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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

Posts Tagged ‘bernard stamm’

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Having followed Bernard Stamm and his Cheminees Poujoulat program for years, we have a few lessons to share with prospective Open 60 skippers.

1) “Win or Break” may be a silly axiom, but when it comes to sponsor exposure, nothing is truer.  And “Just Break” may be even more effective, especially when you pick the wrong designer and have no chance to win.  Proof:  Bernard and his sponsor have gotten more press since his Juan Yacht Design cracked in half on a delivery sail in December than he ever received sailing around behind the lead pack in any major race – except for when he crashed into an island.  And then again he got a lot of notice when disqualified by the Vendee Globe for outside assistance.

2)  As a follow-on to (1), if you want lots of exposure for your major race campaign, bring in JuanK to your design team.  We’re not saying that any of the recent disasters were his fault – after all, a big boat is a big project – but between the Artemis AC72 disaster, Cheminees implosion,, and Rambler 100s capsize and near-death experience, nothing can get those journalists fired up quite like a JuanK boat.

3) Nobody takes care of their boats like the French (and their kissing cousins, the Franco-Suisse like Bernard).  What American, Italian, or British skipper would spend months finding and recovering a boat that won’t even work as a garden planter? Remember during the infamous Route Du Rhum when half the ORMA 60 fleet was lost?  Only French boats made it back, often upside down and useless.  And guess what?  Some of those boats are still sailing today.  It’s no wonder the French can keep finding sponsors – the French sailors will just about die for them!  And you’ll never catch a Frenchman polluting on the ocean.  Unfiltered cigarette butts don’t count.

We joke, but only just.  Keep up with the latest on Stamm’s busted up ride here.

 

February 19th, 2014 by admin

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5087906912_20b229411a_zOne of the most popular foreigners in the IMOCA fleet, Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm continues to find himself cursed with the same bad luck that saw him DSQ from the last Vendee Globe and destroying his bow against a cargo ship in an earlier race.  And this time, it nearly killed him.

Stamm and co-skipper Damien Guillou were delivering Stamm’s Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat – a pre-fab metal chimney manufacturer with a creepy black cat as its logo – home from Brazil after the TJV, running ahead of a not-unusual winter storm with winds to around 50 knots and seas of 30 feet, according to the British Coast Guard (it turned out to be the deepest low recorded in the British Isles since the 1880s).  When his JuanK designed boat fell off a wave, the boat literally cracked in half forward of the daggerboard casings, and only by immediately shutting the watertight crash doors did Guillou and Stamm keep the boat afloat long enough to be rescued.

The rescue itself was a super sketchy affair, with two helicopters and a plane attempting to either pull the sailors out of the sea or drop them life rafts – all efforts failed thanks to a lack of light and the huge seas.  One aircraft remained on station, guiding a Norwegian cargo ship to the stricken Open 60 and rescuing the sailors as the boat sank underneath them.  We’ll probably never know whether it was a design or construction defect that led to this near-fatal accident, but we do know this:  After Rambler 100, Artemis Racing, and now Cheminees Poujoulat, Juan K might might be either a woeful designer or just unluckier than Bernard Stamm.  And they both might be looking for a new career soon.

Here’s an interview we did with Stamm in happier days, before the last Vendee Globe, and get into the thread for more news and information on the rescue.  Photo from Stamm’s earlier Velux 5 Oceans-winning 60, mostly to show you the kitty.

 

December 26th, 2013 by admin

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To say Bernard Stamm had a frustrating Vendee Globe would be an understatement, but after seeing this video of multiple accidental gybes and other mayhem while he cavorted around the transom, the Swiss mountain man is lucky to be alive, much less finished the course five days ago despite the DSQ.  Fast forward to around 0:54 if you’re in a rush.

More crazy stuff from the craziest race there is…don’t believe us?  How about a little Tanguy Lamotte doing underwater basket weaving and McGyvering up a new bilge pump?  Meanwhile, he’s just a few days out and has added 160,000 friends to the Initiatives-Coeur Facebook page.  That is 13 children whose lives Tanguy and his fans have saved thus far.  Still a bit to go – please go LIKE HIS PAGE to save some more lives.

Just a few more days to go before this one is in the books, and the ultra-marathon Vendee Globe thread continues to stay interesting…

February 10th, 2013 by admin

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