Servane Escoffier goes maxi-cat
French sailor Servane Escoffier is the latest to join the 'unlimited' fleet in this autumn's Route du Rhum aboard Bruno Peyron's ex-Club Explorer, which originally in the 1980s BOC Challenge double winner Philippe Jeantot campaigned as Credit Agricole. For the race the 22.5m long Ollier-designed catamaran will be called Saint Malo 2015.
The boat already has previously been sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic. Jeantot attempted to compete aboard her in the 1984 OSTAR but was forced to retire. In Bruno Peyron's ownership the boat twice set new singlehanded record times for the New York to Lizard transatlantic passage.
Concerning the performances of what will be one of the oldest boats in the fleet, Servane is realistic as to the enormity of her challenge. Servane Escoffier weighing 52kg, 1.64m tall will sail a 22.50m long catamaran, weighing 10 tons with a 28m tall mast and calrrying nearly 500sqm of sail. Touches of the Ellen MacArthur.
Servane Escoffier sailed a 50ft monohull in the 2006 Route du Rhum and then sailed around the world non-stop doublehanded in MacArthur's former Kingfisher in 2007 in the Barcelona World Race.
"This is a large boat which n' is not designed for someone of my build," says Servane. "We will put the boat into the build site soon and the first thing will be to change the rig - it is too heavy. Idealy we'd buy the rig of an old ORMA 60. There will be other modification and then we will go on the water in mid-July.
I have a little experience in multihulls and I am aware the extent of the task ahead. I know it will not be simple. With my light weight. The key word on board will be: Anticipation".