AHOY :Preparing the Crossing!
The Cast-off date is getting closer! The 4 friends will set sail on 15 September 2019 for an Atlantic crossing on an Oceanis 411 Clipper. What do they aim to achieve? They hope to make people more aware of the fight against cystic fibrosis.
Hello Romain, where is the sailing yacht moored and how are the preparations going?
The sailing yacht is moored in the harbour of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, on the visitors’ pontoon. We have almost completed the work and the developments on board to optimise the boat for the crossing. There are just a few details left to sort out.
What developments have you undertaken in particular?
We changed all the sails, except the spinnaker which was new, as well as the standing and running rigging. The boat’s windlass, chain and anchor were also replaced. These parts were supplied by BENETEAU.
Other partners have given us their backing too. B&G, upgraded all the electronics and SRA, and Volvo Penta took care of the engine adjustments and supplied us with parts. What’s more, we have given her a full oil change, and replaced the filters and hose connections. NV équipement fitted the sailing yacht with a sprayhood and bimini, which are important items of equipment for this crossing.
We sanded down the keel to cover it with a hard matrix and prevent the rust extending. After this, we applied antifouling supplied by Nautix to prevent damage, but also to improve the speed and performance of the sailing yacht. Lastly, we had a new wrap made to add the AHOY colours to the hull exterior.
nside, we kept the original layout of the Oceanis 411 Clipper.
How familiar with the boat have the team become over this period?
We regularly put out to sea, in all weather, to get used to sailing in all kinds of situations. This weekend, we set sail for Ile d’Yeu in a 30-knot wind for training purposes.
Are you technically ready to take on this adventure?
Il nous reste à poser l'étai largable et la gestion de l'énergie doit être améliorée. Plusieurs solutions sont d'ailleurs envisagées, dont celle d'augmenter le parc de panneaux solaires du bateau. Nous n'avons pas encore préparé notre check-list d'avitaillement mais nous allons nous y atteler à la rentrée. Pour le moment, nous nous formons surtout à la navigation car hormis Thibaud, aucun de nous n'avait pratiqué auparavant.
Can you remind us what route you will be following and what everyone’s role is aboard?
Initially, we will set sail for Spain, and then to the canaries, where we will cross the Atlantic, heading in the direction of Brazil or the Caribbean. We are still a little hesitant and have yet to put the finishing touches to our route. Then, we will sail from archipelago to archipelago, before crossing the Atlantic again in the direction of the Azores and then France.
As for who will do what on board, Thibaud, the boat’s skipper will guide us and tell each of us what to do, so that we are all actively involved. We will have a rota for daily tasks during the crossing, such as cooking and cleaning.
Will we be able to follow your crossing?
Yes, Dolink has supplied us with a GPS satellite locator beacon, which identifies the boat’s position every hour. So you can follow our progress in real time on a chart.
What have you planned during the crossing to help make the public more aware of this disease and the importance of organ donation?
The aim is to go and meet children in schools and hospitals in places along the way.
Follow the adventures of the 4 sailors on their website and on social media: