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no rest for the wicked


no rest for the wicked

John Casey gets wicked…

There’s no rest for the wicked as Jeremie Lagarrigue, fresh from racing the Little America’s Cup in Newport, left last night (our time) with Yvon Bourgnon to traverse the Mediterranean on their custom 20-ft Hobie Fox Groupe Térresens on a never before tried beachcat record.  The 480 mile passage leaves Marseilles and scrapes the western shore of Sardinia before the home stretch to the ancient North African city of Carthage.

The overall coveted TransMed record is held by Banque Populaire V at 14 hr 20 min and 34 seconds. The multi-maximum G-Class trimaran wrested the record from Groupama 3, skippered by Franck Cammas, who raced with Lagarrigue to a first place tie at the 2008 F-18 Worlds. Lagarrigue also was onboard Hydroptere for the current record 500 m and nautical mile runs, and is one of only a few sailors in the world in the 50-Knot Club. He also won the treacherous Archipelago Raid in 2005 so he definitely knows how to go the distance on a beachcat (as well as fiberglass repair). This guy has a speed addiction.

Yvan Bourgnon also knows a couple things about speed, as he’s held the up to 60 foot 24-hour solo record since 2006 at 25.76 kts with his ORMA 60 Brossard. He also has an extreme sense of adventure which probably started as a youngster when he sailed around the world with his parents. He’s won the Mini-Transat and Mini-Fastnet, but his most recent win was in the Raid Emerald on his F18. I know about his extreme sense of adventure.  I always see him at the most exotic places. I first met him during the Raid Maroc, a 400 mile distance race on the coast of Morocco from the Med down the Atlantic side, which included a wicked Gibraltar passage.  The same year I saw him in St. Barts when we both competed in the distance race filled Catacup. He always shows great speed, placing high every time and always wears a huge smile.

Of course their widened, winged green Fox won’t keep an average speed of BPV at over 33 knots, but this is an entirely different record. There is hardly hiding from the quickly changing Mediterranean elements if something breaks, and it could be a long wait for help at the wrong time. Luckily they have a geolocator specialist, Sierra Echo, who provides one of the world’s top Personal Locator Beacons and a communication leader in Seamobile Europe, who will supply the sat phone link. You can also track them live using their MyGeolive link

I’ll tell you what, it gets nasty incredibly fast in the Med with high short chop, and crossing any large body of water on a beachcat is a more than risky venture. If all goes well, they should finish in less than 48 hours total. Whether they make it or not, they just created a new record called the Challenge Terrésens. Bougnon said they wanted to do it this time so more teams will give it a go. With the current rise in beachcat distance racing this could turn into a majorly sought after record. What is for sure, if it is breeze on there’s no rest for the wicked in the next couple days.