Pen Duick fleet to go on tour
14 years on from his untiming death, Eric Tabarly's famous six boat fleet of Pen Duicks is alive and well thanks to the Eric Tabarly Association who in association with Banque Populaire maintain and operate the boats on a day to day basis.
In early August the boat will depart from their base in Lorient to the Mediterranean where they will undertake a two month tour, providing an opportunity for the public to discover or rediscover these historic boats and their extraordinary skipper.
"In early August, Pen Duick 1 and V will leave by road for Cogolin in the Gulf Saint-Tropez where they will then be launched, while the other three will be delivered by sea with members of the Association on board," said Gerard Petipas, Vice President of the Association Eric Tabarly and former crewman. "Pen Duick will visit Imperia in Italy while the rest of the fleet will visit Saint-Cyprien, La Grande Motte and Marseille before participating in the Regates Royales in Cannes and the Voiles de Saint Tropez - two wonderful events."
Following Pen Duick III in 2011, so over the winter Pen Duick VI, Tabarly's famous black \Whitbread maxi, which he sailed singlehanded to victory in the 1976 OSTAR, has been undergoing a refit. The hull has been refaired and the interior and paintwork repaired.
"The idea was to put Pen Duick VI into the same state as she was in 1973," continues Petipas. "We checked and cleaned all the fittings and renewed all the electronics. Finally, we reconstructed the crashbox and keel following damage, after she grounded in June."
Petipas continues: "Our operations are always a popular hit among young and old! This is the only example in the world where a fleet created by one man continues to sail 20 years later! Eric did not want these boats to become monuments but now they are part of our national heritage. They participated in the development of yachting since 1950."
Program of the tour in the Mediterranean:
24 to 27 August: Saint Cyprien
27 to 31 August: Sete
31 August to 3 September: La Grande Motte
4 to 12 September: Cassis
12 to 17 September: Marseille
19 to 23 September: Bastia
25 to 30 September : Cannes
30 September to 7 October: St. Tropez