Transatlantic

Racing or cruising: why choose?

Published on 21 march 2017 at 0h00

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My first transat, in 2000, was a bit of a revelation.  Setting out from Mindelo in the Cape Verde islands, we reached Martinique after 17 days’ sailing in total “zen” mode.  Here’s what I wrote in my blog when we arrived:

“Thank you to the tropicbird who so often brought us a little pale glow in the sky; to the dolphins, and their cries that we could hear during the night watch; to the sky and her blanket of stars which, even though no longer guiding us, still let us hold a course; to the ocean for everything; to Catleya who made it; to my girlfriend who let me do it; and above all to my crewmates…”

For the transatlantic 2016 version, after years of sailing experience, cruising, racing, etc… I decided to take a different course.  The objective was still a transat, but I wanted to go via Cape Verde since these islands had left me with an impression of such wild beauty and memories of the kindness of the inhabitants.  And this time, the crossing would be combined with meeting people and with a competition which often belies this trans-ocean rally…  A handicap class system allows you to gauge yourself relative to other boats on the ARC rally taking into account engine hours.  Let’s see where this leads!

 

Racing across the Atlantic

The ARC+ is distinguished from the traditional ARC by its route, organized in two legs: Las Palmas (in the Canary Islands) - Mindelo (São Vincente island in the Cape Verde group), then the transatlantic to St.Lucia.

The start of the first leg… Not much wind, but we’re in a good position!

As for meeting ...

This article appeared in issue 153. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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