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When she was first launched there was a saying going around, “Fazisi, it ain’t easy,” and I guess it was prophetic as the iconic Soviet yacht was recently spotted on a barge being hauled to points unknown. Fazisi was one of hundreds of yachts that were washed ashore as Hurricane Irma slammed its way across the Caribbean. The boat was badly beached and battered and I wonder if this time it’s finally broken.

I have a special place in my heart for Fazisi. You see back in ’89 I was minding my own business raising a daughter living on Cape Cod when my old mate Skip Novak called me. I had heard that Skip had found his way into a co-skipper position on the very first, and by happenstance, last Soviet Union entry in the Whitbread Round the World Race. He and one other non-Soviet were going to race an untested boat with an untrained crew around the world.

Not surprisingly the wife of the other non-Soviet put her foot down – she was pregnant after all – and he was off the boat. Skip asked, “what are you doing for the next month? I need to you race with us to Uruguay.” I stared at the receiver to see if I had heard correctly, stammered that I would, left a note on the refrigerator for my wife (who was away at a Trade Show), dropped my daughter at her Grandparents and hopped the next plane to London.

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