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Cabo Horn 35 MKII

Cabo Horns 35 boats join in an ocean race

The Cabo Horn 35 class, one of the most successful designs in our office's career, after more than twenty years of existence keeps brimming over with alacrity. This September three of these boats will participate on the traditional three-hundred miles Recife to Fernando de Noronha Island Ocean Race. They are Stella Maris, owned by Roberto Kivitis Nogueira, from Alagoas, Brazil, Marcelo Balbo's Thalassa, from Ilha Bela, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the most famous member of the class, the legendary Utopia, now belonging to Manrico D'Alessandro, from Florianopolis, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil.

To crown the participation of boats from our design in this magic race to one of the most beautiful ocean islands in the South Atlantic, this year we will have no less than sixteen yachts in the competition, some of them authentic icons in the yachting regional scene, as is the case of Utopia (see in Cabo Horn 35 home page – club -  “Marco Cianfflone's Utopia round the world trip”), and Amyr Klink's  laureate fifty-foot polar yacht Paratti II, the first boat to sail single-handed non-stop around Antarctica, and to winter alone in that frozen continent, for those achievements being awarded the coveted Royal Cruising Club of England “Tillman's Prize”, besides being commended with a Brazilian Mail stamp. “Paratii Between Two Poles” and “The Endless Sea”, the books he wrote relating those feats, were best-sellers published in various languages, having sold more than one million copies worldwide. We are still going to report about Paratii II and the other yachts from our design taking part in the race, but for the time being the three home-built Cabo Horns 35 are the boats we would like to praise in this article.

Paratii II will be competing in the 2010 Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race.

Many clients of ours tell us they nurture long time dreams of taking part in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race, perhaps this being the reason for the steady increase, year after year, in the number of our boats in the competition. Since the island is a national park with a fragile ecosystem, the maximum number of participants is limited to one-hundred sixty yachts from any nationality. So, having 10% of the fleet representing boats from our office is quite an impressive number.

Cabo Horn 35 interior layout. The most “off-road” of our cruising designs

The race being an event where what counts most is to be there, wining in each class simply represents an extra bonus. It becomes evident in the minds of participants that boats specifically designed for cruising offshore have a clear edge over “off-the-shelf” production yachts, which are mainly intended for club racing and weekend short-distance sailing. It is frequently commented in the verandahs that taking part in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race is a life-time accomplishment for production yacht owners, while it is a not to be missed annual event for those who own a proper offshore cruising boat. The race attractions are many, beginning with the warm welcome typical of the Brazilian way of life from the part of Cabanga Yacht Club, the sponsoring club, when a fortnight preceding the race there are live shows to be seen or parties to be enjoyed up to late evenings. The arrival in the lush and green paradise of Fernando de Noronha, where crews have at their disposal heaps of different social events and diving attractions to highlight their stay, having the prize-awarding party as the grand finale, is no less enjoyable.

Fernando de Noronha, being a national park, is yet unspoiled by heavy tourism

Most probably this is the prevailing factor for the captains of our line of authentic cruising sailboats wanting to be there year after year. In this case owners find their boats the most adapted to live aboard and to endure the long round trip to reach Recife, added by the twice 300 miles run to reach the island and be back to the continent. Aboard a Cabo Horn 35 you don't need to get stressed when you are on watch. With its pilot house boasting internal steering and excellent visibility 360° around, you can be on watch seating in the pilot chair, having only to stand up to reach the fridge for an ice-cold beer

The racing fleet stays anchored in the leeward side of the island close to the yacht harbour. This belvedere is one of the many the island has to offer to its visitors

The competitors of the class in this year's event have in common their construction sagas. The three of them are amateur constructions accomplished with a very high level of workmanship, resulting in outstanding yachts. Being three boats from the same stock-plan, their owners might apply to obtain from the racing committee the status of class with exclusive prizes for them. At least this had been the rule in previous races.   

Stella Maris is a home-built Cabo Horn 35, constructed by her owner, Roberto Kivitis Nogueira, in Maceió, State of Alagoas, Northeast Brazil

Stella Maris was built  by her owner, Roberto Kivitis Nogueira, in a shed belonging to him, in Maceió, Alagoas. Roberto, had never built a boat before, never mentioning a fixed keel offshore yacht intended for a round the world trip.

