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Long Lost Log: Pincher’s tale of storms and rows

Onboard rows, a gun-toting skipper and a ferocious storm are recalled from Michael Chapman Pincher’s Long Lost Log. Tom Cunliffe introduces this extract Michael Chapman Pincher, son of the great investigative journalist, left school at 17 to become a stagehand in London’s West End. At 23 in 1974 he quit and went to sea with John Farrell and his sailing companion Carola, both Irish and both on the run from dysfunctional marriages. Together with the cat, Stryder, this unlikely trio sailed to the Caribbean on the 37ft Gander – not a large vessel for three and a cat on a protracted voyage. Michael’s personal log of the trip went missing, but it turned up in Florida in 2020. It was somehow returned to him and is now published, complete with sketches, as Long Lost Log. The genes of a great writer have clearly passed from father to son. What could be a mundane passage comes to vibrant life. No punches are pulled on tensions among the crew, the poetry that is astro navigation is revealed and the action leaps out at us. We join them becalmed a few hundred miles east of Antigua. Extract from Long Lost Log Fri 13 Dec: Momentary meaning The wind, says the skipper, like death, can come like a thief in the night, and so be upon us at any time. Right now, the thief is stealing my dreams as I watch for zephyrs floating in the spooky stillness of a silent ocean. The new moon is up but too dark to see, so the stars are at their brightest. With the deck stable, it is a rare opportunity to take observations of seven navigational stars. Standing up, sextant ready, I find my targets. Fomalhaut lies to our west. Capella is in the north-east, Pollux, Sirius and Betelgeuse high in the eastern sky, while Rigel and Canopus glimmer to the south; although I need only three to get a fix, I use the opportunity for practice and grab them all. Measuring stars by sextant is not easy but mine seems built for this moment. Its weight and ease of adjustment allows me to line up

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum 2022 preview: The greatest ever offshore race?

Is the Route du Rhum 2022 the most impressive offshore race fleet yet? Helen Fretter takes a closer look at the entries and how the race might unfold This Sunday, 6 November 2022, 138 solo skippers will take to a single, 3-mile startline off St Malo for the Route du Rhum 2022 single-handed transatlantic race – the 12th running of the event. Is it the most impressive gathering of offshore competitors ever seen? It would be a bold claim to say that this year’s Route du Rhum is the greatest offshore race ever, but when it comes to strength, depth, and technological advancements, every single fleet in the Route du Rhum 2022 is so exceptional that maybe, just maybe, it deserves that accolade. The other reason the Route du Rhum is so special is not only because of who has gathered this year, but because of who has gone before. Since it’s first running in 1978, won by Canadian Mike Birch, who recently passed away, its trophies have been littered with the names of legends – Bruno Peyron, Florence Arthaud, Ellen MacArthur, Yves Parlier, Michel Dejoyeaux, Franck Cammas, Loick Peyron… to win a class in the Route du Rhum is to take your place among the true elite. Mike Birch helming Fujichrome ahead of the 1990 Route du Rhum. Photo by Nicolas LE CORRE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images And what makes it hard, of course, is the variables of mother Nature. The 3,543 mile race from St Malo, Brittany to Point-a-Pite Guadeloupe tests the solo skippers from start to finish. Flung from the protection of St Malo’s mediaeval walled battlements and deceptively protected harbours, the fleet is usually immediately faced with the Bay of Biscay and North Atlantic at its November worst – rolling depressions, vicious sea states and strong headwinds often characterise the opening sections of the transatlantic, and early indications are that this year’s race looks set to bring similar. Two days before the start the weather models remain largely in agreement: a low-pressure system in the Atlantic, with a series of fronts moving in, is forecast to bring strong upwind conditions from the outset. Article continues below… How

