Helena Darvelid's account of teamwork on the Fastnet Race


I spoke to an ecstatic Helena Darvelid this evening, who is the media correspondentwith Jeremie Beyou and Sidney Gavignet on the Open 60 Delta Dore. They had just rounded the Fastnet Rock behind Vincent Riou’s PRB, and incredibly are only a bit over an hour behind the fully crewed 100ft canting keel maxi Leopard.

Here’s what Helena had to say:

“We’ve just rounded. It’s beautiful!

“We can just about see PRB. I can also see [Bernard Stamm’s] Cheminées Poujoulat and I can just about see Dominique Wavre on Temenos.

“The boys are so good. They’re just learning the boat but they know when they’re slow and they fix it with a bit of water ballast or whatever and they’re off. They have had very little sleep and very little food but they’re right on the case all the time.

“The teamwork is amazing to watch. When we tacked out of the Solent they did so many tacks and I said to Sidney ‘It’s so good to see a team working so well together and so well drilled.’ They know exactly when to let something off and which string to pull and which winch to go to. And he said: “We haven’t actually practised much. We did two tacks coming from France and that’s it!”

“The boat’s incredibly powerful. Sidney has been saying that they couldn’t make these boats much more powerful and be able to handle it. He’s been running around stacking the whole time. He comes up on deck and he’s absolutely dripping with sweat. He’s in his underpants and we’re up on deck feeling quite chilly with our full foulweather gear on!

“Jeremie is steering and navigating so they’ve got it going really well here. It’s been brilliant.”