About Istvan Kopar

Despite growing up in a landlocked country behind the Iron Curtain, Istvan Kopar was determined from a young age to be a sailor and a circumnavigator. He is now recognized as one of the most accomplished sailors in the world. Istvan has multiple blue water accomplishments to his name, including a solo, one-stop circumnavigation, as well as winning a team circumnavigation race as a skipper in the Hong Kong Challenge. He is currently preparing for the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

Puffin Restoration Part 13: Race for My Life

Piroska, my older daughter, was 12 years old when she christened Salammbo, my first solo circumnavigator boat. It's a good omen for me to see her with Puffin... The race of my life has become a race for my life. I feel what Jack London's gold digger heroes felt escaping south from the [...]

By | 2017-11-19T20:36:29+00:00 November 19th, 2017|2018 Golden Globe Race News, Puffin Restoration|0 Comments

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Nine

The Rules of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race—the first ever solo circumnavigation race—were quite simple for both the sailors and organizers. But the 50th Anniversary Race next year is a heavily loaded obstacle course for all parties involved. In order to replicate the original race, the race management wants to preserve its main [...]

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Eight

“You don’t win the race at sea. You lose it at sea. You win the race during the preparation…” Conrad Colman said this recently, after his impressive Vendée Globe finish under jury rig. He had all kinds of troubles during his circumnavigation, including having a fire on board and losing his mast. His well-phrased statement [...]

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Seven

Hard to believe it, but we already got the first snow of the season a few days ago in New York, and Puffin is still not fully dressed. There has been steady progress, of course, but there are so many moving parts, and it is really difficult to make them visible. I got my first [...]

By | 2016-11-24T00:19:09+00:00 November 24th, 2016|2018 Golden Globe Race News, Puffin Restoration|1 Comment

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Six

You might think the heavy lifting would be over once the hull has been reinforced and most of the paint job finished… Well, that is actually a misconception comparable to thinking your house would be complete once there were walls and a roof. Yes, the nature of the workload will now change, with less physical [...]

By | 2016-10-25T12:02:16+00:00 October 24th, 2016|2018 Golden Globe Race News, Puffin Restoration|0 Comments

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Five

My biggest sponsor, my wife Eva, supervising Puffin's refit Well, summer passed by and Puffin has gotten her seaworthy boat look back. And the fall is about changing colors, right? Grey was the last color in Part 4, and it was that of the strongest primer I have ever sanded (Alexseal, of course). [...]

By | 2016-10-07T13:12:07+00:00 October 6th, 2016|2018 Golden Globe Race News, Puffin Restoration|1 Comment

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Four

Puffin after "tacking" onto her port side in the paint shop On August 23 Puffin changed her tack in the paint shop as if under sail. The travel lift crew and I flipped the boat on her port side like a well-oiled machine. And the car tires had evidently done their job, since [...]

By | 2016-09-10T05:23:19+00:00 September 7th, 2016|2018 Golden Globe Race News, Puffin Restoration|0 Comments

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Three

At long last, after three brutal weeks of work, Puffin got “naked” (stripped of her bottom paint, gelcoat, etc.), and headed inside to the paint shop. Puffin "naked" heading into the paint shop I have been working off of a shoestring budget, and every move in any boatyard is costly, so must be [...]

By | 2016-08-23T23:09:05+00:00 August 23rd, 2016|2018 Golden Globe Race News, Puffin Restoration|0 Comments

Puffin Yacht Restoration: Part Two

Our work on Puffin in July was challenging and intense and involved some serious heavy lifting. Fortunately, one of my friends from Florida, Janos Szalas, volunteered to join me in this "sport.” His dream is to sail Puffin to England with me, and he definitely needed to focus on this goal to keep himself motivated [...]

Deck Work on Puffin

This was a hot, humid, and very dusty weekend working on Puffin… It may not look like much in the photos, but it was hard work in the heat under the shrink-wrapped boat. It felt like a sauna to begin with, and on top of that my friend and I were dressed up in painting [...]