Sunday, March 7, 2010

Holiday on ice for former French sailing racers

After an early sporting carrier spent in ocean sailing races, some French famous sailors seem to have fallen in love navigating close to North or South poles of our planet.

  • Philippe Poupon ('Philou') winner of two single-handed transatlantic (Ostar and Route du Rhum) races more than twenty years ago has achieved with all his family the Norwest passage on his ketch 'Fleur Australe'.
    Maurice Uguen, who worked with Philou in ham radio communications during 'Fleury Michon' period, routed 'Fleur Australe' during the passage from East to West. Maurice is preparing from his side a project called 'Captain Hatteras' whose aim is to leave Paris in 2011, sail through the Northwest Passage, and reach Korea, to be exhibited at the Yoesu Expo 2012.
  • Jean-Louis Etienne, former crew member (with Philou) of Eric Tabarly with Pen Duick VI (1978), who becomed the first man to reach North Pole alone (1986) is now leading a new project called Total Airship, which aims to fly a blimp over the Artic ocean and the North pole, measuring the thickness of the sea ice.
  • Christophe Auguin, today the only man to have won three times solo races around the world - 2x 'Round Around Alone' BOC Challenge (1991/1995) / 1x Vendee Globe (1997) - is organizing sailing travels around Cap Horn, Patagonia and Antartic
  • Isabelle Autissier first woman to complete the BOC Challenge (1991), who recently became President of WWF France, is leading with her boat Ada 2, "Nomansland project", a sailing and mountain climbing expedition in Antartica (also testing Safran's anti-UFO system for the detection of icebergs and growlers beneath the surface of the water).
  • Eric Loizeau, another former Eric Tabarly's teammate moved from offshore sailing races to alpinism (climbing Mount Everest in 2003). He is now invested in events organization with his company ELO. He organizes sailing and skiing trips with Bernard Audrezet (his former teamate on 'Roger & Gallet' catamaran) who manages 'Escales Polaires' a fleet of boats navigating in Artic and Spitzberg Sea.
  • Guy Delage, ex skipper of prao, who crossed the Atlantic drifting/swimming but also in microlight aircraft organizes trips in Patagonia
Meanwhile Olivier de Kersauzon (ex recordman of the solo trip around the world and winner of the Jules Verne trophy) has chosen warmer latitudes for navigating and living a part of the year in Moorea island (French Polynesia).
Same preference for Laurent Bourgnon in Bora-Bora on board the Jambo catamaran after crossing Patagonia for a world tour with his family.

"Never give up your dreams."
All know more than anyone what these words mean.

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