De Radigues announces sponsor
De Radigues at the helm of his new Open 60
Patrick de Radigues, the solo sailor who famously found himself and his boat washed up on a Portugese beach during the last Vendee Globe, is to be sponsor by Garnier, the manufacturer of 'beauty products'. This is for a three year campaign starting with Around Alone and culminating in the Vendee Globe 2004/5.
De Radigues, a former motor racing driver and who has taken part in the last two Vendee Globes recently acquired Yves Parlier's Open 60 Aquitaine Innovations. Of his progress de Radigues commented: "It is time that matters now, with intensive improvements on this 'sailing laboratory' and lots of training needed, but we are taking a step by step approach to the programme. Starting Around Alone will be the last step of many smaller ones, which originally began with a tremendous hunger for sailing, inspired by my grandfather when I was six years old. After the start, the next step is to perform the best I can. In sailing I've learned to look beyond the horizon."
The 46 year old Belgian skipper, currently living in Monaco, will be assisted by the former owner of this Open 60, Yves Parlier, and his technical crew, to transform the boat. De Radigués is also taking up an intensive fitness programme tailor made by one of his team members. "I am learning a lot of meteorology from Pierre Lasnier. He and Parlier will be my consultants when I bring Garnier to the US as part of the qualification," he added.
'The boat now has an all-white hull with a splash of orange on the coach roof, a brand new, stronger, some new sails and a new carbon mast - the old one readers may remember broke during the last Vendee Globe, but the remarkable Parlier was able to not only to salvage it but pulled into Bluff in New Zealand and somehow managed to not only repair it but restepped it - all singlehandedly.
De Radigués is working with the technological department of the University of Liege in Belgium to see how Garnier can be improved. This is the same department that worked for the development of Jean-Luc Nelias' Belgacom 60ft trimaran. It is not certain yet if Garnier will be fitted a new keel before the Around Alone race.
Garnier is soon to be brought back to her base in France where de Radigues will continue training and testing together with Parlier. In August, the Belgian skipper will sail her to Newport where he has to arrive by 1 September.