This very famous boat is in trouble and needs help. Severely damaged by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys, this icon of the Whitbread around the World Race is destined for the scrapyard unless the owner can get help to restore her. Please see the call for help from the owner below:
A call for help from Yury Raul, FAZISI new owner:
I became the owner of the yacht Fazisi. I saved her from being cut in pieces. Fazisi is the only yacht from the Soviet Union that sailed The Around the World Whitbread Race (now Volvo Ocean Race) in 1989-90 with legendary Skip Novak on board. Team was mixed nationalities from USA, Soviet Union and other countries. The legendary Fazisi does not need a detailed presentation, she is well known to sailors around the world. I am trying to raise money to save her. This Yacht is priceless piece of History and should be preserved. After hurricane Irma it was badly hurt and left in shallow waters to be scrapped. Anyone who can help, please donate. My friends and I trying to rise it from the dead, so we can take it to another spin around the world. Legend never dies.....
The story behind the legend from the designer:
In a series of features, we reveal some of the amazing stories from the past, stories from when boats were built by the crew, stories of survival, stories of victories and stories about Legends!
Fazisi, a boat unlike any the Whitbread race had ever seen, has always faced challenges. Designer Vlad Murnikov reflects on the life of the legend and how, even battered by a hurricane and plundered by thieves, you can never count the old girl out.
The boat that just won't die - WRTWR 1989-90 Part I
As it often happens these days, the news came through Facebook. The striking hull of a maxi yacht, massive yet graceful, lying on top of the salvage barge, looking very sad with all the deck gear stripped, hatches torn apart, stanchions and pulpits bent, yet looking hauntingly beautiful even in this distressed state.
For a moment I lost my breath. It was Fazisi, my dear boat bound for the scrapyard. Mine, not in the sense of the ownership, but the boat that I had conceived, designed and led in a famous race around the world.
I knew that Fazisi was caught in Hurricane Irma last September. She was thrown ashore on one of the Florida Keys some 500 yards from deep water, miraculously undamaged with her rig, keel and rudder intact. But her owners were unable to come up with the money for a rescue operation and left her lying there for four months. Local squatters stripped off the deck hardware and anything of value.
Eventually the boat was picked up off the beach by one of the salvage companies contracted to do the post-hurricane clean-up and ended up on that barge sailing into what appeared to be her last sunset.
Fazisi came to life during the dramatic times of the Soviet Union collapse. In the mid-1980s I was an architect, part-time yacht designer and amateur sailor living in Moscow. I had big dreams of sailing the ocean, of racing in the greatest event in the sailing sport, the Whitbread Round the World Race, but I always thought of them as wild, impossible dreams. In the real world I was bound, just like all my fellow Soviet citizens, to live an ordinary and boring strictly regulated life.
But then Gorbachev came to power and things started to change. With little hope of success, I decided to take a leap of faith and launched the Fazisi project, trying to seize on the very first opportunity presented by Perestroika. Initially, when I shared my ambitious Whitbread plans with my sailing friends, most found the idea monumentally stupid, even dangerous. That was the reaction I had anticipated, but, surprisingly, a few of them showed encouragement, if not a commitment yet.
Had I come up with such an idea just a couple years earlier, no one would have even listened to me. There was definitely something in the air, brought by the winds of change blowing over Russia that made people start to think differently. We had realised that government control over our lives was easing, that there was a chance, however slim, that for the first time we might get away with a crazy idea like that. It was not very long before we found ourselves moving full speed ahead on a wild roller coaster ride chasing the dream.
In a country that knew little about sailing and even less about entrepreneurship, I was able, in a short span of just two years, to put together a design team and create arguably the most innovative maxi yacht ever, a remarkable 83-ft beauty, to assemble the team of enthusiasts to run the project, build the boat and eventually sail her in the 1989-90 Whitbread.
Ours proved to be a turbulent voyage, on the high seas and ashore alike, with incredible ups and downs. We found initial sponsorship in the Soviet Union, enough to launch the project, but not sufficient to complete it. We started boat construction, but it progressed so painstakingly slow, mired by the Soviet inefficiencies, frequent lack of materials and inexperience in boatbuilding, it soon became obvious we were losing the race against time.
And then, as the hull construction was nearing the end, a civil war broke out in Georgia on the Black Sea where we were building our boat, putting the entire venture in jeopardy.
And yet, just a few weeks later, we pulled off an impossible feat, arriving at London's Heathrow airport to a hero's welcome aboard a huge cargo plane. As soon as a Ruslan AN-124, the aircraft that brought our entire crew along with the unfinished hull (83-ft long and 20-ft wide) to England, finally came to a rest, its door was unsealed, and a crowd of journalists noisily climbed into the cargo hold. Blinded by camera flashes, microphones and video cameras pointed in our faces, we felt cornered and overwhelmed by the first tidal wave of publicity. As the media circus continued, the plane's crew worked quietly behind the scenes to unload the boat. As I stood there on the tarmac, taking in the view of the Heathrow's hustle and bustle, it suddenly hit me: Yes, we'd made it, we'd managed to escape.
All information supplied by the vendor and believed to be true and correct