last call

last call

Laurent checks in from the virtual deck of BPV.

One of the last, if not the last, live video conferences today. You can find it here if you look for the one dated 04/01/12. It’s 39 minutes long, so I am not going to translate everything, but I just finished it, and I did translate most of it…

One of the invitees today is Gerard Petitpas; he was Eric Tabarly navigator for 15 years. He also organized transatlantic races and is/was the president or vice-president of a bunch of organizations and societies around offshore sailing and racing. Un Grand Monsieur.

At some point, he says: "You have the regatta racers, and then you have the sailors, with real seamanship. And they can show their real values only in long ocean crossing races or around the world races. And I am convinced of the seamanship of Loick and his crew."

He then explains that Loick Peyron crossed the Atlantic the first time at 17 years old, because his father kicked him out because he was not good at school.

Then Loick Peyron comes on line: “Thank you very much Gerard! You make me blush every time! But it’s true that I got a good kick in the butt by my daddy, an oil tanker captain, the fourth biggest tanker in the world, at the time. He basically told me to either pursue studies, that I could never catch up, or do whatever I wanted to do. So I did what I wanted to do; that is live by plunder and fresh water… well, seawater, actually.

In the mini-transat in 1979… We are not getting any younger!!!

My dear Juan!! Where are we?

The journalist: is it night time where you are?

Loick: No, no, it is sunrise…(Kevin Escoffier turns around to show outside through the hatch) Excellent! Our cameraman, the young Kevin Escoffier is quick-witted!! Those gentlemen from Saint Malo will always surprise us!

So… you have the map, you know pretty much where we are… Our route is curving gently, we did what we had to do, sailing around this Azores High pressure system; so now, we have relatively flat seas. We have a small low pressure system in our back, or actually on our left hip. And we are adjusting our route between not enough wind on our right hand, in the high pressure system and too much wind in our left hand, in the low pressure system. We are going fast, we are doing about 30 knots average speed, that’s very good. (Kevin shows the display with 32-33 knots…)

The ETA has not changed, Friday night; and we may go very high up North, close to the Fastnet and the Isles of Scilly, our preferred place; we have been there already twice last year, once for our Around the Great Britain Islands record and for the Fastnet Race.

So, I will try to do like you, I will try to be a professional journalist…

So, at the front, you have the gut of the boat! Before we go outside, we will make a pit stop in the kitchen, where our friend Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant AND Florent Chastel just finished preparing the lunch. It’s too bad, you missed the show. So the lunch is some kind of powder, as usual… So here, you have the stand-by shift, Xavier, Florent… So look here, here is the food… Hmmm, it’s so good…

The Journalist: someone had a problem, apparently…

Loick: Yes, it has been pucked by Napoleon the third!!! The food is often questionable and rarely palatable…

Read on.