Who's Who - Mike Horn: “I fell in love with multihulls”

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Sunreef Yachts press conference: it’s still early in the morning, with the Cannes Yachting Festival due to open its doors in an hour and a half, but the 30 journalists invited to the manufacturer’s booth are already wide awake from the espressos served by the staff in company livery. The atmosphere is, as ever, good-natured and everyone’s in good humor as it comes time to step aboard the 80 Power ECO. All it takes is for Mike Horn to grab the microphone, and religious silence ensues. It’s not so much the man himself who imposes - even though his handshake is frank and firm - but a natural aura that is truly astonishing. Like Loïck Peyron, Mike is one of those men with a gift for communication.
Carrying the name of the most feared cape on the globe might lead one to think that, in the end, history was written: Mike Horn was bound to become one of the most famous and respected sailors, sooner or later. Come to think of it, our man isn’t the only one to be called Horn, and not every Hatteras or Lewin is a top sailor... And Mike Horn didn’t start his exploits on the oceans at all, but rather ashore: following a military career in South Africa, he settled in Switzerland. There, he ran a youth hostel and launched a career as an adventurer. From 1991 onwards, Mike climbed the highest peaks and undertook some extreme exploits. Water was sometimes on the menu - white water rafting, riverboarding - but it remained gentle! It wasn’t until 1998 that Mike was approached, against all odds, by Laurent Bourgnon, then skipper of the trimaran Primagaz: “You’ve never sailed before? Perfect!” The other crew members were none other than Thomas Coville, Stève Ravussin and Ellen MacArthur, to name names! For Mike, gliding under sail was a revelation: “I fell in love with multihulls,” he concludes.
Our adventurer then set out to circumnavigate the globe at latitude 0. The program included walking, cycling, canoeing and... sailing! Laurent advised Mike to opt for a small folding trimaran, a Corsair 28. “It was one of the first models,” Mike explains, “No aft cabin, almost nothing inside, just two solar panels and two batteries. It was thanks to a Swiss sponsor that I was able to complete my budget. I reinforced the trimaran before crossing the Atlantic: it was my first solo sail! At first, I called my sailing buddies for all sorts of advice... ...

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