After a hectic week of organizing, the flag raising and the opening ceremony we were ready to go. Things I did not like and must mention were that not the Commodore or any other spokesman at these functions had the courtesy to welcome the foreign competitors to the regatta. All speeches were in Portuguese and all the functions started late. If you complain, you were told that this is Brazil. I would think that as they named the regatta the XV111 Regatta International Recife Fernando de Noronha they would consider the International Yachties.
Countries that were competing in this event were from South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Holland, France and Germany.
Yachts were competing in 5 groups and every group had a different starting time. After we sorted out the correct time, because some were using Recife time and some Fernando time (there is one hour difference} We were sent off in a very light breeze that prevailed until the late afternoon. Mother nature were kind and we had good winds all the way to the Island. It took Mila two days to cover the distance and she made good time. Unfortunately due to an error in the office they changed Mila's entry to the open class group, instead of the steel class. Mila had to compete against 60 and 55ft boats. If she was in the steel class, she would have won hands down, as the first steel boat crossed the finish line 5 hours after Mila.
At the party and the racing awards I was given a price for the yacht with the highest average age of the crew [being solo helped] to cross the finish line. There was a yachty aged 79 but he had a young crew member.
Fernando de Noronha has changed since 1989. To many tourist, new buildings and tar roads. I was disappointed to see this and would have preferred the Island as I saw it the first time. Those days they only allowed 70 tourist to visit the Island for a week.
It was nice to see 116 yachts anchored in the bay, and like in Salvador and Recife I found the residents friendly and helpful.
Our free time expires on the 29th and plans are to sail to the Atol Das Rocas, about 75 miles from here and then on to Fortaleza.
That's all for now, will update the web in Fortaleza
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