In these blogs it was never my idea to go into competition with the yachting magazines but so many sailing adventures have occurred lately that I cannot leave them out of my nautical tales. This time the main actor is Francis Joyon, one of the best seamen of the yachting fraternity, fortunately still afloat. Francis sails a 30m. trimaran by himself and about two years ago he set a new record of 57 days and 13 hours to sail single handed around the world. He is a big, strong Frenchman from Bretagne and the least well-known of this fraternity because Francis does not talk much. Quite a number of these crack sailors can perform a fine prima donna act but Francis keeps his mouth shut because before every attempt, he dives to take off his ship’s propeller. He did that last Monday just before he left New York when he set off for a new Transatlantic record in the same trimaran he sailed around the world with. These chaps look for a weather window, they like to leave in a hard blow and keep that blow with them all the way to the other side. It can be done but take it from me, you need Lady Luck with you.

Lady Luck had gone sailing elsewhere and in the midst of violent electric squalls Francis’ craft received such a tremendous energy laden thump of very thick air that sheeting out sails was no help at all, Francis reckons that the boat was already upside down before he had a clue what was happening. The east coast of South America used to be notorious for these electrical williwaws, many full rigged ships lost sticks there. Maybe these williwaws have moved up north with the alleged global warming and blew the trimaran clean out of the water, seven hours after leaving New York. Francis managed to evade the netting that makes up the deck between multihulls and underneath which he found himself after the capsize. “I don’t quite know how,” he admits and then opened the emergency hatch these craft have in the lower part of the hull which had now become the upper part. Getting inside he found his electronics still functioned and not too much water. He’s now waiting for a tug and divers to help him to get the mast and rig off her in order to get her right way up again before towing the craft to Newport, R.I. Son Jan and his pals will undoubtedly give him a hand there. I wonder when Francis will give it a go again.

Sailing catamarans and trimarans might at times be somewhat confusing for people who are used to monohulls. Read my action packed book ‘Ocean Advocate’ to learn what these amazing craft can do!

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One Response to Another Capsize

  1. Jack says:

    Keep this up Nick, interesting to hear all this news.
    Bro Jack

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