French maestro waiting in Plymouth


Now here’s an interesting act of seamanship. French skipper Roland Jourdain exercised his better judgement last night and stopped racing in the Rolex Fastnet Race. He ducked into Plymouth and says he will set out again when the weather moderates.

His priority is to preserve his Open 60 Véolia, which was relaunched 10 days ago after a major refit that involved lightening ship considerably. The ultimate goal for Jourdain and his co-skipper Jean-Luc Nélias is to take part in two-handed circumnavigation in the Barcelona World Race in November.

The Rolex Fastnet Race is the official prologue for the Barcelona World Race but the pair don’t have to race it to qualify – they just have to finish. So, this is a wise man’s move, putting pride and competitiveness to one side for safety’s sake.

Jourdain said: “I’m really happy with the boat but we still have a multitude of little details to sort out. We’ll get those sorted out before we break other things. After long discussion with Jean-Luc we didn’t really want to face bad weather. We’d prefer to play the safety card by stopping here.”