Published on 16 November 2021
Francesco Renella, 34th Production Boat into Saint-François : “I really relished coming face to face with myself at sea”
Francesco Renella (446) crossed the finish line of the second leg of the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat EuroChef in 34th place in the Production boat fleet this Tuesday 16 of Novembre at 00h 14min 40s (UTC). In this way, the skipper of Koati took 17 days 10 hours 34 minutes and 40 seconds to complete the 2,700 miles of the course between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Saint-François. His combined race time for the two legs equates to 29 days 20 hours 20 minutes 57 seconds.
“I’m happy. It’s a real joy to arrive here in Guadeloupe after 18 days at sea! At the start of the race, Anne Liardet (who was unable to take the start due to the upper limit of 90 competitors having been reached in this 23rd edition, editor’s note) came to greet me and she told me to really make the most of it. It’s been an incredible experience, but I found it tougher than I’d imagined, especially mentally. Several times, I felt like I was on a big motorway, but all the service stations were closed. I chose a southerly option and very quickly ended up all alone and fairly isolated. I knew that dropping down so low would be my only chance to latch onto a bit more breeze, but I hadn’t reckoned on the fact that I would spend 10 to 12 days completely on my own, with nobody else ever on the AIS. However, I really relished coming face to face with myself at sea. It left me time for quiet introspection, to reflect on a whole host of things, about myself and other questions. I wondered why the squalls hit in one zone but not another, things like that (laughs)! My goal in this Mini Transat was to learn and to have fun. I learned during the first leg and had fun in the second! It’s the first time I’ve arrived in Guadeloupe and even my first time on a Caribbean island. I’ve done a lot of sailing in the Mediterranean so far and I’m pleased to be able to discover a new place and to do it with the original soundtrack from the film O’Brother by the Cohen brothers as it’s a film that greatly inspired me during my preparation for the race”.