Grabau International, a new Baltic 67 and the Fastnet

Following the recent launch of the latest in the Baltic 67 semi-production series, Grabau International Italia’s very own seasoned racing veteran Michele Antonini will be sailing aboard this stunning new performance cruiser during the forthcoming Rolex Fastnet Race. Before the race starts off Cowes, Isle of Wight, there is the small matter of delivering the yacht from Finland to the UK and ensuring all the crew have logged appropriate sea miles for this legendary and challenging 608Nm race from Cowes to Plymouth via Fastnet Rock. Michele picks up the story in his own words:-

“Here I am telling you the adventure that will become my first Fastnet in August . It all started last winter. The project is ambitious because we will participate with a boat that went into the water for the first time only in May, just three months before the race. As you know the new boats always need a break-in period, and in this case we must also add that the crew needs a break-in!

One of the criteria that the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) race committee requires, is that in order to be admitted to the race the crew must have completed at least 350 nautical miles of offshore racing in the 12 months prior to the race, as you will understand we could never have respected this criterion, at the time of the registration, in fact, the boat was little more than a manufactured article in composite with some plant in the Finnish yard of Baltic Yachts.

In January we submitted a request for registration to the RORC race committee which was accepted with the reservation that each crew member had to take part in the transfer of the boat from Pietarsaari, in Finland, to Cowes in the Solent for a minimum of 350Nm. No sooner said than done, we divided the transfer of LURIGNA into 3 stages : Pietarsaari – Stockholm, 370 miles along the bays and islands of the Swedish coasts; Stockholm – Copenhagen, 400 miles to Denmark and the last stop up to Cowes where the boat will arrive in the second half of July for the last training sessions in view of the start of the August 3 race.

LURIGNA is a performance cruiser designed by Judel-Vrolijk and built in Finland by Baltic Yachts. 20 meters long by 25 tons of displacement, and isthe second unit built on a female mold in advanced composite materials (E-Glass epoxy sprint for the outer skin and carbon fiber in the loading points), everything is post-cured to 85 ° temperature to have a rigid and light structure.

In essence, she is a most beautiful and VERY well made boat! As you can see, this makes me more than comfortable and happy, as we will travel more than 600 miles from the Isle of Wight off the south-west coast of England to the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, south of Ireland, and then on back along with 40 other boats in our IRC Zero class (for the record there will be just under 400 boats on the starting line!).

At the time of writing, we are now in the Swedish archipelago near Stockholm. We were invited to the summer solstice party at the home of another Baltic Yachts owner (Baltic Yachts owners all feel they are part of a big family and happen to have lasting relationships). The 21 June here is very much felt now we are preparing to make the first edges towards the south in the Baltic Sea with very long days, there are just 3-4 hours in the sun between 11 pm and 3 am but the glow of light remains all night with an extraordinary atmosphere.”

We look forward to bringing you all more reports from Michele’s adventures aboard LURIGNA and wish him and the crew the very best of luck in the race. The team will be out on the Solent on 3rd August to wave LURIGNA off the start line and through the Needles enroute to Fastnet Rock.

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