The Artemis Challenge welcomes IMOCA 60s and MOD 70s to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on August 16th
The world’s fastest offshore monohulls and multihulls set to race around the Isle of Wight for charity
For the sixth straight year the Artemis Challenge will be one of the highlights of the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s largest sailing regatta and one of the UK’s biggest sporting events. In a new twist to the classic route around the Isle of Wight, the 2012 Artemis Challenge will see teams of monohull IMOCA 60s and multihull MOD 70s race around the island to claim £10,000 for charity. A world class line up of British Vendée Globe skippers helming high performance IMOCA 60s will be paired up with the latest generation MOD 70s to compete together in the 50 mile sprint on August 16th.
The Artemis Challenge will welcome back the best British offshore racers before they take on the mighty challenge of the Vendée Globe in November when they will race singlehandedly around the world. The start line for IMOCA 60s will include Mike Golding (Gamesa) and Artemis Ocean Racing II. They will be joined by the fastest class of cutting edge designed 70 ft multihulls, with legendary French skipper Michel Desjoyeaux skippering Foncia, Sidney Gavignet on Oman Sail and Swiss racer Steve Ravussin on Race for Water.
Mark Tyndell, CEO of Artemis Investment Management, said, “The return of the Artemis Challenge continues the legacy of this wonderful event. We are pleased to welcome back some of the best British solo skippers in the world as they prepare for the Vendée Globe, as well as welcoming for the first time the impressive MOD 70s, skippered by some of the biggest names in offshore racing. Both sets of boats should deliver a fantastic spectacle and compete to raise money for great causes.”
The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis Investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies, is recognised as one of the key events of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and is a magnificent spectacle, showcasing the best of offshore racing within easy reach of spectators. The race follows the classic America’s Cup route around the Isle of Wight, starting at 10 AM on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line.
The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has long attracted a strong list of celebrity guests. Teams competing in the race in the past have included sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, as well as other stars from the world of entertainment, such as Ewan McGregor, Davina McCall, Bryan Adams and James and Oliver Phelps, the Weasley Twins from the Harry Potter movies.
Start spreading the news ! New York will be start city for the new MOD70 class’s first ever trans-oceanic race when Race for Water (Steve Ravussin), Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux), Edmond de Rothschild Group (Sebastien Josse), Spindrift Racing (Yann Guichard) and Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) set off on Saturday July 7th to take on the MOD 70 KRYS OCEAN RACE’S 2950 miles of racing between the evenly matched new one design, high speed 70 foot trimarans. Skippers Ravussin, Desjoyeaux, Josse, Guichard and Gavignet will lead their five strong crews across the North Atlantic to a finish in Brest, France.
Officially launched at the French Consulate in New York, today Thursday 26th April in the presence of the Consul M Philippe Lalliot and renowned American sailor Dawn Riley, the American program which forms the prelude to the MOD 70 KRYS OCEAN RACE promises a full complement of activities between June 28 and July 7 shared between Newport and New York.
From Newport to New York City
Ahead of this first true ocean challenge, a short prologue from Newport to New York should prove an exciting initial taster of what is to come, followed in New York by an afternoon of all-out sprints, the Speed Match.
A full menu of action and excitement is promised for the class’ inaugural visit to the USA, where the fleet musters in strength for the first time ever.
History in the making in Newport and New York
Though the MOD 70 KRYS OCEAN RACE will start from New York, the fleet will first establish itself in historic Newport, Rhode Island where the MOD70’s will be based at the Newport Shipyard marina between June 28th and July 2nd, not far from where the AC World Series finale runs 26th June to July 1st.
While based in Newport, the boats will be put through all their safety and technical scrutineering, vital checks which are all the more important given that once they are docked at New York’s North Cove Marina, the MOD70’s will be in full race mode, with no further work allowed to the boats beyond stocking them for the passage.
