Sail. Sam Davies: “Obviously we’re not ready! ” – To sail



Azimut Challenge in Lorient

Your Imoca is brand new and we can see that it has been tinkered with a lot…

Yes, it’s obviously not over, but I have a great team. We’ve done our best since we received the ship in Lorient (Editor’s note: this sister ship “Occitane en Provence”, now “Bureau Vallée 3”, was built in Hungary) and we’ve had a few slowdowns (Editor’s note: hull bottom recovery ). Inside the ship, it’s not over. The ballasts have not yet been installed, as have the bearings. As for the ballast, we have to take the ship out of the water to do the plumbing. So, it is clear that we are not ready.

So what do you expect from this Azimut Challenge?

This event is very convenient because I thought in my head that if I can’t perform at the Azimut Challenge, that means I can’t be ready for the Route du Rhum. Well, we had a date in mind with the Challenge, so he forces me to go to the race alone. Two weeks ago, when I saw the forecast, I was a little scared because a major depression was looming. I said to myself “but how are you going to do that? for I had but a few afternoons sailed from the Isle of Groix.

Manuard’s plan is “much more powerful than the previous one,” according to Sam Davies. (Photo by Christophe Favreau)

What are your first impressions of this new boat?

It is not the same ship as the previous one. It has nothing to do with that, it’s much more powerful than Initiatives Coeur 3, where we still had big foils. Well, it used to be frustrating because I kept going to the pile with my old Imoco. Now with this new Imoca, it’s completely different: you trim the sails a little, adjust them a little and then wow! It goes on wheels (laughs). We made several trips to the moon. It’s a little scary at first because I’m not used to climbing that high. But we also see that it does not collapse behind. The ship behaves quite soothingly.

Physically, is it harder?

I was freaking out about it too, because it’s a super powerful boat where you don’t need a lot of sail to go fast. Last week there were 30 knots of wind, we sailed with two reefs in the mainsail and J3, and we reached 34 knots. We wanted it to hit the boat hard to make sure everything was connected correctly. The boat survived, and so did I.

After the Azimut Challenge, the Route du Rhum follows: with what goal in this transatlantic race?

It’s a little early to play something. We have to prepare the ship for the Route du Rhum. I am not ready to follow the courses in Port-la-Forêt, I have to qualify for the Route du Rhum. I will do it without ballast.

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