Skip to main content

Video: A New Kind of Ocean Racing

In just 22 days, the Brest Atlantiques fleet of giant, doublehanded Ultime trimarans has already made its way from France to Brazil to South Africa and then almost to the equator again on its way back to France.

The racing has not been without its bumps and bruises, with the oceangoing giants having made multiple “pit stops” along the way to fix things like daggerboards and rudders after colliding with various different unidentified floating object (UFOs).

Worse yet, one of the four competitors, Sodebo, was recently forced to pull into Cape Town where it eventually abandoned racing completely. Clearly, dragging multiple knifelike appendages, sieve-like, across the world’s oceans at high speed is not without its risks. Just ask Alex Thomson, who sailed over half the last Vendee Globe short a daggerboard after hitting something early on aboard his IMOCA 60, Hugo Boss.

That said, don’t let these bumps and bruises diminish what’s taking place here. Feast your eyes on the video above of Edmond de Rothschild at speed in the South Atlantic, northbound from South Africa. Then stop and think about what exactly it is you’re seeing: a 100ft-plus sailboat with a mere doublehanded crew (in this case Volvo Ocean Race veterans Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier), not just skimming but literally flying over the water in a way that would have been incomprehensible as little as five years ago. Pretty darn cool!

Suffice it to say that ocean racing will never be the same at the end of this “proof of concept” event. It will be fascinating to see what comes next.

November 2019

Related

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more

BestBoats2022-logo

Best Boats 2022

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest ...read more

01-LEAD-Dominique-David-2048x

Mulithull Show Coming to La Grande-Motte

After a year without boat shows, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster summer and fall for events around the globe, and the International Mulithull Show is looking to continue that trend in 2022. First held in 2010, the show, which takes place in La Grand-Motte, France, on the shores ...read more