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Yachting World

Beneteau and Contest look ahead with new electric yachts

Both Beneteau and Contest yachts are bringing out new designs with full electric drives as electric yachts continue to grow in size It’s more than five years since electric drives became the default propulsion option for new daysailer designs but they’re now also entering the mainstream for larger yachts. Beneteau’s first electric model, the Oceanis 30.1E, has a complete system from Torqeedo, including a 6kW pod drive with regeneration that enables recharging while sailing. The standard battery, a 5kW 48V unit, is installed at the bottom of the cockpit locker where the diesel tank is usually located, and there’s an option for a second battery to double the range. The installation is impressively quiet, yet there’s loads of instant torque, which makes for easier manoeuvring in tight spaces than with a diesel engine. Maximum speed in flat water is six knots, but with limited range as it decreases exponentially with speed. At four knots you get three hours of autonomy with the standard battery pack, which equates to 12 miles in flat water. One of the interesting facets of electric propulsion is the ability to motorsail in very light winds, when very little power may be needed to add a couple of knots of boat speed. Just a little extra forward propulsion helps build apparent wind, so if the wind direction is suitable, a small amount of electric power will silently boost boat speed from three to five knots. Even the standard battery can support this for as much as 10 hours. When sailing on a reach, regeneration kicks in as early as 6-8 knots of wind speed. At low speeds only 100W of power is produced, but that figure rises rapidly with increasing boat speed. Beneteau also intends to offer a massive 1,000W package of solar panels that are tailored to the deck shape – enough to completely recharge the 48V bank between weekend trips without plugging into shorepower. Final pricing has not yet been determined, but it’s expected to be roughly 5-6% more than the standard price for a diesel engine boat, which represents an extra £5,000-£6,000 for the Oceanis 30.1E. Beneteau Oceanis 30.1E specifications Hull length: 8.99m

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Yachting World

How to follow the Route du Rhum 2022

The Route du Rhum will start this weekend, 6 November 2022 and will see 138 skippers take to the startline in a variety of classes hoping for victory The Route du Rhum is one of the biggest solo offshore races in the world, and will see 138 singlehanded competitors take to the startline in Saint-Malo, France this year as they prepare to race alone and non stop to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. The Route du Rhum is a simple enough race, essentially, it’s a straight blast across the Atlantic as fast as possible. The transatlantic course covers a total of 3542 miles, though typically the distance sailed is much higher than this as sailors try to find the most favourable weather conditions. The Route du Rhum always takes place in early November, which means that sailors take on the autumnal Atlantic, often providing very windy weather as they boats leave France in the north Atlantic, cross the Bay of Biscay and dive south to try to pick up the favourable trade wind conditions. What boats race in the Route du Rhum? The Route du Rhum is split into six classes in total: the foiling Ultime trimarans; Multi 50 trimarans; IMOCA 60s; Class 40; and two classes for a broad range of boats that do not fit into any over the above categories, one for multihulls and one for monohulls. As such the stories that come from the race vary, from the super high tech Ultimes who will fight it out to set new course records, to the IMOCA fleet, many of whom will be sailing a first solo transoceanic race in brand new super high tech boats, down to individuals on a shoestring budget who want to take on one of the worlds greatest solo challenges. All boats in all classes start the 2022 Route du Rhum at the same time on the same (usually around 3 nautical mile long) startline. This makes for a spectacular sight and is relatively unique for such a big race. The start of the race will be streamed on the Route du Rhum Youtube channel as well as the Route du Rhum Facebook page. Yannick Bestaven’s

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Yachting World

Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup: A feast for the eyes

Porto Cervo is one of the most spectacular venues in the world, and this year’s Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup was a feast for the eyes. Andi Robertson reports Walk the hallowed docks of Sardinia’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda during the Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup and it was impossible to get anywhere fast. The collection of maxi yachts this year was truly mesmerising, each meriting more than a passing glance. Correspondingly, the army of top professional sailors assembled was literally a who’s who of generations of America’s Cup, Ocean Race and Olympic sailing stars. To leave the real world and immerse yourself in the Porto Cervo bubble is something special. Even the grizzled, white-haired pros who recall the formative years of the ‘Maxi Worlds’ and who come year in, year out, show no complacency. They love it and always will because it is the pinnacle event of maxi racing. Post-pandemic, more than ever, there is a renewed appreciation for this spectacular event. Here there are no distractions beyond the wind blown rugged granite scenery, the turquoise waters and the rocky network of islands forming the La Maddalena archipelago. The 32nd Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup was not the biggest ever, mustering 46 racing maxis in six classes, but it was almost certainly the most competitive event for many years, with quality in depth through each of the divisions. The fleet was also more diverse than ever. For the first time since 2014 there were four J Class yachts competing under their own JCA handicap – an elegant step back in time contrasting sharply with the debuting foiler Flying Nikka, which raced in its own class, and the just launched powerful ClubSwan 80 My Song which lined up in the 13-boat maxi fleet. Rambler off Isola delle Bisce lighthouse north of Porto Cervo. Photo: Luca Butto A different league “For sure after the pandemic there seems to be more people wanting to sail big boats than ever before and being able to afford to do so. And this regatta was in a different league to previous events in terms of quality,” noted the International Maxi Association’s secretary general Andrew McIrvine. “One interesting development

