During his single-handed round-the-world record attempt on his Class4 Italia, Gaetano Mura met French veteran Jean Le Cam mid-Atlantic onboard the IMOCA60 Finistère Mer Vent, taking part to the legendary Vendée Globe.
"It's been a pretty tough night but exceptional at the same time. I was somehow sniffing it in the air and I was hoping for something like it when, just before sunset, a triangular shape materialized in the distance... Among all the skippers I could have come across these days he's the most charismatic of all.” Gaetano wrote in his blog from Italia.
"After so many lonely days out at sea, without seeing a single boat, spotting that shape on the horizon was very emotional... It's been a very special occasion, right in the middle of the South Atlantic, meeting such a sailing legend. We spoke on the radio. Jean told me that he was seeing Italia on his AIS, while I couldn't because my mast and the antenna are much shorter. We talked about the weather and my challenge. “We will keep each other company tonight” he told me. As the wind dropped to almost nothing we battled for hours, trying to get that little puff of wind. The blackness of the night was only interrupted, at times, by our headlamps on the sails. Our routes diverged, in an attempt to follow the shifty air. Jean is going to sail past me, as I write, and I will take some pictures to send back home.”
Italia is sailing at an average of 7 knots, slowed down by a high pressure ridge in the middle of the South Atlantic. According to Gaetano's shore crew, she could reach the Cape of Good Hope between 1-2 December.
You can track Gaetano Mura's route via his website.
Watch a video of the encounter between Gaetano and Jean le Cam.