Bedding in the new mast
Dominque Wavre and Michèle Paret started an intense pre-race preparation phase last weekend ahead of the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre on the 30 October in Le Havre, France.
Last Friday, Mirabaud went for her first sail since limping into Argentina under jury rig during the Barcelona World Race. It was a first outing for the new mast, built in New Zealand, which arrived in La Rochelle, France, on the 13 September and was stepped and tested last week by the seven-person technical team.
“Installing the mast was a delicate operation that required the gradual application of up to 15 tonnes of pressure at the foot of the mast,” explains Dominique Wavre. “Once the rig was fully loaded, we set the sails and went for a test sail off La Rochelle. It was a thrill to finally get back to sea with a sound boat beneath our feet. We are now back in race mode and while there is a lot of work still to be done before the start of the race, we are happy to be in a positive phase.”
In addition to a new mast, Mirabaud also has a new suit of sails and the deck layout has been adapted to accommodate the new rig. “The sails are fabulous,” says Wavre, delighted. “And I was particularly happy to see that all the work done during the summer has paid off. Tomorrow the yacht will be measured by the official measurers to make sure that it conforms to the IMOCA class rules.”
The IMOCA class in the Transat Jacques Vabre will feature 12 yachts, including Mirabaud, including some of the top crew in the game, as Dominique explains: “All the competitors in this edition are sharp and talented – the racing will be excellent. This is going to be a high quality event. You could almost say that there are going to be ten favourites crossing the start line in October!”