For the five high speed trimarans, the 120 miles prologue races starts on Monday July 2nd from Newport – the world renowned sailing centre synonymous with America’s Cup – to a finish line off New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty where they would be due to finish July 3rd.
From the eve of the USA’s Independence Day, through the July 4th festivities, the fleet will have their home at Manhattan’s tranquil North Cove Marina.
Then on the afternoon of July 5th the fantastic five match up to see who will be New York’s sprint kings on the Hudson River, when Race for Water, Foncia, Spindrift Racing, Edmond de Rothschild Group and Oman Sail will take part in a speed match virtually at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. Race Director Jacques Caraës will be supported by the very active Manhattan Sailing Club under Commodore and Race Committee Chairman Michael Fortenbaugh.
The Race is On
But the excitement will peak for sure on July 7th at 1100hrs (LOCAL) when the French Consul in New York, Philippe Lalliot will be joined by the Mayor of Brest François Cuillandre to fire the start gun which will set off the KRYS OCEAN RACE across the Atlantic to Brest.
The gun marks the start of the first great oceanic adventure for the MOD 70’s and the 30 crewmembers, making history as the world’s first fleet of identically matched ocean racing one design multihulls goes head to head.
Over a course measured at 2950 miles, some of the world’s best ocean racers – some who are already winners of the biggest offshore races and records in the world – will finally compete at thrilling high speeds, on even terms over the ensuing six or seven days, fighting to be first across Brest’s finish line, into the very heart of the historic Tonnerres de Brest nautical festival.
Philippe Lalliot, Consul General of France in New York City : « The world of sailing, synonymous with epic journeys, but also with perseverance and endurance, is certainly one of those worlds that fire your imagination the most. Suspense and emotions will no doubt be part of this new, nautical adventure. I look forward to its opening impatiently and wish it the greatest success. »
Dawn Riley, Chief Executive Officer Oakcliff Sailing New York : “The MOD70 class already is full of French Rockstars and I hope that we will see an American Team joining them shortly. We are all very excited that these multihull machines will be in New York.”
Michael Fortenbaugh, Commodore Manhattan Sailing Club : “We have this incredible symbol which is the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French. We always dreamed that someday there would be a race that would start from beneath it and connect with France, which New Yorkers are so closely linked to. This has great symbolic meaning and is the benchmark for future races.”
Franck David, Chief Executive Officer Multi One Design S.A. : “Multi One Design’s ambition is to build the ultimate sailing class of reference in the world…To start the MOD70 story with the KRYS OCEAN RACE in New York City is the exact representation of what we want to buil : an international circuit, with exiting host venues, combination of City Races and Offshore sailing adventures!”
The U.S. program for the KRYS OCEAN RACE 2012:
June 28 : Deadline for arrival of MOD70
July 2 : Start of the prologue
New York City:
July 3 : Finish of the prologue
July 5 : Speed Match
July 7 11:00 local: Official start of the first edition of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
Estimated arrival at Brest between 13 and 14 July 2012.
Marseille will host the MOD70 fleet from 23rd to 30th of September on the only French stop over during the MOD70 European Tour. The world’s leading skippers and their exciting new generation of one-design trimarans will be based from the natural sailing arena of Roucas Blanc concurrent with one of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour events.
The fleet of MOD70s will have raced to Marseille from Cascais in Portugal and will be set to race on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th in front of the famed corniche of Marseille, as the prelude to their final event of the Tour which will finish in Italy. Under the constraints of one design racing Stève Ravussin, Michel Desjoyeaux, Sébastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet and Yann Guichard and their star studded crews will therefore race on equal terms against each other on the highly competitive inshore races that will comprise city races and speed matches.
Marseille, capital of sailing
Marseille has chosen to welcome this exciting new MOD70 class alongside the World Match Racing Tour, which the city has hosted for the past four years running. The Phoenician city, which has an historic outlook on the sea with its 57-kilometre coastline, will become a mecca for sailing for the week.
