MBAC sailing instructor, Octavio Arteta, has a lofty goal. After reading a story about sailors competing in long distance solo sailing racing he was inspired by their ambition. He read that these races hosted sailors from all over the world, with one glaring exception; his home country of Peru. After some further research he set out on a record breaking feat; to become the first Peruvian to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Octavio is working to compete in the Transat 650, a race that spans 4200 miles over 35 days, from La Rochelle, France to Salvador Bahia, Brazil. The race requires that sailors sail alone and sail a class of boat that is no longer than 22 feet in length. Every 2 years about 80 sailors set out to complete the race followed by as few as 2 support vessels who stay within radio range in case of emergencies. Communications by anything other than radio for emergencies is prohibited by the participants. With only one stop during the entire 35 day passage conservation of resources and sleep deprivation are a couple of the primary challenges to completing the race.
“There is an auto-pilot on the boat so you can sleep for short periods,” Octavio explains. “But you do not have very much battery charge so you have to get your sleep in no more than 20 minute segments.”
He estimates that he will be able to sleep for three 20-minute segments per day. With the support boats broadcasting weather reports 3 times a day, setting a sleep schedule to not miss those reports is crucial.
Octavio’s involvement at MBAC began when he saw an opportunity to give back for all he has gotten from sailing.
“I really enjoy teaching sailing as a way to help others enjoy the benefits that the sport has given in my life,” Octavio explains.
Octavio’s website www.desafiotransatlantico.com, which is currently in spanish but is being translated to english, lists a training campaign that includes preparation races in 13 countries, 26 cities and over 2 oceans to prepare for the Transat 650. All that training a travelling leads to what may be one of the biggest challenges in preparing for the race… money. He estimates that the cost of travel, boat transports, as well as building the custom boat will cost an estimated $180,000. He hopes that his endeavor to become the first Peruvian to solo transatlantic will help draw attention to his fundraising.
“I really want to do something good for Peru and become a part of Peruvian nautical history.”
Octavio has partnered with Ocean Racing Technology, who have designed his vessel and who he affectionately calls “his team,” is training with him through the preparation for the 2013 race and will be building his boat.
You can keep in touch with Octavio’s endeavor on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/desafiotransatlantico.