Monday, July 28, 2014


Cammas arrived late (to the team) to recover the advance Souben and team Dunkerque had over Groupama, specially after a leg cancelled due to bad weather. Several victories were not enough. But the great achievement from Daniel Souvent risk to lose importance face to the big news: Next year the Tour de France will be raced on multihulls.

It seems that the guys don't find the M34 fast enough :-). It will be raced on this baby:

It is going to be fast, very wet and very physical,specially on the long legs. For sure it will provide some amazing movies. I cannot wait ;-)

Saturday, July 26, 2014


He deserves this post! Look at the advance he has! Nobody is going to steal this victory from him on the secretary....and it is not (only) the boat since there is another similar boat racing and a more modern one. Italy has a champion in solo racing and that is good. Now great solo racers are not only French, but also German, Swiss and Italian. Solo sailing is on the rise and I like it :-)
Here Pedote this year on another race:

Thursday, July 24, 2014


For the ones that don't know this is one of the most famous races from the mini-racers circuit and from the ones that don't know what a mini racer is, well, it is just that, about the smallest ocean racer there is, with just 6.5m. The races are normally solo (like this one) and have two categories: prototypes and series boats. This one starts at Sables d'Olonne and (France) go to Açores and back to Les Sables. Quite a race ;-)

This year the Italian Giancarlo Pedote, after having losing, with a lot of bad luck, the last Transat, seems that will not give a change to anynobody and with his odd looking but effective bath tube bow racer, is well ahead.

You can follow the race almost in direct here:

Monday, July 21, 2014


2014 ISAF Youth Worlds, biggest international participation ever: it is a pleasure to see the future of sailing on all those nice boys and girls. Cheers to them!!!


Comar, the shipyard that makes the Comet has been very active on the last year: After the development of two new catamarans (that you can find on this blog) now they propose a bluewater boat, the kind of boat suited for a circumnavigation or to sail on high latitudes.

Better to say it in first place: I don't like it for the simple reason I find it very ugly.
Being a bluewater boat is no reason to make an ugly boat and Comet is known to make beautiful boats. Too much freeboard, huge port hulls and an ugly cabin are the main reasons for my dislike. The boat is even uglier then the one made by Garcia for Jimmy Cornell.

Certainly the boat has qualities: I can see that the winches are well set up for solo sailing, that the hull has a nice shape, that the boat is light (11500kg) has a big B/D ratio, with a ballast of 4800kg and a variable draft (swing keel 1.60/3.50m). It has a cutter configuration with enough sail area and it is strong, with a clever structure, made with infusion of vinilester resins, Kevlar and carbon with a crash box at the bow. Has a big tankage (680l diesel, 440L water) and a big carrying load (4.500kg)......
But it has to be so ugly????

The design team is a big one: Pierpaolo Ballarini, H3O, studio Arcore, Smar Azur for the rig and sails, STYachts with Doug Schckler e Davide Tagliapietra for the keel and rudder; Comar Yacht for the interior.... I wonder why the hell they did not command it to Marc Lombard, that has experience with this type of boats (RM) and has designed for Comar the two beautiful catamarans, has never made an ugly boat and contrary to Pierpaolo Ballarini has a long list of successful designs?

Sunday, July 20, 2014


That's probably the French highlight in what regards crewed racing : 1200 Nm around France on the M34 racer, mostly with professional crews on several legs. The race is approaching its end (27/7) and there is a big battle going on between Courrier Dunkerque (Daniel Souben) and Groupama, now with Franck Cammas. The last leg give the advantage a Courrier Dunkerque but more than words the images tell about the quality of sailing and the battle going on:


It makes a lot of sense, even more than the 38: A 35ft boat has not much interior space, and interior space in a small boat is never too much for cruising. The Oceanis 35 offers the interior space of many 38ft for the price of a smaller boat and with no significant loss in performances (regarding a 35ft boat) with an increased stability and offering sailing with reduced heeling. 

The performance upwind (and with very light winds) will probably be slightly worse (and more uncomfortable upwind with waves) than a more conventional sailboat but the performance at 60º (with medium to strong winds) and over will be probably better and with less roll (downwind). A miracle? no, just Finot/Conq applying to cruising boats what they have learned designing for 30 years open solo race boats. 

Do I have any doubt? Yes, more on the 38 (were the size will increase the problem) than on the 35: The boat has no forward bulkhead, at least one that word mention. Structurally it is possible to pass without it but the hull has to be reinforced and even so I bet that the hull will flex more.

Have they done it properly on a mass production inexpensive boat? Maybe and maybe that's why the 38 is an expensive boat for an Oceanis but I would have preferred a boat with a proper bulkhead. Of course that way it was not possible to have that beautiful daysailer with a big loft, but the boat would have been stronger. Even on the Oceanis 35 with a closed front cabin the bulkhead is removable so even if it adds some rigidity it will not be the same offered by a fixed bulkhead. 
The boat has a hull based on open solo racers, two rudders, a modern torpedo keel, it is not heavy (5207kg) and I am quite sure that, designed by Finot/Conq, it will sail well. Off course, it will have a simple rigging with few ways to fine tune the sails. It is not a sportive boat, even if I bet it can go fast downwind. 

A very interesting option for someone that wants a coastal cruising boat with a big interior but only has the money for a 35ft boat. I believe that Beneteau, as usual, is providing the market with the type of boats that makes more sense and is adapted to the needs of most cruisers.