so proud.
RW:How is Conrad?
NF: Conrad is a fantastic guy. I have had the best possible partner in this race. He is tough if necessary and is good. Right now we are waiting for the land and the finish, the family and feel the same.
RW are you fit, strong after these months at sea?
NF We are very healthy strong and fit, we had injuries, Conrad his shoulder my head but we are all better now
RW Very good luck, keep going to the finish
NF We made a good, nice trip.
BWR Q Do you two legends look forwards to fighting in the Vendee Globe 2016-17?
RW I don't think fighting is the right word, we will be competitors but also Comrades at Sea.
NF I will be so proud to race against Rich who is a very experienced, very good sailor and we will see how it will go, but now it is is nice to talk to you Rich, and I remember we met in New York and at the start of the Vendee Globe and now it will be nice to sail together and to watch each other's performance. This is the most important thing, sail well and enjoy each others performance.
RW That is precisely right, exactly right.
Photo : Gilles Martin-Raget/Barcelona World Race