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Pip Hare

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. We take a look at Pip Hare’s chances Richard Langdon/Ocean Images /Pip Hare Ocean Racing Pip Hare is a British professional sailor and solo skipper, and the 8th woman ever to finish the Vendée Globe. She needs little introduction to regular readers of Yachting World, as a regular writer and boat tester on these pages. Pip Hare grew up in landlocked Cambridgeshire but spent many holidays and weekends cruising aboard the family’s Folkboat, and later a Moody 33 moored on the River Deben near Ipswich. She read extensively about the Whitbread Round the World Race, and the achievements of solo skippers like Isabelle Autissier and later Ellen MacArthur, and realised from an early age that she wanted race across oceans. She has been working in sailing for over 25 years, as an instructor, coach and race skipper. She also cruised – on and off, around sailing work – for eight years while living aboard her Lightwave 395 The Shed, completing many short-handed ocean crossings. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that Hare first moved into solo racing, aged 35, sailing The Shed in the OSTAR singlehanded race from Plymouth to Newport, RI. Her preparation for that first single-handed race including delivering The Shed back from Uruguay to the UK on her own, a passage which took 58 days. Pip then moved into the Mini Transat class, competing in the solo transatlantic in 2011 (aboard a Mini 6.50 named The Potting Shed) and 2013. Swiftly working her way through the ranks, she moved into the Class 40s, and finished 9th in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre in 2015. She campaigned in the Class 40 fleet for many years, also working as a coach with other teams. The ultimate goal for any solo sailor is typically the Vendée Globe non-stop around the world race, which departs every four years from Les Sables-d’Olonne. Pip Hare set out to join the hallowed ranks of Vendée skippers in 2018, committing to take part in her first Vendée Globe aged 46, at the time with no

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Boris Herrmann

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Boris Herrmann’s chances Few are the non-French sailors that have managed to make a name for themselves in the IMOCA 60 fleet, but German-born Boris Herrmann is just one such ‘international’ who has impressed. Many singlehanded offshore racers also race in a variety of other classes, from crewed offshore to dinghy racing. Herrmann is just such a jack of all trades, regularly racing 505 dinghies and competing in the foiling catamaran GC32 series. But it is for his offshore shorthanded racing that the German is best known. In a world dominated by the French, Herrmann has a long list of events in which he was the only German competing. His first proper offshore solo race was the Mini Transat in 2001 where he was the only German on the startline (and the youngest skipper too). His 11th place finish there marked him out as one to watch for the future. Top five finishes in both the Route du Rhum (2018) and Transat Jacques Vabre (2017), showed Herrmann has what it takes to race at the sharp end of the fleet. Also in 2018 (alongside Pierre Casiraghi) Herrmann founded the Malizia Ocean Challenge project. This initiative aims to combine sailing, science and education to get children fascinated about sailing and ocean topics whilst teaching them about climate change. In 2019 he sailed climate activist Greta Thunberg from Plymouth to New York City in mid-late August 2019 on his emission-free IMOCA 60 Malizia II. With the principal backing of Yacht Club de Monaco (which had backed him with the IMOCA purchase), he entered the 2020-21 Vendée Globe with Malizia II (originally launched under Gitana colours for Seb Josse for the 2016-17 edition of the race) and in so doing became the first German to compete in the event (apart from the Franco-German Isabelle Joschke). Herrmann had an incredibly strong race and for a time it looked as though he may become the first non-French sailor to win it in the tense last few days of

