The 45-year-old aquaculture veterinarian plans a solo voyage leaving Exmouth, Western Australia on April 5, bound for Reunion Island, 3400 nautical miles to the west. 'Solo' means that she will sleep in the hull of her specially-designed sailboard for the 10-11 weeks she expects the odyssey to take. She will desalinate her water, be self-sufficient in food, carry spare sails and ropes, carry a waterproof laptop and may even transmit photographs of her progress.
Currently in Perth to train, she will hold a press conference in Fremantle on Wednesday to reveal final planning for her passage to Reunion.
Le Gouvello has previously windsurfed the Atlantic (Dakar to Guadeloupe in 2000), the Pacific (Lima to Tahiti in 2003) and the Mediterranean (Marseille to Tunis in 2002).
Le Gouvello’s sailboard is something different - 7.8m long, 1.3m beam, 1.05m draught and about 550 kg fully laden. Her sleeping/living space below the deck is slightly more than 1 cubic metre.
For more information see Raphaela's website.