As a start point in Roberto's intentions is an Atlantic crossing by the roaring forties from Maceió, his home-town to Cape Town in South Africa (see the article about Stella Maris in the Cabo Horn 35 home page published by “The Alagoan Gazette: Roberto Nogueira builds a Cape Horn 35 for a round the world trip), being left to the long run the so cherished circumnavigation. Meanwhile, while his professional activities as a civil engineer don't allow him the spare time for staying out for so long, he is being satisfied with his annual cruising schedule along the Brazilian coast, culminating with the entry in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha race. The boat is unquestionably very well prepared for any challenge in an ocean passage, and if the intended overseas voyage didn't happen yet, at least his boat has already an impressive number of miles sailed since her launching in 2004. In one of the races to Fernando de Noronha our office had obtained the record of participants of boats from our design, and Stella Maris was one of them.

Roberto Kivitis  Nogueira (with white cap) receiving from Roberto Barros the commemorative plaque for being one of the twelve skippers of boats designed by the office on that race. With the studio change of address to Perth, Western Australia, unfortunately this year the new record can't be commemorated as deserved

To toast the achievement B & G Yacht Design, then Roberto Barros Yacht Design, offered a lunch party at the town of Recife for all crewmembers of our fleet, when was offered to each of the twelve captains a commemorative plaque of the event, Roberto Kivitis Nogueira being one of the skippers honoured. This season the new record can not be commemorated accordingly, since there will be no representative of the office in Recife, but what really counts is the fact that Stella Maris is in Bristol shape, ready for accomplishing any new challenge.  

Thalassa is a Cabo Horn 35 extremelly well built by two totally inexperienced amateurs, Álvaro Brant de Carvalho and his father, João Brant de Carvalho, in the workshop of their farm in the interior of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Thalassa is a good example of boats belonging to the Cabo Horn 35 class. She is so well built and well finished that “Revista Náutica”, the most important Brazilian yacht magazine, just published an article about her. Marcelo Balbo, the new owner, is so much infatuated with his boat that he made a site/blog just to tell in detail every step about her wanderings (see in our links page – Cabo Horn 35 Thalassa).

Thalassa's saloon matches the coziness of varnished wood with white upholstery

We are going to follow his blog with special interest, since it is expected from any Cabo Horn 35owner to get itchy feet as he discovers the pleasures of sailing offshore aboard one of these boats.

Utopia is the best known Cabo Horn 35. In her currículum is included a round the world trip and the fact that she survived a fierce hurricane in Saint Martin and a devastating tsunami in Pucket, Thailand.

What is flying around about the Cabo Horn Utopia is that she is the boat with seven lives. Her full story is a thrilling book of stunning adventures. She was built by Fausto Pignaton, an amateur who made his living making surfboards in a workshop in Guarapari, a small town in the Brazilian east shore. Soon after being launched her owner departed bound for the West Indies, even though he had no previous experience in sailing offshore. Since he was sailing in a very limited budget, he had to do some charter work to be able to keep the cost of his trip under control. After spending a whole season successfully sailing among the Windward Islands, with the approach of the hurricane season he picked the lagoon inside the island of Saint Martin as the haven where he would stay. It happens that, in spite of that island having been spared of any major tropical cyclones in previous years, that time it was hit by the fiercest hurricane ever, the infamous Louis. In a fleet of more than nine hundred yachts, eighty survived, even though no one unscathed, being his boat one of the less affected. What made the difference was Fausto's courage, refusing to leave his boat, going against a warning issued by the authorities for crews not staying aboard. When he saw a catamaran flying upside-down not far from Utopia's mast top, in seeing a huge steel yacht coming adrift in his boat direction, he let the anchor rod go and from then on assisted the boat to go aground in a mangrove patch. This measure saved his boat and probably his life too. To perform the maneuver he left the relatively comfortable shelter of the pilot-house wearing a pair of shorts, but had to recede, since the shorts' cloth inflated like a balloon, obliging him to quickly undress, proceeding forwards entirely naked, wielding a boat-hook in one of his hands, as if he was old Neptune himself, emerging from the deep.

When the hurricane abated, Fausto had only minor scratches to fix in his boat, mainly the tip of the rudder. In two weeks the boat was ship-shape, ready for the intended return trip to Brazil.

This he had done single-handed, sailing non-stop from Saint-Martin to Fernando de Noronha, most of the time close-hauled, making the whole passage in twenty-one days. Back in his country, Fausto soon became a celebrity, being invited for T.V. interviews and having his saga being published by the most important local yachting magazines. His boat became object of desire, and in a blink it fell in the hands of another owner, the helicopter pilot Marco Cianflonne.

