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Istvan Kopar (65)

The United States of America flag, produced by Daniel McRaeUSA

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Name Istvan Kopar

Born March 8th 1953

Nationality American

Country of entry USA

Istvan Kopar, a Hungarian-born American, is a professional sailor and U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain who has logged more than 60,000 nautical miles sailing solo. His proudest accomplishment to date was his solo one-stop circumnavigation in 1990-1991 without the aid of GPS. He relied on a sextant, manual chart plotting, and weather forecasts broadcast in Morse code. Sailing a 31-foot boat that he had built himself, Istvan completed the voyage in record time for the size of his yacht. Istvan also skippered the winning yacht in the 1996/97 Hong Kong Challenge around the world yacht race. He was among the top finishers in the 1992 America 500-Columbus Transatlantic Race, and won the Kapry’s Trophy in the 1995 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC).

He says of the GGR: “This race is custom-made for me. My first hero and role model was Joshua Slocum, the first recorded solo circumnavigator. He had no land support, no modern navigation and communication devices, or even a mechanical wind vane. He was the real deal. And he was able to accomplish this historic achievement due to his upbringing and constant connection with the oceans and sailing.
We admire the other great sailors, but the gap between nature and its users has been getting more visible by the day. Those competing in the Vendée Globe or Volvo circumnavigation races are becoming increasingly dependent on manmade equipment, and less dependent on nature. They start to look and act like astronauts in space, getting more and more isolated from nature. There is a demand for that, and it is all well and good, but we still need ‘Optimists’ during our upbringing. And for the very same reason, we need races like the GGR to maintain our heritage and seamanship, as well as to increase the number of self-sufficient, independent, and consequently happy people in the world.”

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boat

Boat

RACE NO 37

Name Puffin
Type Tradewind 35 Cutter
Designer John Rock
Builder Tradewind Yachts (NL)
LOA 35.01ft / 10.67m
LWL 25.82ft / 7.87m
Beam 10.50ft / 3.20m
Draft 5.51ft / 1.68m
Displacement 19442 lbs / 8819 kgs
Sail area 725sq. ft / 67.35sq. m

Istvan Kopar purchased the 1986-built Tradewind 35 class yacht Puffin in 2015 to compete in the GGR. Istvan and his team have since stripped the inside and outside of the boat and added more layers of fiberglass to improve her durability. Other modifications included decreasing the size of the cockpit and improving its drainage, adding a watertight bulkhead inside the bow, and installing an additional freshwater tank.
During this work Istvan removed his wristwatch, not just because it was an obstacle at times, but to stop himself from checking off the days like minutes. He has won much-needed support from friends and the industry, in particular Alexseal, Seahawk, Selden, Windpilot, Wempe, BaoBab Group, and Bayside Canvas. Puffin was relaunched in November 2017 following a comprehensive 2-year refit. Initial sea trials took place in Oyster Bay, New York, before she was hauled out again for the winter. Puffin is now painted bright orange and was due to be re-launched at the end of March. Istvan planned to use the transatlantic crossing to complete his 2,000-mile qualifying sail and intended to base himself in Southampton UK prior to the start.

Skipper Updates

September 20th 2018 12:00 AM

The next 48 hours are expected to be violent for the fleet…In fact, two low pressure systems could lift swells of more than 10m and winds exceeding 50 knots. Istvan Kopar has already faced it last night, Puffin was knockdown around 4:30, damaging his communication means, but he is ok.
Text message :“GD GOT KNOCKED DOWN 0430Z I AM OK PUMPE OUT CABIN RIG OK BUT NO WORKING PHONE VHF ETC HOVE TO FOR THE TIME BEING”

September 19th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan still sailing along with Tapio, was heat by a storm last night : “WAS BEATING 35KT SENELY LAST NIGHT WHICH SHIFTED INTO ANLY STORM BY AM TRY” ; Puffin“ SAILNLY STORM GOT HERE AND AM AND GOT DROP TRY SANDD PLOYDROGUE ABOVE 60KT” He still seems to have some problems with his windvane, and is getting ready to face the new storm system developing in the south, and arriving through in the next 48h.. “GD YESTERDAY STORM SLOWED ME DOWN TODAY THE LACK OF WIND I HAVE NEVER BEEN A” “FAN OF THE INDIAN OCEAN BETTER PREP FOR THE WORTH”.

September 13th 2018 12:00 AM

“We are in the second quarter of the race now”. He says. Istvan reported to the Race Control this morning during his weekly safety call, that he saw the barometer go down at once last night around 4am, and was impressed by lightning, without thunder! Scary, unique and silent ..Then, the sun rose, beautiful and everything calmed down, the conditions were superb. Istvan #Kopar (via satellite) “Bien6èmeàpasserlecapd’Agulhas,3foiscôtéouestmaisc’étaitleSudouest”

September 10th 2018 12:00 AM

Day 70 : rounding Cape of Good Hope ! This morning, ISTVAN KOPAR and TAPIO LEHTINEN found themselves rounding the Cape at the same time within 1 mile of each other, allowing eye contact, after so many days of sailing, and after good trajectories. different …

September 6th 2018 12:00 AM

“GD IN MAJOR STORM IT’S ROARING STORMJIB AND TRYSAIL”Similar storm in Similar place in Similar time as SUHAILI 50 years earlier. Istvan Kopar Solo Circumnavigator getting on with his adventure is still smiling!”

September 4th 2018 12:00 AM

After his nice progress last week, Istvan seems to have had few troubles lately : (via satellite) “GD MY SELF STEERING LEFT ME ALONE AGAIN IN A NASTY STORM DURING THE WEEKEND” and he is writing this morning : “GD IN MAJOR STORM IT’S ROARING STORMJIB AND TRYSAIL”.