In the heart of the sailing arena of Roucas Blanc the MOD70 and J80 fleet will take turns to race close to the coastline to give fans the chance to follow the racing live from land or enjoying the ambience of the race village, providing entertainment, running commentary and large screen. It will be open access.
Make a date to join us in September for a high quality sports event which will be easy to visit and very accessible.
Franck David, Executive Director of Multi One Design S.A.: “Being welcomed in Marseilles, a large French city, and along with an event on the Alpari-World Match Racing Tour, is a real opportunity for our new MOD70 circuit. Our aim is to showcase the fleet of MOD70s in the venues that host Multi One Design Championship events to as many people as possible, provide good entertainment and also allow our partners and competing team owners the opportunity to host quality public relations events. I think that all these elements will come together at the end of September thanks primarily to the town of Marseille, to whom I extend my appreciation.”
Dates to remember: 2011 / 2012
12 april 2012: Launching of the MOD70 OMAN SAIL
January to May 2012: Launching of the MOD70 PAPREC-VIRBAC 70
Race Programme: 2012 / 2014
7 July 2012: Start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
2 Sep – 7 Oct 2012: MOD70 EUROPEAN TOUR 2012
June 2013: MOD70 EUROPEAN TOUR 2013
Nov 2013 – Apr 2014: OCEAN WORLD TOUR
Août 2014: KRYS OCEAN RACE
Today, Monday 23 January, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, the much anticipated 2012 MOD70 European Tour was unveiled. Starting on 29 August, five weeks of intensive racing will see the six competing MOD70s race nearly 5,000 miles in a mix of offshore competition, and races in the heart of five cities in five countries : Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.
The six MOD70s are helmed by skippers with some of the biggest hauls of oceanic medals – Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet, Roland Jourdain, Steve Ravussin and Yann Guichard. The teams will be setting off from Kiel in Germany, on the Baltic Sea, towards the east coast of Ireland, after a rather unfamiliar passage via the North coast of the Shetland Islands which will see the teams reach 60° North – as far north as Cape Horn is south.
After stopping off in the Emerald Isle, the teams will tackle the descent of the North Atlantic, heading for Cascais in Portugal, for an eight-day stopover before heading east.
Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the MOD70s will cross the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea to tie up at the feet of the Bonne Mère in Marseille (France), while the final leg of the European Tour 2012 will take the MOD70s on a big looped circuit around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, prior to climbing up to an Italian port looking out onto the Ligurian Sea…
At the end of this tour of Europe, the fleet will have covered 5,000 miles and crossed seven seas and one ocean.
Start : Kiel, Germany, 2 September :
Steeped in maritime tradition, Kiel is the city which played host to the Course de l’Europe during the first edition back in 1985, and again in 1997, for the 4th leg. For this 2012 edition of the MOD70 European Tour, the local authorities were the first to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project. Alongside KIEL.SAILING CITY, the online gambling company, Betfair, will be present at both the legendary Kiel Week, to be held in June 2012, and the German stopover for the MOD70 European Tour 2012.
Uwe Wanger, Managing Director of Kiel Marketing GmbH : “In collaboration with Betfair, we’re proud to play host to the first leg of the European Tour, an event that forms part of the MOD70 circuit, for their first race in Germany. These spectacular boats represent technology at its highest level – a point they have in common with our new partner Betfair. With this stopover, we’ll be punctuating a series of prestigious sailing gatherings and we’re hoping for between 50.000 and 80,000 spectators at the heart of Kiel to witness the racing.”
Marco Simeoni, President of MOD Ltd. : “Today we’re happy to be able to present the first edition of the race around Europe, aboard MOD70s. Since 2009, we’ve been working on putting together a one-design class and a coherent circuit for racers, boat owners and our partners. With the current economic context colouring Europe, things haven’t been easy but we’ve managed to pull it off. The cities of Kiel, Marseille and Cascaïs are the first three cities to have signed up alongside us and the contracts with the remaining two cities involved in this project will be signed in the coming days. Featuring 5,000 miles, 5 countries, 5 host venues and 5 City races, this MOD European Tour will be the setting for a competitive and cultural oasis! Thanks to the one-design format, which guarantees sporting equity, we’re sure to witness some great on-the-water confrontations between the MOD70 crews competing in this 2012 season.”