Marco, an adventurer by heart, wanted this Cabo Horn 35 to accomplish a round the world trip single handed, and this was what he managed to do in great style. If a cat has seven lives, we don't know to say how many this fantastic boat has. During his round the world voyage, Marco hit a rock at full speed in Indonesia, was caught in the terrible tsunami that devastated Thailand, had been attacked by whales in the South Atlantic and arrived in his country unscathed. The report about this trip you can read in the Cabo Horn 35 home-page, CLUB, an extract from an article he wrote for an important magazine. In 2010 Utopia is as good as new, even though she can still show the signs of the mishaps she had endured. Now, in the hands of a third owner, Manrico D'Alessandro, she is ready for taking part in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha, 2010 edition and beyond.

Utopia anchored in the lagoon of a South Pacific island.


Click on images to enlarge them

Marco Paulo Cianfflone is back after three years, nine months and seven days of pure adventure. His story of sailing round the world tells about tsunamis, whale attacks, dangerous crossings, and, principally about the renewal of spirituality in his solo trip.

When a teenager he lived in São Paulo, a megalopolis one hundred kilometres away from the sea. At that time he dreamed above all else in becoming a professional surfer. He spent six months surfing in Australia, but didn't count on stretching so much, and when reaching 1.89m in height, he discovered that he would rather choose another sport than sticking to the original plans.
He returned to Brazil and graduated as a helicopter pilot, working in offshore oil rig commuter services.
He flew professionally for thirteen years in a row. By then he had the chance to get accustomed to the various humours the weather can provide, from flat calms to fierce storms
This nearness to nature, plus his knowledge of navigation, gave him a new dream: to sail around the world.

He prepared himself for the trip during the next seven years; the first step was to choose a sailing boat. After an extensive search in the market, he bought a Cape Horn 35', designed by Roberto Barros Yacht Design. The boat was bought in Bracuhy, a marina placed in one of the most beautiful Brazilian cruising grounds. His acquisition came with a good reference: she survived one of the most devastating hurricanes ever; Louis, which in the summer of 1995 swept the Island of Saint Martin, and brought complete destruction to more than 800 boats stationed there. Marco fell in love with the boat at first sight and decided this Cape Horn 35 would be his.
He dedicated special attention to items regarding safety, like installing radar, epirb, single side band radio and life raft. He then applied for a captain's licence, and after one year sailing along the Brazilian coast, decided that he was already acquainted enough with this new life-style, feeling sufficiently prepared to leave.

As his working scheme was 15 days on, 15 days off, in the beginning he could proceed with his trip without quitting his job. He would leave his boat in a marina, and then come back two weeks later by plane to resume his trip.
In November of 2001 he gave up his job definitively and left to travel the world. "The most difficult part is severing the ties with land," he reckoned.

Apart from the sea, the weather and a profound feeling of loneliness, Marco had to put up with another challenge: lack of money. Arriving in Brisbane, Australia, he found a job as a brick man, and stayed there for a year and a half.
"During those months he became an urbanite". From this experience he carries a "trophy": boots covered in cement. They are my "sandals of humbleness".
Marco remained ashore during two hurricane seasons in the South Pacific, which happens from November to April, since during this time no one sails in this region. So, in May of 2004, he left for Papua New Guinea, where there awaited him an exceptional experience, an initiation of the Pai Pai tribe, on the Island of Mioko.
"This is a country totally unspoiled by the influences of our technocratic world. There is no tourism; their inhabitants live a very simple existence, consisting of fishing and working on subsistence agriculture. Visiting those islands was one of the highlights of the trip, a privilege only a few westerners had the chance to share.
This region is known for the high incidence of Malaria, and he wasn't spared. Soon he contracted the disease, suffering successive crisis of this fever. He self-medicated himself at sea with the medicines he carried for this eventuality, managing to survive the illness until reaching next port.
"I was very impressed by the friendliness of the sailing community. This solidarity never failed, but I was always ready to assist others as well, every time I saw someone in need", reported Marco.
On the 27th of December 2004, destiny and the winds placed Utopia in the area where there occurred one of the biggest natural disasters of these times.
He recorded this traumatic event in his logbook with dramatic words:
"It was 09:30; Utopia had been anchored for five days in Kata Beach, Koh Phuket, Thailand. I was sewing a flag, when the depth sounder alarm was triggered. I left the cabin and saw yachts gyrating in all directions. The skippers looked at each other without understanding the reason for this. I only began to understand what the trouble was when I looked at rock cliffs nearby and saw a flux of water invading the bay with an indescribable force. I looked towards the beach, and saw people running to protect themselves behind the hotel walls. The scene was dantesque!

