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Three great capes in a 40-year old boat

by Sasa Fegic 1 Nov 2020 10:06 UTC

A legendary Croatian sailboat HIR 3 skippered by Sasa Fegic completed a 39.000 mile west to east circumnavigation of the globe around three great capes and after 28 months at sea returned to the homeport in Mali Losinj on 17/10/2020.

For a 34 foot, 40- year old sailboat HIR 3 it was a second circumnavigation and second rounding of Cape Horn. The boat has sailed around the world from 1988-1990 in the opposite direction and rounded the legendary Cape on 21st of January 1989. Exactly 31 years and 1 day later, on 22nd of January 2020 Sasa Fegic and Nebojsa Petrovic rounded the Horn for the second time.

The boat was badly damaged during the war in Croatia when Dubrovnik was under siege and marina was heavily bombed and occupied. She had 286 holes in the hull from bullets and shrapnels.

She was saved and restored, but later in the new ownership was left abandoned. Sasa found her in 2014 and restored her. It took him four years to get her ready for another circumnavigation.

The voyage started on June 17th 2018 from Croatia. The route was through the Mediterranean, Canary and Cape Verde Islands. The plan to go directly to Cape Town failed when a forestay broke in mid-Atlantic. Sasa and his girlfriend Marina had to change course downwind and head to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil for repairs and cross the Atlantic twice to reach South Africa.

In Cape Town, Marina went home and acted as shore crew for Sasa and Nebojsa who sailed around Cape of Good Hope to Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Auckland before heading into the notorious Southern Ocean.

After rounding of Cape Horn, the duo had a celebration in the southernmost yacht club in the world. Club Naval de Yates Micalvi is an old cargo ship that was run aground and serves as a marina in Puerto Williams in Chilean Beagle Channel. It's a perfect place to have a beer for sailors.

During the next leg to Argentina, HIR 3 survived a near capsize when they were hit by a rouge wave in a big storm, but in spite of loosing all electrics and electronics, they recovered and reached Mar del Plata where Nebojsa left and Marina came back for her third Atlantic crossing.

The couple had to abandon the idea of sailing to Rio de Janeiro because of the pandemics. They reaxhed in Rio Grande du Sud and managed to clear into Brazil just one day before the lockdown.

In Cape Verde Islands, they weren't even allowed to step ashore. But fortunately, by the time HIR 3 reached Madeira and Gibraltar, the borders were open again.

Just 250 miles from home, the boom broke during one gybe. A shipyard in Brindisi helped them make a jury rig that took HIR 3 back to Mali Losinj where they were welcomed by family, friends and media.

HIR 3 will be refitted during the winter and will welcome everyone who wants to sail on board a legendary sailboat in the Adriatic. Join the Sailing Tribe:

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