New French entry for EDS Atlantic ChallengeLoic Pochet from France is the latest entrant in the EDS Atlantic Challenge for fully crewed Open 60s.
Pochet, 38, is an interesting character having sailed with many of the French legends such as Olivier de Kersauson, Florence Arthaud, Philippe Jeantot, Patrick Morvan and Michel Malinovsky. He raced an uncompetitive Open 60 in the 1998 Route de Rhum and fell at the final hurdle trying to get a campaign together for the last Vendee Globe. For that race he was trying to raise funds to build a Joubert/Nivelt ketch with a canting mizzen mast.
His aim is now to compete in the 2004 Vendee Globe and he has a boat equally as interesting: he has purchased the Open 60 Petit Navire, another Joubert/Nivelt design, famous for having not just a canting keel, but also a rotating wingmast which cants too (and also falls down). Petit Navire has dismasted twice in her short career and following his purchase of her in a rigless state Pochet has fitted her with an old fixed mast bought secondhand off Eric Dumont (the doctored photo shows her with her original rig).
The fitting of the conventional spar is fortunate for the EDS Atlantic Challenge is being raced under IMOCA rules which for some reason prohibits canting rigs - in our mind a legitimate technical development this supposed 'Open' class should be eager to embrace. Thomas Coville's Sodebo for example, had a similar rig, but had to have it changed to a non-canting version prior to the Vendee Globe, despite winning the 1999 Transat Jacques Vabre. During that race the boat (and its mast) survived the tail end of a hurricane.
Pochet's crew on board La Rage de Vivre will include co-skipper Patrick Tabarly, brother of Eric.
To see the line up for the EDS Atlantic Challenge go on to page 2...