Of course, Armel Le Cleac’h finished first on Banque Populaire, but for me the real winner of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe, was Nandor Fa, the 63 year old, Hungarian sailor, who finished the race in 8th place. He went round the world in 93 days. This might seem slow compared to Armel’s 74 days – but one must remember this was the winning time of the 2000 – 2001 edition. His boat, unlike those of the leaders, did not have foils. And what is more extra-ordinary he designed it and built it himself.
The main anchor on Faïal is currently a 16kg Britany that came with the boat when I bought her. Unfortunately due to its long shaft, it does not fit in the anchor locker and I have to leave it on the anchor roller when sailing and lay it on the deck if I am tied up to a buoy (this is so that its sharp edges do not cut through the mooring lines). It is also widely recognised that the holding power of new anchor designs is widely superior compared to the traditional Britany and CQR.
Below is an original review of the Alpa 11.50, from a French sailing magazine of the early 70s. It came with the boat’s papers when I bought Faïal. I beleive it is from the defunct magazine “Neptune Nautisme”. The author of the review, Daniel Gilles, was a former shipmate of Eric Tabarly and an avid Dragon enthusiast.