Since Just the Sea was launched, this project dreamed that there would come a time like this: get on a ship and really sail. And it is not a boat or any adventure. Just the will participate in the hand of the sailor Luigi Dubini, in one of the toughest maritime competitions in the world. Nothing less than the Mini-Transat, with sailboats of 6.50 meters, where the skipers will be alone in front of the ocean. On the verge of beginning its preparation, we spoke with Luigi, the doctor who can not live without the sea. Dubini, in addition to trying to win this hard competition composed of 4,050 miles, will conduct a field study for Just the Sea about the degree of pollution of the maritime zones through which the regatta will take place: La Rochelle-Canarias, in a first stage, and Las Palmas to Le Marin, in Martinique, in a second. We met with Luigi in Barcelona to get fully involved in this trans-oceanic adventure.
Luigi, how will your preparation for the Mini-Transat be?
The preparation begins the day you decide to participate in this regatta. All the trainings, the hours dedicated to the maintenance of the boat and the study of the meteorology you do with the race in mind. Right now I have just been with my boat, giving it a little affection, since during the last season I did not have much time to fix small things that broke down. Undoubtedly, the help from my sponsors Regatta Yacht Ropes (cabuletes), Solbian (solar panels) and Morfblock (pulleys) is essential to make the boat reliable and to make sure everything works well during the regattas. Since mid-March I started sailing again, perfecting the maneuvers and working the speed.
What provisions will you take?
What I usually carry for the races is dehydrated food. It is very nutritious and weighs little. All you have to do is add boiling water. There are people who take chocolate, candy or something that makes them disconnect for a few moments, but the fact that I know that good food awaits me at the arrival of the regatta makes me strive even harder to get there sooner! I have a magic bag, where I have some things that help me to disconnect a few minutes, but it’s a secret …
What will your day-to-day life be like on board?
I will be dedicated almost exclusively to the regatta, to do everything possible to navigate the fastest, and to take advantage of those moments that only when you are sailing alone can you have. And during those moments I will try to take photos and videos to share my adventure once I have returned from the regatta.
You could not communicate with anyone for 4,000 miles. What do you think about it?
I have always been comfortable alone, I believe that we are constantly surrounded by people, both physical and virtual, with WhatsApp, Instagram, emails, calls, etc. and that makes you rarely dedicate your full attention to one thing in particular. Also the fact of being so alone means that you can only count on yourself, and this is also something that does not usually happen when you are at home; You always have someone to ask for advice or opinions. During this type of regatta you are alone and decisions, just or wrong, you have to take them alone, and know how to deal with the consequences. It is a quality that is hard to learn but I hope that these experiences will help me when I have to make decisions as a doctor.
What do you feel when you are at sea?
When I sail I feel at home. Although it is a very small boat (only 6.50m), I have everything I need: food and a boat that takes me to my destination. During the races you are always thinking of going as fast as possible, but there are times when all you can do is relax and let the boat go alone. And those are the moments where you realize that you are very lucky to be able to live these experiences.
Luigi, you will do for Just the be a photographic compilation on marine garbage during the crossing. What do you think about this problem?
I think the fact that there is so much garbage in the sea, especially plastic, is a fairly widespread problem but, compared to the generation of our parents, now we are more aware. It is very difficult to change the habits of people. For example, in a hospital where I have rotated, they put a container to recycle paper, but the spoons and glasses that they distribute for the coffees are made of plastic. These kinds of events seem more serious to me. That some people and companies do things to give a good image, but later it is discovered that there is really no honest change of behavior.
You will sail with advantage. With you, you will take a doctor to the boat … What does a 25-year-old surgeon do in such a tough regatta?
Knowing that when I will be a doctor it will be difficult to find time for an adventure of this kind, for me it is my last chance to do a project like this. During the race I tried to combine the two things and it has always been quite difficult, but I have never considered leaving the sail behind. It is something that I have worked for a long time and I can not imagine my life without being able to navigate. Especially in this type of adventure, which are the ones that I like and motivate the most.
You will do an investigation about sleep in extreme conditions. Is it one of the toughest issues you will face?
Surely the fact of sleeping little is something that takes away the concentration and mental agility of when you are on land. Finding an efficient way to rest can give you a lot of advantage during a race, and that is why I decided to take advantage of the fact that I am studying medicine to do a study analyzing how the cognitive state is altered after solo regattas.