Szabolcs Weöres, an accomplished Hungarian sailor, has triumphantly navigated through four qualifying races and covered thousands of kilometres over the past year as he prepares for the Vendée Globe, considered the world’s most challenging race. The Vendée Globe requires participants to sail solo, without docking, around the globe.
In a Tuesday roundtable discussion, the 50-year-old sailor expressed: ‘The Vendée Globe is the most complex challenge, but it’s a race, not a performance tour. Today, such an endeavour cannot enter the ranks of the Vendée Globe. While I don’t want to formulate a numerical result, I aim to get the most out of myself and the boat, and then we’ll see what that amounts to.’
Weöres emphasized that he belongs to the category of teams with the smallest budgets,
making his rivals with new technology potentially 50 per cent faster than his 2007-equipped vessel. Categorizing the field into three parts, Weöres highlighted four to five boats rising to the top. However, he noted that the French appreciate the effort invested in the competition, and everyone approaches it with camaraderie, without looking down on anyone.
Ensuring his physical readiness through triathlons, Weöres discussed the stringent conditions set by organizers for participating in the ‘Mount Everest of Sailing.’ Due to high interest, only forty participants are allowed, and the required miles for participation must be accumulated in designated races.
Having completed four successful races last year, covering a total of more than 777 hours on water racing, Weöres secured the 34th position in the qualification list for the Vendée Globe. Reflecting on his achievements, he stated: ‘We reached the finish line in all four races, which is significant in this boat class. The boat gradually adapted to solo sailing, and I succeeded in getting used to it and establishing a rhythm of life. I am getting to know the boat better, becoming one with it, and the Santander transformation served this purpose.’
Discussing his most significant mishap, Weöres mentioned a likely collision with a whale, resulting in the breakage of the left fin.
In the footsteps of the legendary Nándor Fa, Szabolcs Weöres is set to become the second Hungarian to participate in the Vendée Globe, known as the Everest of sailing.
Notably, the Vendée Globe, commencing on 10 November from Les Sables d’Olonne, France, represents the pinnacle of sailing challenges, requiring participants to circumnavigate the globe alone, without external assistance or docking.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI