As AlphaGraphics approaches the finish line in St Malo, the rest of the EDS fleet make ready to depart…
Tomorrow, the boats will leave St Malo and crews will be scattered to the wind, but most of these sailors will meet up again as they travel the world, competing in local and international yacht races. Others have said “Enough” and will head off on new adventures unrelated to sailing.
For some the path is already paved and the next port and race is already known. Miranda Merron who sailed on ECOVER at the beginning of the race is set to sail the Transat Jacques Vabre, the transatlantic race that begins in November. Frederique Brule, who sailed aboard AlphaGraphics is sailing with her and is already in training for the race. This is a popular “next race” for many of the crew, including Massimo Ruffini and Bruno Laurent from FILA. The damaged sails are currently being repaired again and will be used on their qualifying sail to La Rochelle.
Roland Jourdain and Gael le Cleac’h have their work cut out for them to have Sill ready for them for the Jacques Vabre. The new mast still needs to be built and tuned. Other EDS skippers and crew already signed up include Anne Monmousseau who is sailing on AlphaGraphics and Richard Tolkien who did the last leg on ECOVER and will be sailing his own boat, This Time, aka AlphaGraphics.
Loïc Pochet & Patrick Tabarly have been busy working on repairing the keel bolts on board La Rage de Vivre so that they too will be ready for the starting line in November. La Rage was forced to retire from the EDS on Leg 2, when the keel bolts failed. Pochet sailed the boat to Calais for repairs.
Mike Golding and ECOVER is also a confirmed entry, as is Josh Hall and Gartmore.
Nick Moloney, the charismatic young skipper of Kingfisher is weighing his options. Coming aboard Kingfisher as co-skipper to the highly touted Ellen MacArthur initially cast him in the shadows. But his skills and personality soon shone through the hype and pushed him to the fore. When MacArthur left the boat at the end of Leg 3 to handle her sponsor commitments, Moloney took over as skipper and has shone, becoming a superstar in his own right.
Moloney is any sponsors dream. He is young, personable, knows exactly what sponsors need and to top it all, has the skills to take the sport, along with the sponsors into the limelight. He is also looking at doing the Transat Jacques Vabre but no boat or sponsor is confirmed yet.
Another winner, FILA’s Andrea Scarabelli is looking further ahead to a possible Volvo Race campaign, hoping to obtain a sponsor for the race four years from now. In the meantime, he is going home to Rotterdam to his wife and 14-month old son who started to walk while he was off sailing.
Aboard ECOVER, Alex Sizer is off on another adventure into the Antarctic. She is involved with the Mission Antarctica project that is involved with the cleanup of the Russian research station at Bellinghausen. Alex did several trips down to the station last year aboard 2041, the ex-Global Challenge yacht skippered by Andy Dare. For Sizer, more at home on a boat than land, this is just another type of extreme sailing.
Gartmore’s skipper Josh Hall said that after 15 years on the solo sailing circuit, it’s time for him to back off a bit. He plans to put a lot of energy into his public relations firm, Indigo Agency. But not until he has done the Jacques Vabre! Then, depending on where and what his sponsor, Gartmore, needs he will continue to sail in limited races. If there is another EDS Atlantic Challenge, he said he would be tempted to charter a yacht, just for the race, if he doesn’t still have his current boat.
Javier “Cowboy” Sanso from Gartmore is in the planning stages. He said that he has learned a lot from sailing this race and all that he has learned will assist in the design of his new Open 60.
Another big race in the offing is the Around Alone Race, a single-handed race that begins ne