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Fabio Muzzolini, 2nd Proto into Saint-François : “Just incredible”

Fabio Muzzolini crossed the finish line of the second leg of the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat EuroChef in 2nd place in the prototype fleet this Saturday 13 November at 3h 13min 57s (UTC). In this way, the skipper of Tartine sans Beurre took 14 days 13 hours 13 minutes and 57 seconds to complete the 2,700 miles of the course between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Saint-François, with an average speed of 7.34 knots. He finished 14h 11 minutes after the skipper of the first boat, Pierre Le Roy. His combined race time for the two legs equates to 21 days 16 hours, 30 minutes 4 seconds.

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“I’m incredibly happy! It’s been a race where the two weeks were very different. The first was fantastic, in close contact. It was very hard to know who was in front. Two boats attempted an option in the west and I was very stressed that that would pay off. I didn’t feel very strong mentally. The second week, I spent all on my lonesome. I had to trust myself and believe in my choices. When I heard that I was moving up the leader board, that was just fabulous. At one point, I crossed back in front of Irina (Gracheva). As such I suspected that my option was paying off, which gave me a confidence boost. I didn’t take the extreme south option as there was a massive amount of sargassum and I said to myself that it had to be even worse than where I was. In the end, the toughest part was today, to the north of Guadeloupe.

I’d have really liked to have pinched first place from Pierre (Le Roy) but he was better. I’d really like to congratulate him because to win a Mini Transat you first need to run a successful campaign and he’s done than superbly well. As a matter of interest, we’re neighbours in Brittany. We live opposite one another. Therefore, every day whilst preparing for the race, I’ve been able to check what he was doing. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to beat him.

One year proved to be pretty difficult as I was focusing on watching how the others were sailing and spent my time repairing my boat. All the hard work has paid off in the end. This Mini has been tougher than my first (in 2019, editor’s note) as a competitor. For the last three days I’ve had to make headway without my large spinnaker. It’s in shreds. As there wasn’t a lot of breeze, that really piled on the pressure, knowing that Tanguy was behind. It’s been really hard mentally. I’ve had to dig deep and also I’ve been constantly having to remove the seaweed from the rudders. In the end it was just incredible! Crossing the finish line was a release! Everything came off alright and that’s fantastic!”

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