Key moments 2022 - Doing 40 knots on SVR-Lazartigue!

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On board the immense blue trimaran, François Gabart was welcoming, available and smiling. I was visibly more stressed than he was as we took the impressive 105-foot by 75-foot (32 x 23 m) fully refitted platform down the winding channel leading out of Concarneau in Southern Brittany. The crew fought at the coffee grinders, lowering a 900-lb (400 kg) foil, hoisting the mainsail (15 minutes of effort required), and unfurling the J2. Before the deck crew could sheet in the J2, they were told to hang on, as acceleration was immediate - the feeling was that of a Boeing taking off. Under his fighter jet canopy, François Gabart was happy and I felt like I was hallucinating. We were on a real flying magic carpet, lifted up on its foils, almost horizontal, the trimaran had freed itself from the waves. On the GPS repeater above the little go-kart steering wheel, the numbers were going crazy. With 12 knots of wind, we’d already reached 32 knots. When it rose to 15, we were doing over 40! The apparent wind was violent, rarely below 50 knots, with its angle oscillating between 20 and 50 degrees.

I came away from those three hours of sailing with magnificent images in my mind, yet not really sure I’d understood everything, a bit stunned in a way, but above all, completely blown away.

François Trégouët

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