August 30th 2018 12:00 AM

This is going pretty well for the last trio of this GGR 2018. ISTVAN KOPAR is the fastest, at nearly 6 knots. He has traveled more than 130 miles in the past 24 hours. He even overtook TAPIO LEHTINEN, close to him in his north. Last, MARK SINCLAIR slips to nearly 5 knots, is catching up on Istvan.These last three boats should not suffer too much in the coming days, even if the wind will go down slightly. They will be the first to touch the front coming behind them and this powerful zone of fresh wind will reach them on September the 1st and then sweep the entire fleet!

August 22nd 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan goes to a headwinds zone that stands in his way South. He has been like in “Daroller Coaster” the past few days.

August 16th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan is progressing well at 5.3nds, and enjoys his adventure. He has not yet replaced the broken halyard, nor repaired that gas leak, but his water leak is almost fixed. He is worried about his water supply (via satellite): “FRESH WATER DUE TO LACK OF RAIN DRINKING WISA CONCERN NOW “ and the suddent icy cold temperature last night pushing him outside on the deck last night to check / monitor possible icebergs with his spotlight!

August 14th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan is enjoying a good breeze to go across for the moment, and he should be in a good position in the next few days to progress at a good speed. Istvan #Kopar (via satellite) GDYDPLUMBERTDELECTRITIANINTHEMOSTBUMPYTWRIDEEVERCROSSINGBRAZI

August 9th 2018 12:00 AM

At the back, Istvan speed off through the southeastern tradewinds well established. He told us today that he must find a solution to repair a leak at the bow of the boat, because at the moment he is emptying 50 liters of water every 2 days from the front compartment. He also mentions that he will have to clean up the many barnicles already attached to the rear of Puffin.

August 6th 2018 12:00 AM

This morning, ITSVAN KOPAR crossed the equator, in 13th position. Puffin is now well established in the southeast trade wind symbolizing the exit of the Doldrums when diving south. The Americano-Hungarian is indeed spinning at speed and has the best average of the race in the last 24 hours, with nearly 120 miles sailed. In its wake, only ANOINE COUSOT remains, in Chichester Class.

August 3rd 2018 12:00 AM

There are only two boats left in the northern hemisphere, in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, Antoine in the Chichester category, and Istvan who is closing the overall ranking. Istvan has finally tacked to the south west, and is still a little more than 300 miles away from the imaginary line, symbolic passage to the south… He reports in his last text message, a problem with his Winpilot, whose palle was damaged. Still some repairs to plan for Istvan!

July 27th 2018 12:00 AM

ISTVAN CHICHESTER CLASS Consideration

In the spirit of the GGR and accepting stress may have confused ISTVAN on Rule interpretation and on the basis that no real or materiel advantage has been provided to ISTVAN through the inappropriate use of his satellite phone and his stop in Port, an alternate time penalty has been decided. For breaching NOR 3.1.4 an 18-hour time penalty is given. For breaching NOR 3.1.5 a 6-hour time penalty is given. ISTVAN will now move from CHICHESTER CLASS back into the GGR ENTRANT status. Detail could check out GGR facebook.

July 20th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan has been wrestling with his boat desperately trying to get Puffin to self steer since the start. Now he is wrestling with whether to stop in the Cape Verde Islands to change his wind vane self steering system. The detail on his charts does not inspire him with confidence in approaching the islands and he knows that the process of changing systems will cost him many days. This is all balanced against the brutal experience of trying to sail the boat without effective self steering. Istvan is a man in conflict presented with tough decisions as a move to the Chichester Class looms large.

July 18th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan has been engaged in a battle to get his boat to self steer since the start in Les Sable d’Olonne. He has hand steered for most of the race. His messages and his face at the film drop in Lanzarote spoke of one thing, exhaustion. Many would have relented but Istvan is such a determined man. It must have been a heart breaking decision to head for the Cape Verde Islands where he intends to change his self steering equipment. In doing this he will join Antoine in the Chichester Class. Lets hope that this solves his problems and allows Istvan to get some proper sleep.

July 16th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan has been struggling to get his boat to self steer, reporting that “It is very frustrating. I can’t even go down below to use the heads without the boat going out of control. I have been hand steering since the start and have no energy for anything else. This is the big issue and the biggest challenge will be trying to control the boat in the Southern Ocean. That is really scary. Im sure I’ll be knocked down several times. If it wasn’t for my sponsors, I would give up.” Life is tough on Puffin.

July 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Istvan continues to have problems getting his boat to work effectively with the wind vane self steering system. This is still driving him to high levels of fatigue as he hand steers the Puffin for long hours. He has managed to master the YB3 texting unit now and is sending in his daily messages which is encouraging.

July 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Light winds have played havoc with Istvan's wind vane

Istvan had a frantic preparation in Les Sable d’Olonne and it must have been some relief to get to sea. Light winds have played havoc with his wind vane self steering and the friction of the steering system may be contributing to this. Consequently he is hand steering for most of the day and has fallen under the lure of the Galician coast. Nabil reported seeing him hove too, called out and got no response. No doubt getting little sleep, he sounds exhausted when he made his weekly phone call.

April 5th 2018 12:00 AM

Work on American Istvan Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin has been delayed by four snowstorms to have hit his Oyster Bay base on Long Island New York during the past month, but he expects to set out on his first ocean test to Bermuda in mid-April.
“My schedule has been extremely overloaded. We are currently fitting a wind generator and solar panels and I am working on my safety gear and provisioning.”
Istvan plans to set sail for Bermuda accompanied by his team manager Ian Gumprecht to minimize the risks during this first offshore sea trial across the Gulf Stream before continuing across the Atlantic solo to Southampton where he will pick up new sails and finish the tune up.

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