Hervé Favre, Event Manager OC ThirdPole : “To organise a European tour is an opportunity to revive the great moments in the history of oceanic multihulls, but it’s also a genuine challenge in every possible way. This is true in logistical terms first of all, as not all the ports in Europe can accommodate 6 or 7 trimarans measuring 22 metres long and 17 metres wide. It’s also true in sporting terms, with the need to construct a balanced circuit and some interesting legs, with around 3 days spent at sea between cities. Finally there’s the marketing aspect, with our desire to select cities whose image and notoriety are recognised on the international playing field, and who are keen to communicate their outward-looking attitude to the sea. We’ve also endeavoured to involve the Teams and their partners, who have guided the final decisions. Launching a new event is never easy, particularly today, but we’re proud of this very fine course, which will support the increase in power of the new Multi One Design Class”.
Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of the MOD70 Foncia: “This MOD70 version of the European Tour 2012 will be the second event of the season. It will be longer and more intensive than the Krys Ocean Race, but I bet you that the crew of Foncia will be very much into their stride! Added to that, the European Tour isn’t a complete unknown for me as I raced aboard Crédit Agricole, the winning boat in the first edition back in 1985. I sailed it again in 1993, aboard La Poste. It’s always a real thrill because there are a number of intriguing passages to be negotiated. The race zone really deserves to be highlighted! Alternating between offshore legs and inshore events appeals to me since it’ll give us the opportunity to show our different guests what the MOD 70 Foncia is all about during the stopovers. These moments of sharing and exchanges aboard our fantastic machines are always rich and interesting.”
Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the MOD70 Oman Sail : “Our MOD70s are capable of covering great distances in a short space of time so they’re really cut out for this type of course around Europe! For my part, I’ve already had the opportunity to compete in European races in 1993 and 1997. I have some very fond memories of them with some great battles on the water. I expect nothing less in this edition.
This European Tour really ties in with the agenda that my partner OMAN had in mind, which involves promoting tourism among the European public across the sultanate.”
Yann Guichard, skipper of the MOD70 Spindrift racing : “I’m more familiar with transatlantic events and this will be my first participation in a European Tour. I’m very enthusiastic about the idea of helming my MOD70 Spindrift Racing over this course, which will enable me to discover the race zones, particularly as regards the first leg between Kiel and Ireland. Another first for me is alternating between offshore and inshore races, especially over the course of a month! It’s going to be raced at a steady pace and we’ll have to be consistent and perform well, whatever the race format.”
Roland Jourdain, skipper of the MOD70 Veolia Environnement: “It promises to be an enthralling sail… Already at the time of the multihull, and also the monohull, all the racers adored the race. On a sporting level, it’s a superb mix of offshore and coastal courses. On a multihull we’re sure to have a ball!”
Stève Ravussin, skipper of the MOD70 Race for Water : “Germany is a great country for sailors, as it has a particularly important place on the map of Europe. As such I’m very happy and proud to be part of this first European Tour in Kiel. Adventure, speed and adrenalin, a mixture of spectacular offshore races and city races on an equal footing… it is the epitome of everything I love about sailing! In addition to the sports competition, I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness amongst adults and children about problems relating to water… Indeed, with the MOD 70 Race For Water, ambassador for the Multi One Attitude Foundation, we’re going to spread this message to the four corners of Europe as well as battling to sail some fantastic races!”
