au revoir les enfants
We are privileged to have some great contributors from all over the world, and even though they do an awesome job, it’s retarded that I’ve not taken the time to cover a single French race in the five years I’ve been writing for Sailing Anarchy.
I mean, what is Sailing Anarchy about if not sexy high-tech go-fast singlehanded beasts and the psychos who sail them across oceans? And where better to find them than the Bay of Biscay? Even worse is that that region – well, Normandy in specific – was something of a childhood home for me, and my French is even good enough to have a conversation.
So, it’s time. We found a good excuse to get ourselves over there; our good friend Brad Van Liew’s continuing adventure as he finishes the final touches on his Open 60 as the October 17th start of the Velux5Oceans gets scarily close. We’ll be in La Rochelle for the final couple of days before the start, and Mer and I will do our damnedest to get you interviews with the sailors and video tours of the boats. Our goal in La Ro is to help you get to know the folks that you’ll be able to follow over the next few months of the race. As we said the other day on this page, with only five or six boats on the line, this isn’t going to be an epic competition, but the media plan from the Velux folks is more about bringing the adventure to the spectators than it is about turning the race into the Vendee Globe. Given the unlikelihood of a Clean trip to South Africa, this will be the last time I see this guys before they get to the Southern Ocean, but the possibility of seeing their HD video from that ocean – while they’re there – is pretty damned cool. And if we can manage to stream the start to you live on video, we’ll do that too – in French and English.
From La Rochelle we head to St. Malo, where possibly one of the greatest spectacles of the decade lays at the dock ready for the Route Du Rhum – the quadrennial transatlantic race that started (anarchistically) when the OSTAR wouldn’t let the small boats come and play.
Over the ensuing years, it’s become perhaps the single largest spectator event in all of sailing, with something like a million spectators for the start, yet the amount of news that reaches the US is pathetically small. This year might be different with the inclusion of ten 100-foot multihulls on the line and a massive Class 40 fleet, but we’re not leaving it up to chance, and we’re also not wasting the only chance we might ever get to show you what you really want to see – videos of all the giant multis, inside and out. If we can get some test sails, even better, and if the network is good enough, we’ll stream that live too. Interviews, talk shows, and much more are certainly in the cards.
So check in on the thread and let us know what YOU’D like to see in France. Or let us know when you get there so we can have a drink. And if you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring our Au Dessus De L’eau Anarchy coverage to reach all those ocean racing fans, drop us a line.