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Yachting World

Best personal locator beacons and AIS units: 8 top options for boating

With the advent of the personal locator beacons (PLBs) and personal AIS units, rescue operations at sea are now much easier to perform. We take a look at the best PLBs and AIS on the market and explain the difference between them Not so long ago simply locating a crew member who had fallen overboard in anything other than the most benign of conditions was a massive challenge, but thanks to personal locator beacons (PLBs) and personal AIS units this has fundamentally changed. Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are small devices, typically fitted on a lifejacket, that send a distress message, including GPS position, via satellite to a coastguard operations centre. They work in a similar manner to EPIRBs, but require manual activation and have a shorter operational battery life (usually 24 hours). The beacons location/signal can’t be seen onboard the boat you fell off though. You’ll need an AIS for that. If you accidentally trigger a PLB, you should notify the coastguard straight away to cancel the distress alert. The personal AIS beacon works using a local radio signal which can be picked up on your chartplotter if it is able to receive AIS signals and on your DSC radio. The typical range for an AIS unit is between 2 to4 miles. These don’t notify the rescue services via satellite, but instead present as a small red circle with a cross target on your chartplotter to help you locate your casualty. If you accidentally trigger an AIS unit, then simply close off the aerial and deactivate the unit and transmit an all ships VHF message cancelling the AIS alert if you are within short range of any other vessels. In many situations, personal AIS will be a better bet than a personal locator beacon that only transmits a position to a remote location ashore. Some personal AIS units can also be set to activate automatically when a lifejacket inflates. It’s important to understand the fundamental differences between the two types of device. The best personal locator beacons available right now N.B. Make sure to check each product is registered for your location before buying.   ACR ResQLink View Also see

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Yannick Bestaven

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Yannick Bestaven’s chances Maitre Coq, skipper Yannick Bestaven (FRA), is pictured with the trophy after the 2020 Vendee Globe. Photo: Jean-Louis Carli/Alea/Maitre Coq) #FR# LES SABLES D’OLONNE, FRANCE – 28 JANVIER: Maitre Coq, skipper Yannick Bestaven (FRA), est photographié avec le trophée lors de son arrivée dans la course du Vendee Globe, le 28 Janvier 2021. (Photo Jean-Louis Carli/Alea/Maitre Coq) Yannick Bestaven was declared the 2020/21 Vendée Globe winner finishing third on the water, he earned the win thanks to a time compensation of 10 hours and 15 minutes which he was awarded for his role in the search and rescue of fellow competitor Kevin Escoffier back in November. For Bestaven this was his second tilt at the Vendée Globe, having dismasted in the 2008/09 edition. Since 2008, Bestaven has taken two victories in the Transat Jacques Vabre in Class 40, and fourth place in the Route du Rhum in 2014. Having secured sponsorship from Maître CoQ, Yannick managed to purchase the first foiler designed by architects Verdier – VPLP for the Vendée Globe 2016 – formerly Morgan Lagravière’s Safran. Bestaven has always been known for his autonomy. In 2001, he won the Mini-Transat on a boat that he’d built himself with the help of Arnaud Boissières who actually finished third. For the 2020 edition of the Vendée Globe, he was his own shipowner, responsible for the project from start to finish. This all-round knowledge of a well-sorted (if not absolute latest generation) boat contributed to a Vendée which has gradually moved from impressive to standout and he led the fleet back into the Atlantic having moved up into first just south of Australia and is still fighting hard within the leading pack of four boats. The 2022 Route du Rhum will see Bestaven competing in a solo transoceanic race for the first time in a brand new IMOCA 60, the build for which was agreed with his sponsor Maître CoQ shortly after his victory in the 2020-21 Vendee Globe. Yannick Bestaven’s Maitre

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Paul Meilhat

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Paul Meilhat’s chances Paul Meilhat was the winner of the IMOCA 60 class in the last Route du Rhum back in 2018 having been forced to retire from the Vendée Globe two years earlier. Meilhat came to offshore racing following many years racing dinghies. He raced at a high level in the 49er fleet and had Olympic sailing aspirations to represent France in the doublehanded skiff. However, despite some decent results, that route to professional sailing never quite took off and Meilhat increasingly became interested in the shorthanded offshore scene and in 2008 started sailing a Figaro Beneteau 2. Victory alongside Gwénolé Gahinet in the AG2R was Meilhat’s first big shorthanded offshore success and was enough to secure sponsorship from SMA. They purchased François Gabart’s 2012-13 Vendée winning IMOCA 60 and Meilhat set about readying himself for his first Vendée Globe race. However, a keel ram failure forced the Frenchman to retire from the 2016-17 Vendée Globe. After that race, though, he showed impressive pace in the boat, coming home second (again alongside Gwénolé Gahinet) in the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre before that impressive win in the Route du Rhum the following year. With SMA bowing out of offshore racing sponsorship, Meilhart was without a headline sponsor. He remained around the world of shorthanded racing, sailing alongside Sam Davies and others in a number of doublehanded events, while he looked for a new backer that could provide him with an IMOCA 60. As such he missed out on racing the 2020-21 Vendée Globe. Now, with a brand new boat underneath him, he returns to the frontline of offshore solo racing as he is set to compete in the 2022 Route du Rhum just two months after the launch of his brand new IMOCA. Meilhat’s new IMOCA is the last of the 2022 builds to be launched. IMOCA 60 Biotherm Sail number: FRA 2030 Designer: Guillaume Verdier Builder: Persico Marine Year: 2022 LWL: 18,28 m Beam: unpublished Draught:: 4,5 m Displacement: unpublished Foils: Yes

