Offshore racing

Route du Rhum Race test: 80’ singlehanded, the ultimate experience

Published on 01 october 2014 at 0h00

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So, you are there on the dock. Intimidated. Despite Lionel Lemonchois’s invitation to climb aboard as you please, you don’t move. Or rather, not immediately. You enjoy the moment. Your gaze starts at the bow, runs along the 24 meter length of the port hull in front of you and comes to rest at the transom. Sizing it up, estimating the scale, following the control line circuits, admiring each custom-made part, having your breath taken away by the long, sharp bows. Observing the team moving around, noting the areas where you can step, the bits of ‘string’ it is best to avoid. Go on, don’t worry, climb aboard. One foot on the huge square fender, then on the canvas protecting the silver-grey non-slip in the harbor. On the huge net, stretched tight as a bow-string, you leap-frog over the many lines crossing it. You step over the aft crossbeam to access the wide cockpit. There are no less than 46 control lines returning to it! I counted, but I’m afraid I might have forgotten some. Two coffee grinder columns, five winch drums which I’m not sure I could get my little arms round...that gives a first idea of the forces involved. Don’t get your fingers in the wrong place.

There will be 7 of us aboard: Lionel, of course, Arnaud, who will spent a lot of his time adjusting the electronics from the monastic interior, Bambino, the flying number one, Gurloe, who looks after the 46 note piano (apart from the winch/coffee grinder synchronization lines, and the hooks), Vincent ...

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