Sébastien Josse, skipper of the MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild Group : “T he European Tour is proposing an ambitious programme and it will be a difficult race. For three weeks we’re going to link together a series of offshore and city race formats at a steady pace and the team will have very little time to catch their breath. This second event of the 2012 season will showcase the crews’ stamina and their ability to adapt to the switches in format. The North-South route of the race is likely to provide us with some highly varied conditions. The northern part may give us some really lively conditions at that time of year, whilst the second part, in southern Europe, should prove to be milder. However, that’s just a hypothesis as the Mediterranean is never short of surprises and could very well dish out an entirely different scenario. The European Tour will be intense with a line-up of six honed crews after the Krys Ocean Race.”
The MOD70 European Tour 2012 in brief :
- First edition of the European Tour in MOD70s.
- 6 competing sailing teams (6 crew members per MOD70)
- 5,000 miles
- 5 countries visited: Germany (Kiel), Ireland, Portugal (Cascaïs), France (Marseille), Italy.
- 5 offshore races and 5 inshore events (city race and speed match)
Stopover schedule :
Kiel (Germany) from 29 August to 2 September
Ireland from 5 to 9 September
Cascaïs (Portugal) from 12 to 20 September
Marseille (France) from 23 to 30 September
Italy from 3 to 7 October
The multihull and the Course de l’Europe :
- 1st edition of the Course de l’Europe created by Gérard Petipas with the support of the European Community
- Start on 9 August
- 8 legs: from Kiel (Germany) to Porto Cervo (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Philipe Jeantot on Crédit Agricole
- Start on 12 July
- 8 legs from The Hague (Holland) to San Remo (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Daniel Gilard on Jet Services
- Start on 17 July
- 6 legs from Hamburg (Germany) to Toulon (France)
- Victory for Serge Madec on Jet Services V who won 5 of the 6 legs.
- Start on 12 May
- 6 legs from Lorient (France) to Santa Marguerita (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Laurent Bourgnon on R.M.O, just 93 seconds ahead of Mike Birch
- Start on 23 May
- 6 legs from La Rochelle (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
- Start on 20 May
- 7 legs from Venice (Italy) to London (England)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
- Start on 1st June
- 5 legs from Cherbourg (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
- 2 legs from Genoa (Italy) to Lorient (France)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuj
Dates to remember: 2011 / 2012
25 January 2012: Launching of the MOD70 SPINDRIFT RACING
12 april 2012: Launching of the MOD70 OMAN SAIL
January to May 2012: Launching of the MOD70 nr.7
Race Programme: 2012 / 2014
7 July 2012: Start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
2 September 2012: European Tour
June 2013: European Tour
November 2013 – April 2014: Ocean World Tour (6 stopovers, 5 oceans, 12 racing teams)
August 2014: KRYS OCEAN RACE
To kick-off this last day of the KRYS MATCH, race management opted for a 22-mile coastal course in the Baie de Quiberon so that the competing trimarans could really get the most out of their steeds! Five miles after a reaching start, it was Race For Water and Gitana 11-Edmond de Rothschild Group which tacked around the mark off Port Haliguen neck and neck, whilst Veolia Environnement and Foncia were involved in their own tacking duel. On the long tack under gennaker, which took the KRYS MATCH fleet towards the island of Houat, Gitana11-Edmond de Rothschild Group was forced to retire after the crew exploded their downwind sail. In the meantime, the three MOD70s took different options, which enabled Roland Jourdain and his seven crew to get the edge and get safely round the leeward mark, which later tripped up both Race for Water and Foncia. Veolia Environnement kept up the pace and held onto its leadership right to the finish line, Race for Water and Foncia respectively completing the ranking in this trek across the bay.
Current in play in the ultimate race:
It was at 1610 hours that the final race of the KRYS MATCH 2011 began with Gitana 11-Edmond de Rothschild Group back in the match. A formidable battle ensued at every stage in a wind oscillating between 10 and 15 knots, gradually losing power over the course of the day! With each mark rounding, the leadership changed, providing a fantastic spectacle off the Kerbihan headland for this ultimate victory by Gitana 11-Edmond de Rothschild Group, ahead of Veolia Environnement, Foncia and Race for Water!
