FORTES RAFAEL

43 years old

Spain

Malaga

Skipper

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“A turning point in my career”

Rafael discovered sailing at over 25 years of age and with it the Mini-Transat. “It’s a huge personal project for me, which is geared around improving my skills in a number of areas. It’s a turning point in my ‘career’, which is enabling me to learn more about the rules of the sea, the class measurement, sailing under autopilot, the weather and strategy, which extends to composites and preparation of a boat… You have to be an all-rounder in the Mini! The past year’s been complicated for me. All’s well though: I’m alive and so is the project!” enthuses the skipper, who just a few months ago was still working on oil tankers. “That was taking up a lot of my time. So, I switched jobs and now I’m a full-time charter skipper.”

Rafael admits that he had to think twice about buying his Argo, number 858, a Lombard design, but to his great satisfaction fate stepped in. “When I began to look into purchasing a Mini, I fell under the spell of the Argos. The Spanish sailors have had some good results with this model. She’s a good boat upwind and lighter than the Pogo, so she can go faster. However, the price was high, so I hesitated. I went to La Rochelle in 2017 to see the boats, adamant that I was going to buy a Pogo 2, until an ad ended up on the Mini website with an Argo up for sale. I travelled overnight from Malaga to the Basque Country to buy this boat. I have no regrets. It was a fantastic opportunity I didn’t want to pass me by.”

Nautical track record:

- Trofeu Marina Badalona 2019: 12th
- Gran Premio d’Italia 2019: 6th
- Mare Nostrum 2018: 8th
- Trofeo Port Forum Balsamar 2018: 3rd
- Mini Golfe 2018: 2nd