Calvados Cup Race 2

After a couple of pleasant days spent in the charming town of Deauville, we were ready for the start of the second stage of the Calvados Cup. This time the race consisted of two crossings of the English Channel, plus a longer passage to the south of the Isle of Wight from East to West. Overall the race track looked like a big triangle, starting and ending in front of Deauville. The weather was more complicated than in the first race. For the start it was forecasted very light wind, which gradually built in intensity as we headed out north….

Calvados Cup Race 1

The first stage of the Calvados Cup 2022 took place between Douarnenez and Deauville and contained some iconic passages, such as the crossing of the beautiful Douarnenez Bay and of the reputed Chenal du Four with its very strong currents, passing along the British Isles (Guernsey, Aurigny) and finally sailing across the Bay de Seine with its heavy marine traffic, changing currents and fickle winds. This year 48 boats were present at the start, 42 in the Series class and 6 in the Proto class, a figure double than last year, which shows the great interest in the offshore races…

Plastimo Lorient Mini – The DAY!

After a day and a half of delay, the long awaited race started on Saturday morning, April 9th. It turned out to be a beautiful day, 24 hours of respite between two depressions that swept the Brittany coast. We started very early, at 6:30 AM, because the Organising Committee sent us a new shorter route the previous night and we had to revise the waypoints on the GPS and discuss the strategy. At 8 AM we left the dock under sail, in very light wind. Soon afterwards we raised the big spinnaker and glided towards the starting line. We had…

Plastimo-Lorient Race: D-6

For the past 3 days I’ve been working full-time to prepare the boat for the race. The most important task was reviewing all the security materials. The security list is 6 pages long and it took me one full day only to check everything and make a list of the items that were missing. The good thing is that now the boat is, I believe, ready for the race πŸ™‚ We will depart tomorrow towards Lorient and since there are several minis taking part in Plastimo-Lorient, we will organise a coastal race. For the mini skipper, every moment on the…

Plastimo-Lorient Race: D-15

The long anticipated moment has finally arrived – the day I “set sail” for my first mini race! I haven’t gotten to the boat yet, but I landed safely in La Trinite sur Mer for the first milestone of my campaign – attending, and hopefully passing, the 3 day course on sea survival and first aid. I said hopefully passing because I will be facing my first test in Frendh since high-school 😦 And it’s not even multiple-questions, but plain writing… In all honesty I asked the organisers, CEPIM, if I would be allowed to use Google Translate during the…

Racing schedule 2022

At the end of 2020, after spending almost a full year locked at home, I decided to resume a plan I had had in my mind since 2017, namely to start competing in Classe Mini. Along the way I was fortunate to meet some incredible people who really helped me get this going. I would not start this campaign if it were not for Victor Mathieu who advised me patiently from the beginning, helped me get my mini (my beautiful Cirrus Minor, a Nacira 6,50 no. 832), introduced me to the world of double-handed mini racing (and we had great…

How to take a Mini across Europe

Once the excitement of buying a new boat faded away and my Pogo was safely resting in Marseille for the winter, I started pondering seriously about how on earth I would manage to bring it home, or more precisely, to the Life Harbour in Limanu. As winters tend to be long and mostly dark, they are perfect for adventure dreaming. With Google Earth opened in the cozy comfort of my home, I plotted different routes from Marseille to the Black Sea. And as it usually happens, it was just an email exchange with Marc, who graciously took care of the…

But then better things come around… (Part 2 of a long transitional post)

Alas, it took me more than a year to get going again and retie the loose ends of my sailing stories πŸ™‚ Just before Easter 2016 I received a call from a person interested in finding out more about Mem Pas Peur. Since for the previous six months I had already spoken to more than a dozen potential buyers and travelled many times to show them the boat without any second calls, I did not expect much from this new contact. But in any case I decided to give the boat a thorough sweeping, which was required any ways after…

Book Review: Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum

After a tough Β introduction into the hard-core world of solo sailing, not to mention in an open boat, I was totally hooked and decided that I should continue the study of the history of small boat sailing from its beginnings, namely from the first ever solo circumnavigation. This mighty feat was achieved by Joshua Slocum, an experienced sailor from Nova Scotia at the turn of the 19th century, in his 36-foot sloop Spray. Using solely traditional methods of navigation he undertook and East-West circumnavigation, and in its course he was also the first to cross the Straits of Magellan in…

Book Review: Bumfuzzle – Just Out Looking For Pirates, by Patrick Schulte

I received this book as a gift from one of my best friends who was about to embark on a cruising vacation on a catamaran in the Cyclades. Talking passionately about my first sailing experience in the Greek islands, I convinced him that chartering a boat is the best way to explore the Aegean Sea. A regular sailboat seemed a bit small  and uncomfortable in rolling for my friend Mihai and as a consequence he made up his mind for a big cat. Wanting to get some prior experience about living on and sailing a catamarn, he came upon this…