Throughout these three days of contact racing, the crews of the three competing MOD70s, Foncia, Veolia Environnement and Race for Water, racked up some precious experience for the next stage in the MOD70 programme. Analysis after eight Races and eight Speed Match.
Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of the MOD70 Foncia: “It’s good to be back racing on a multihull again! It had been a long time coming! With the crew of Foncia aboard the MOD70, the KRYS MATCH was our baptism of fire as we hadn’t really had much of an opportunity to train. On Thursday, we were caught a bit short in the breezy conditions. However, the reflexes are coming back quickly! We’re keen for there to be more of us. With three of us it’s great; with a dozen of us, it will be even better!”
Roland Jourdain, skipper of the MOD70 Veolia Environnement: “I’d really like to congratulate my crew. In human terms, these past three days have gone very well and it helps when we have to learn to deal with the highs and the lows, as we have done over the past three days. We had our best day on Thursday, before dropping down to the bottom of the leaderboard on Friday. Today, we’ve bounced back so that in itself it’s already a success because very quickly you can get caught up in a downward spiral! Competitively, it was full-on, with some top quality races. Congratulations to our rivals! Flat-out flying two hulls, we had an absolute ball! We didn’t win but we’re happy to have racked up so much experience. The trimaran is a discipline that I haven’t practiced for a long time and, with me at the helm, it was a major first. Roll on the next stage!”
Stève Ravussin, skipper of the MOD70 Race for Water: “We’re very, very happy, especially with the little crew training we had. For me the MOD70 is a magical, solid and robust boat. It’s a whole different philosophy for this strict one-design. We’re right in the thick of it and today we can see that the KRYS MATCH works! Next meeting in the KRYS OCEAN RACE in New York!”
Sébastien Josse, skipper of the prototype Gitana11 and future skipper of the MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild Group: “Aboard Gitana11-Edmond de Rothschild Group, we really enjoyed ourselves witnessing these fine battles on the water. It was a close-run thing! For us, this KRYS MATCH served as a warm-up. We’re eager to take possession of our MOD70 at the end of the month and take it in hand.”
First successful test for the circuit MOD70:
Marco Simeoni, President of the MOD Ltd: “I’ve just experienced three magical and unforgettable days! This KRYS MATCH was the opportunity for our KRYS partner and all the members of the Multi One Championship to share their first event together and show the public and our guests the MOD70.
Thank you to the 32 sailors who put on such a fine show on the water and to all the protagonists on the circuit: boat owners and partners alike for having actively participated in this KRYS MATCH! Thanks to La Trinité sur Mer for having played host to us, to the SNT and to all the volunteers on the water! Thank you to our Race Director Jean Maurel.
These three days in La Trinité sur Mer had several objectives for us organisers. First of all, the production of top-class content for improved visibility and optimisation of the MOD70 circuit. On top of that, validation of the race formats was a key factor. Finally, the audiovisual production was key for associating live footage and sailing. At the end of this KRYS MATCH, the three targets have been reached and I cannot help but be delighted by that!”
Next meeting in nine months’ time for the start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE, a crewed transatlantic race setting off from New York (USA) on 7 July 2012 bound for Brest in France!
