Amateur sailor Benoit Marie surprises everyone, and himself, by arriving to port ahead of some of the world's best Mini sailors in the Mini Transat.
Just finishing the Mini Transat is a major feat for any sailor who dares brave the hell and fury the Atlantic Ocean can unleash on such a small boat. At the very least, surviving the trek invariably means getting beaten and tossed around for weeks on a 6.50-meter boat that merits its “Mini” name. The singular focus of just making it to the tropical waters of Guadeloupe by way of the Atlantic after leaving gray and cold Brittany, France, behind was certainly amateur sailor Benoit Marie’s goal.
A delayed start for the Transat Jacques Vabre allowed much of the fleet to reach the finish in Brazil in good shape, save for favorites Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart, who suffered a dismasting.
Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart were enjoying a comfortable lead in the Transat Jacques Vabre, after their relatively easy and smooth passage across the Atlantic from Le Havre, France. Desjoyeaux was down below getting some much-needed rest while Gabart busied himself on the deck as the IMOCA Class Macif sailed along in a breeze of 15 to 20 knots. They had less than 2,000 miles to go before the finish at Itajai, Brazil, and were virtually assured of what would have been their first victory as a duo.
The Mini Transat fleet heads for Guadeloupe from Sada, Spain.
Bruce Gain takes a look at the controversy, and the threads of reason, in this year's Mini Transat start.
The insanity was over, at least for now. After beating up and over huge seas in 40 knots of wind on a 6.50-meter Mini Class before a cresting wave knocked down his boat, everything was relatively calm now at the port of Sada, Spain. Sails stored, weather-tracking software checked, toothbrush packed along with just enough provisions needed to survive, he had a few hours to think about the 3,700-mile trek he was about to make across the Atlantic to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Organizers hope to capture the imagination of the American public.
MOD70 organizers confirm a May 2014 start for the next edition of the Krys Ocean Race and hope to entice more Americans to visit New York for the race's finish from Brest, France.
The MOD70 organizers have confirmed a May 2014 starting date for the MOD70 Krys Ocean Race, which is the latest good news for the multihull circuit after it was unable to secure a title sponsor for this year.
Citing poor economic conditions in Europe where the MOD70 class is based, organizers were also forced to cancel the second European Tour this year. But MOD70 Executive Director Franck David downplayed the symbolic significance of the starting-date announcement and said everything so far was going as planned.
Bruce Gain gets in the mix racing at the Challenges Des Mairies at the Brittany coastal town of Port de Piriac sur Mer, and enjoys the abundant gastronomic delights that await him ashore.
France is known around the world for the Vendée Globe, Route du Rhum, and other offshore races. But these fabled contests hardly reflect what the vast majority of those who sail competitively in France experience.
In most ways, French regattas are very similar to those in the United States, with the use of the IRC system and international rules, but racing in small regattas in France allows one to experience, for a lack of a better word, something that is very French, which you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Bruce Gain interviews Francis Joyon on his latest record-breaking run: across the Atlantic from New York to the Lizard.
Francis Joyon had just broken the New York-Lizard transatlantic record a couple of days before I spoke to him last week, but you wouldn’t think that by speaking with him, given the matter-of-fact way he described his feat.
The MOD70 Spindrift capsized during the Route des Princes offshore race, shattering the mast and sending skipper Yann Guichard’s brother Jacques to the hospital with a broken pelvis.
Spindrift's MOD70 capsized spectacularly Saturday during the Route des Princes offshore race, shattering the mast and sending skipper Yann Guichard’s brother Jacques to the hospital with a broken pelvis.
The MOD70 has attracted interest and spectators, and delivered on being a relatively safe yet fun multihull class. But the problem is that the sponsors are not able to turn the spending spigot tap on again, or at least not just yet.
Economically speaking, things are bad in Europe. The unemployment rate in the European Union member states is at 12 percent, and there is no end in sight to the recession. This is not the best scenario to be in for a fledgling, yet promising, race class of multi-million dollar boats in need of sponsors. But that is the situation that the Europe-based MOD70 class faces, which no longer has a title sponsor and has been forced to shutter what was supposed to be the second European Tour this year.
Gabart becomes the youngest and fastest sailor to circumvent the world alone in the Vendée Globe.
Francois Gabart was just a few hundred yards away from becoming the youngest sailor of all time to the win the Vendée Globe. He was also just about to beat Michel Desjoyeaux’s record by sailing around the world in 78 days and two hours, while averaging 15.3 knots over the 28,647-mile long solo trek. But you would not know that by watching him Sunday afternoon as he grinded the winch one last time and studied how the sail was reacting, as methodically and carefully as if he were still out in the middle of the Indian Ocean alone.