The sea was swallowing up the beach. The penny dropped, it was a seismic activity. I weighed anchor quickly and motored in the direction of the open sea with enormous difficulty, for Utopia wasn't managing to beat the flux of water even with the engine running at 3000 revs. The whole fleet did the same and no boats were lost in Kata Beach.
All we managed to do was to reach deeper water at about 400 metres from the beach. Then I was able to witness scenes of horror which I had hoped never to see in my life. The sea swallowed the beach, rising nearly six metres in less than 3 minutes. You couldn't see the beach anymore, and the water reached the palm trees level, next retreating much further than low tide, to rapidly swallow the beach again and then retreat. These first two fluxes and refluxes were the most violent ones, and happened three more times, with decreasing intensity. A reverse wave returned seawards at each new cycle. When things calmed down a little, the scenery was desolate, everything you can imagine floating in the bay: tables, chairs, cupboards, windsurf boards, ice-chests, sun umbrellas, cushions, bags of bread, coconuts, flippers, diving cylinders, neoprene suits…"
I went ashore that same day, and after making contact by internet with relatives and friends in an internet coffee shop on the other side of the island, Utopia resumed her trip to India.
"But I was still going to experience a very challenging situation during the trip. It was when two whales approached the boat, when only a few hundred miles were missing to complete the circumnavigation, and one of them assaulted the under-body of the yacht, damaging the propeller which left the boat without auxiliary propulsion". Marco contacted the Brazilian Navy, but not receiving in good time the required assistance, he finished the trip by his own means. "My greatest concern was not being able to complete my objective when there were only 300 miles to cover", says Marco.
Everything is history now. On land, Marco Paulo mentioned that when he took up this trip, he wanted "to find himself". Now he comments: "if I sit in a circle of cruisers, I will have what to talk about for fifteen minutes. But if I sit among philosophers, things would be different".
For him, the spiritual experience is his biggest treasure. "I learned much from the silence of the sea".

For those who want to sail solo, Marco recommends: "It is necessary to have absolute detachment. If you leave behind anything that proportions safety, weakness hits you and you return!"

Roberto Nogueira builds the Cape Horn 35 for a round the world trip.

Extract from ¨The Alagoan Gazette¨.

Roberto Nogueira , 37 years old, is a sailing enthusiast since he was a child. At twenty he bought his first boat, a laser, with which he won many trophies in numerous regattas. He always dreamed of sailing to distant islands and to learn about their fascinating stories.
Following his Portuguese grandfather steps, he was a traditional boat builder, he decided to build his own boat, a 35-foot yacht with comfort and safety for long distance cruising.
Son of a Portuguese father and a Nordic mother, he has the blood of the great navigators and more than anyone else, a strong spirit of adventure. Now that his home built boat is close to becoming a dream come true, he is anticipating the future adventures he is going to start experimenting.
His yacht has accommodations for up to six persons, and presently it´s only missing some internal finishing plus the acquisition of some expensive equipment.
The first international voyage will be a non stop passage from his home city, Maceio, to Cape Town, South Africa, and back.
His first idea was to explore the Brazilian coast, but for the lack of infrastructure he has changed his mind. It's a pity that such a large country with eight thousand kilometres of shoreline to be so destitute of marinas and other yachting facilities.
To build a boat is a task not to be undertaken lightly. If the boat is to be built by an amateur -which is his case - the construction becomes quite a challenge.
When Roberto decided to start the construction, he hadn't realized that he needed to be a skilled cabinetmaker, a painter, a hardware maker etc.; He was obliged to use his own resources and do everything himself. The only thing he bought was the plans for the Cape Horn 35, designed by the Brazilian yacht designer Roberto Barros, Cabinho, a renowned boat designer in his country.
Roberto opted to provide the Cape Horn 35 with internal steering; it protects the sailor from excessive cold, heat and humidity.
Using fibreglass-reinforced plastic as the hull material, he first had to make a plug, and only then started the actual lamination. The hardships were great. At one point he nearly gave up. Besides the challenge he was getting involved with, he still had to share his time between his family's real estate business and building his dreamboat. Surpassed all difficulties, like having to import deck fittings, sail cloth and a myriad of other stuff, Roberto started to like the game and now he is even considering becoming a boat builder. He would like to build small sail boats and runabouts, which he believes have a big market in Brazil.
The only thing Roberto doesn't like talking about is costs, He says that dreams don't have price tags, and he didn't account how much he spent on his boat. He only mentions that a boat the size of the Cape Horn 35 with all the modern equipment is worth U$80,000 in the Brazilian market. He prefers to think of this work more as a life's project than as a business enterprise.