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Damien Seguin

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Damien Seguin’s chances There are a variety of usual routes into the world of offshore shorthanded sailing. The skills needed to make a successful solo racer are suitably varied that there is not set path to success, but Frenchman Damien Seguin’s route to the Vendée Globe is undeniably unique. Seguin was born without his left hand and this disability coupled with his love of sailing led him to the Paralympic Games where he was incredibly successful, winning two gold and one silver medal between 2004 and 2016. However, sailing was removed from the Paralympic Games ahead of the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo during which time Seguin switched his focus to full time offshore solo racing. Seguin already had a good deal of offshore sailing experience, having completed the Tour de France à la Voile on three separate occasions from 2015-2017. In terms of solo racing, he has completed many races in the Class 40 – seen by many as the direct feeder for the IMOCA 60 class. He’s completed two Route du Rhum races and three Transat Jacques Vabre. But in 2020 Seguin set off on his toughest task to date, competing in the Vendée Globe race. His 7th place would be remarkable for most first time competitors in the race, add into that mix his ability to keep an older boat in amongst the new foilers, and becoming the first Paralympic skipper to complete the race and you can’t help but be impressed. After crossing the finish line of the 2020-21 Vendee Seguin displayed his trademark flamboyant style, donning a pirate costume, complete with hook, to sail up Les Sables d’Olonne’s famous channel. Damien Seguin has purchased the 2020-21 Vendee Globe winner. Photo: Jean-Marie LIOT / Groupe APICIL IMOCA 60 Groupe Apicil Sail number: FR 13 Designer: VPLP – Verdier Builder: CDK Technologies, Port la Forêt Year: 2014 LWL: 18,28 m Beam: 5,80 m Draught: 4,50 m Weight: 8 tonnes Foils: Yes For the 2024-25 edition of the Vendée Globe, Seguin has

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Romain Attanasio

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Romain Attanasio’s chances Nothing about Romain Attanasio’s early life indicated that he might end up a solo offshore yacht racer. He was born to a skiing family in the Hautes-Alpes region of France where he grew up far from the sea and surrounded by snowy mountains. However, Attanasio did take many holidays on the water as a youngster and found an early love for the sea during that time. Having become increasingly interested in offshore racing during his school years – as well as actively racing dinghies during this time, he finally picked up a Mini 6.50 and took on the Mini Transat on a shoestring budget in 1999. His boat was rolled during that event and he was rescued by a ship but this experience did little to dent his passion for ocean racing. Shortly after, he was accepted into the Pôle Finistère Course au Large based out of Port-la-Forêt. This is widely accepted as a training ground for the best offshore racing talent in France (and, therefore, the world). He saw decent results in the Figaro Beneteau 2 in which La Solitaire du Figaro and Transat AG2R are both contested. It was also during this time that he met the woman with whom he would have a child, fellow ocean racer and Vendée Globe skipper, Sam Davies. The pair are relatively unique in the racing world, with both competing in the solo offshore racing scene against one another. Attanasio has two Vendée Globes under his belt, completing the solo non stop race around the world in the 2016-17 edition and the most recent 2020-21 race in a 2001 boat and a 2009 boat respectively. Ex-Malizia II, Attanasio’s IMOCA 60 is a decent performer. Photo: Yann Riou / polaRYSE IMOCA 60 Fortinet-Best Western Sail number: FRA 10 Designer: VPLP/ Verdier Builder: Chantier Multiplast, Vannes Year: 2015 Length: 18,28 Beam: 5,70 Draught: 4,50 Foils: Yes Attanasio, alongside sponsors, Fortinet-Best Western has purchased a first generation foiler for the 2024-25 Vendée Globe. The boat

