Atlantic ocean

Moutik: Double-digit speeds!

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Who: Brune, Léonie, Aurélie, Eric

Where: Atlantic Ocean

Boat: Outremer 45


We didn’t manage to beat Moutik’s record (19.6 knots during a transat), with our breakneck surfing levelling out at 18.8 knots. It was exhilarating but a little hairy non the less. It wasn’t something totally new for us, as the boat generally goes along at 12-15 knots. At that speed, the water that’s parted by the bows shoots up. And sometimes a big wave can hit from behind, lift up the boat and at its zenith, tip forward. This is a critical and stressful moment. Stressful because you have the impression that the bow is going to plunge deep into the water and that the rest of the boat will follow. Critical because when you’re at the helm you’re walking a fine line and you need to find the right degree of incline to follow the wave. And not too fast or too slow. And then you can feel that you’ve made it. The bows come up again and you can feel the acceleration. We then start to catch up with the waves, one, two, three. The log starts to go wild. Simultaneously, the wind created by the speed modifies the angle of attack of the wind on the sails: from 120° (on the quarter), it moves around to 90°, which is undoubtedly the moment where there’s the most power. It’s then that we wonder whether we should continue. But there’s no need to worry. The helmsman misses his timing in the relentless procession of waves. The rhythm isn’t the same and our speed drops. We can breathe again: the boat and its sails have held out. After two or three more episodes, we take it a little easier: we take in the code D (not that easy in the 25 knots of true wind) and just rely on the solent. Our speed drops a few knots but we’re still doing well over 10 knots. I must have said it a hundred times: what a fabulous catamaran! Sailors, if you can, don’t hesitate and get yourself a fast multihull. Enjoying that cold beer a few hours before the others is always very satisfying!

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