When he brought the giant 31m trimaran Groupama 3 across the finish line off Pointe-a-Piitre, Guadeloupe today (Tuesday)under perfect sunshine and light breezes Franck Cammas (FRA) won the 9th edition of the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale, the 3542 miles transatlantic race from Saint Malo for solo skippers which takes place every four years. Cammas crossed the finish line at 16..h 16..min 47. Secs (CET paris// 15h 16 mins 47 secs GMT,// 11 hrs 16 mins 47 seconds local time) The elapsed time for the course, after starting Saint Malo at 1302hr (CET/paris) Is. 9 days 3 hours 14 mins 47 seconds The average speed over the course on the water was. 20..39 knots for the actual course sailed of 4471 miles. . The course record of 7 days17 hrs 19 mins 6 seconds was set in 2006 Cammas adds his name to the legend of the ‘Rhum’ as successor to Mike Birch, Marc Pajot, Philippe Poupon, Florence Arthaud, Laurent Bourgnon, Michel Desjoyeaux and Lionel Lemonchois
by Colin Merry
“Alarm call at 0500hrs. this morning. but as Pete’s minder last night I was up and about at 0400hrs. in order not to miss the wake up call. Quick slurp of coffee then down to the boat. The rain was easing as we slid into the lock prior to being released to the sea. Even at this hour the lock sides were lined with waving cheering people! ”
”A lot of them looked as though they had been partying all night! Slipping out through the entrance we headed seaward greeted by a magnificant sunrise, a good omen we hoped. ”
“Several hours followed where Pete and Tom got the boat set up whilst I helmed. Normally not a problem for me, but this time it was different. ”
“I have never experienced so much responsibility, and it was getting more crowded by the minute. After nearly four hours and with twelve minutes to go we wished him well and jumped into the waiting rib.”
“Sorry that most of the pics. are of Class40′s but we were intent on following DMS for several miles and naturally we were surrounded by other 40′s. “
After a studied start keeping clear of the mayhem that is a start line Pete broke out the fractional kite and settled into the race.
With the wind easing it was not long before he went up a gear and raised the masthead kite.
Before we broke off the chase he was overhauling a few boats and looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself! So 3500miles to go and a possible encounter with a hurricane. (there is a cyclone winding itself up out the West atlantic which has been upgraded to Hurricane ”Tomas).
We at C&A wish him and skippers well in their endeavour to be in Gaudalupe first.
by Colin Merry
Crowds flocked to the skippers reception last night. Even a vociferous demo by the French unions (complaining about France’s rise in pensionable age) couldn’t dampen the way in which each skipper was applauded as they mounted the stage. People crowded the whole area stretching back as for as the eye could see!
Some climbing trees and still others clinging to the lamp posts! Everyone was determined to get a glimpse of these brave men and women before they set off on the ”Route de Rhumb”. I was particularly warmed by the reception Pete Goss got as his name was announced and he mounted the stage to what was the loudest applause and cheers all night. The French still hold him in very high esteem to this day.
After the reception Team DMS, the sponsors and guests retired to a pub for some very welcome R&R. I say pub but once inside it became clear that this was a strange hostelry indeed! Dolls and weird bric a brac everywhere.
The bar seats were swings hanging from the ceiling. Oh and did I mention the three piece ensemble that entertained us? They were completely off the wall but good in a ‘different’ sort of way.
Anyway, back to the race. I walked past one tri for the best part of a week before recognising her. None other than Ellen MacArthur’s B&Q!
Gone is the familiar livery and now she is plain white. Turned into a Pizza delivery judging by the logos being applied as I watched one evening.
On DMS we have a constant stream of visitors, Media crew who want interviews. Other skippers. Sponsors and guests. Plus old friends of Pete and Tom’s that reads like a who’s who of sailing. One such visitor was Frederick Meunier, the boat builder responsible for DMS.
Fred’s Tunisia based yard ”MC Tech” has order books full until next May for the ”Akiliria” brand known as the RC2. As we sat and chatted he was looking around at the mods that Tom had made since she left his yard. A testament to Tom’s attention to detail when said he reckoned that she was the best turned out boat in the Class 40′ fleet.
As crowded as our boat was, at times it paled into insignificance compared to the crowds who by now had swelled to massive proportions! It was gridlock on the roads in and around St. Malo and it threatened to become gridlock on the pavements too. Looking out from a high vantage point it seemed that the predicted 1.2 million visitors had all arrived together today! I can’t even begin to envisage what 18,000 people on the water tomorrow are going to look like. Also add to that 100 ribs that will be inside the exclusion zone prior to the start and you begin to get some idea of the huge logistical enterprise that is the ”Route de Rhumb”.