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Alan Roura

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Alan Roura’s chances Swiss-born sailor, Alan Roura already has two Vendée Globe races to his name. He participated in his first, the 2016-17 edition of the event, when he was just 23 years old, making him the youngest ever competitor in the solo non-stop round the world race. Roura finished a credible 12th in that first attempt at the Vendée Globe. He was so young on his first attempt, that even when Roura lined up four years later for a second shot at the Vendée, he was still the youngest skipper on the startline. The 2020-21 edition of the race saw a great many technical woes for the Swiss sailor and he finally crossed the finish line in 17th overall. Roura’s sailing history is an interesting one. Having sailed on Lake Geneva through his early youth, he then spent 11 years sailing across the world with his family on their own boat before finally finding the allure of offshore racing and competing in his first offshore race at the age of 20 taking part in the Mini Transat – just three years later he would be on the startline of the Vendée. Since that early foray in the shorthanded racing scene, Roura has competed in all the big races on the calendar with multiple Transat Jacques Vabre and Route du Rhum races to his name. He has not not yet picked up a podium in any of the big races he has taken on, but until now he has not had the latest kit under him. For those wondering if Roura has the outright pace to be a factor in a 2022 Route du Rhum or 2024-25 Vendee Globe race, he proved himself more than capable in 2019 when he set a new North Atlantic solo crossing record, which still stands to this day. Alan Roura’s IMOCA 60 Hublot, was previously Hugo Boss, a radical design Alex Thomson hoped would win him the Vendée Globe. Photo: Pierre Bouras IMOCA 60 Hublot Sail number:

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Conrad Colman

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Helen Fretter looks at Conrad Colman’s chances Conrad Colman, or the ‘crazy Kiwi’ as he became known, was the first New Zealander to compete in the Vendée Globe in 2016. Colman studied economics in the US, founded a small business and became a competitive mountain biker before deciding that the world of bluewater sailing was where his true passion lay. He moved to the south coast of England in 2007, taking any job he could to fund his sailing and build skills, from working in a sailmaker’s loft to sanding antifoul. Two years later he moved to France, joining the Mini 6.50 fleet which he described as “the best offshore sailing school in the world”, and competing on a shoestring budget. A year later he moved up to a Class 40 entry in the Route du Rhum, and then onto the Class 40 Global Ocean Race double-handed race around the world in 2011, which he won overall – also winning four of the five legs, sailing with a different skipper each time. In 2014 he moved up to IMOCA 60s, competing in the double-handed Barcelona World Race with Hungarian skipper Nandor Fa. Writing for Yachting World, he described his offshore career thus: “While on paper this is a rapid progression I was always a day late and a dollar short and progressed by accepting roles that no sane person should. “I signed for my Rhum race three months before the race started, I signed my sponsorship deal for the Global Ocean Race ten days before the start and I accepted to sail the Barcelona World Race only five weeks before the start. More often than not, this meant that I found myself racing through dangerous waters on overpowered boats with complete strangers!” Despite having proven himself as a round the world competitor, attempts to raise funds for a Vendée Globe campaign fell short and he decided to buy a cheap 2005 boat to refit whilst still attempting to secure backing. The boat arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne

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Yachting World

Route du Rhum skipper: Louis Burton

As the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we take a look at some of the top names set to compete in the race. Toby Heppell looks at Louis Burton’s chances Louis Burton shot to Vendée Globe fame when he sailed across the line of the 2020-21 Vendée Globe in 2nd place in his 2012 IMOCA 60 Bureau Vallée. He finished 3rd overall after redress had been awarded. Typically it is the newest IMOCA 60 designs that dominate the Vendée Globe. However, with the weather in the 2020 edition not providing the usual downwind high-speed conditions that the latest generation boats were highly optimised for, some of the older, even non-foiling designs, were able to be competitive. Nevertheless, to take a podium place finish in a boat that was already two generations old requires remarkable skill and a sailor who is willing to adopt a no-limits approach to their racing. Burton’s style of racing was clear for all to see within seconds of the event getting underway. As the start gun fired off Les Sables d’Olonne in western France, Burton was pushing to get the best start in the fleet and actually found himself fractionally over the startline – he would incur a 5 hour time penalty for the breach. This full-throttle approach continued throughout the race. It took its toll on the boat at times and Burton was twice forced to make major repairs, at one point climbing the mast three times while drifting in the protective lee of the remote Macquarie Island halfway between New Zealand and the Antarctic. Burton even had to contend with a fire onboard during his Atlantic return. However, his ability to push the boat to near 100% of its potential was widely noted among his competitors. Burton’s ascent to the front of the IMOCA 60 fleet has not been that of a superstar thrust into the limelight, rather he has spent years chipping away at the fleet, building miles and experience whilst supported by long-time sponsor Bureau Vallée. He initially competed with Bureau Vallée in the Class 40 where he saw some decent results and then moved up to the IMOCA 60, purchasing a

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