Posts Tagged ‘ocean race’

Barrier or highway?

January 15, 2011 1 comment

“1,000 years ago, the oceans were a barrier; 500 years ago, they were a highway.”

From East and west converge on a problem by Martin Wolf.


Using a design for a different purpose

November 10, 2010 2 comments

Frank Cammas has finally won the Route du Rhum transatlantic race. People will say that he had the biggest boat. Indeed, his Groupama 3 trimaran was so large that it could not get into the lock that closes the harbour of Saint Malo where all competitors gathered 10 days ago at the start of the race.

However, size was not a guarantee, far from it. Actually, taking such a boat on a solo race represented a significant risk. Read more…

Innovating is easier than winning a transatlantic race

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Two days into the Route du Rhum transatlantic race and, as the map shows,  some bold choices have already been made. The name of the game at that stage of the race is to go around the Azores High, the high atmospheric pressure area where boats would be becalmed.  Frank Cammas who’s got the fastest boat has choosen the Southern route: it is the longest but also the one that will allow him to catch the trade winds and make full use of his extra speed. Sidney Gavignet has choosen the Northern route: Read more…

Old polynesian design now dominates ocean races

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

In a modest way, I connected two dots. First, I went to Saint-Malo and saw the great racing trimarans waiting for the start of the 2010 Route du Rhum transatlantic race. Then I visited the temporary exhibition ‘Tous les bateaux du monde’ at the Paris Maritime Museum and got a powerful reminder that if multihull racing boats rose to prominence in the  late 1960s, the first trimarans were built by indigenous Polynesians almost 4,000 years ago. As a matter of fact, much of the current terminology that describes the main components of trimarans (vaka = the main hull, ama = the outrigger, aka = the structure connecting the two) is inherited from the traditional Malay and Micronesian language group. 

But, of course, someone had connected those two dots in a big way long before me, when I was only a few years old. In a classic case of making new with old, legend has it that ocean racing giant Read more…