The Archambault A 31 is an incredible boat and with JPK the only one that can offer exceptional results on solo or short handed ocean races and on handicap crewed races while offering a decent cruising interior for coastal cruising or in a very spartan way even for offshore cruising.
The Transquadra offers a very interesting study to find boats that can be fast and seaworthy offshore while easy manageable solo or by a duo. The race goes on for many years, the guys that race are amateurs with more than 40 years old but they are experienced sailors, many ex top racers now in its 50's or 60's that come to have fun.
They are very knowledgeable about boats and the information that is gathered by them in what regards the most suitable boats to do this race is very precise.
The boats that go well are the A31, the A35, the JPK 9,6, the JPK 10.10 and the Sunfast 32.
I would say that it is as relevant as the presence of many of these boats on the lead of the race, the total absence of boats that would seem at first glance capable of a good results, like the Elan 350 and the First 30. Why there is no one racing with them? Well, certainly there is a reason and probably they are not competitive with the other mentioned boats.
Let's have a better look at the A31. The boat has a bulbed keel for this race but since on handicap races a non bulbed kell has better rating, they also make it with a non bulbed keel. Stupid ratings, cause the boat is more efficient with a bulbed keel.
And a new interior they have presented this year at the Paris boat show:
And remember that amazingly this little boat with a good amateur crew on a Transat is faster than a 40ft cruiser racer, even a good fast one very adapted to solo sailing like an Opium 39 and certainly faster than the typical fast 40ft cruiser racer, like a First or a grand Soleil.
Archambault starts to have a well deserved world wide recognition and has dealers everywhere, including United States and Australia.
New sponsor, big money, big campaign. The boat is now sponsored by a big French shipyard, a leader on navy ships, DCNS.
I had already said they were going this year to make an attempt on the trans-Pacific, from Los Angeles to Honolulu record. They plan for 2013 to beat the 24-hour absolute record (908.2 nautical miles) and the record around the UK, both belonging to "Banque Populaire V", the world's biggest racing trimaran and the one that has also the circumnavigation record.
For 2014 they plan to beat the transatlantic record and make it in less than three days. The actual record of 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds belongs also to "Banque Populaire V".
So, it will be like David against Goliath. It will be interesting to follow.
We were moored in North Sound VG the this week near the Yacht Kokomo III. 170 ft long and just simply beautiful. Would give at least one of my kids and my left leg for her. the same night woke up to the most incredible Fireworks show as well. Somebody spent half a million bucks on that show. I would guess at least I used to be in the Fireworks business.
I have already posted before about "Black Pepper" that all carbon French daysailer that has impressed me on the Paris boat show. I would say that impress is a small word, I almost fall in love with the dam boat. I have posted some photos and it was enough to understand that it was a great boat but that would not explain that big attraction that we call love.
I guess that with the very good photos that Yacht magazine posted on line is easier to understand. I bet they are going to test that boat, it seems to me that they were as impressed as me
If you sail near the Atlantic coast of France or if you plan to visit Europe in the summer you should consider to sail to Brest in July (13-19) I mean if you like boats
They have another edition of their nautical festival: "Tonerre the Brest", a special one since they are celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Brest is in Brittany and Brittany is the home of the French sailors, I mean most of the great French legendary sailors are from here and none other French region is linked to the sea as Brittany. There are few other places as appropriated for a big nautical festival: It is not only boats, but the ambiance, the architecture the food, the wine and the beer. If you go there don't miss Quimper, Saint Malo (the corsair city) and Rennes.
Can a sailboat be ugly and interesting? Certainly even if I have a “thing” with ugly boats, I mean I rarely find them interesting but that is not the case. Just look at this one, the Futura 49:
It can make not much sense on the States or Australia but makes a lot of sense on the full European marinas where a Cat pays double and even so in most of them they just don’t have place.
If you think that all this complication and trouble don’t make sense, economically speaking, let me tell you are wrong. I have been lately on an Italian Marina, a nice but vulgar one, where a place for a 12.20 m boat cost 7000€ a year. I guess that a 49ft would pay over 9000€. Double that and you will have 18 000€ a year. In 10 years that’s a 90 000€ of savings, enough to buy a Porsche.
Now they have only to make a nice looking one to be a sucess
On the Transquadra, duo crew, at more than halfway finally it's an A35 that isolated takes the lead, followed at distance by a JPK 110, another A35, an A31, a A 35, an A31 an A35, a Bongo 9.60 and a Sun Fast 32.
On Solo it is a Jod 35 that leads!!!, followed by a Sun Fast 32, a JPK 110 a ILC 30 and only then an A35 and a A31.
It is coincidence or are the Archambault just too difficult to sail solo? We can see a clear domination by Archambault on the duo race but on the solo race the first one only comes in 4th!!! Let's see if this tendency is maintained through the rest of the race. It seems that the Opium 39 is too much of a handful for a solo good amateur: he is only in 14th place, far away from the lead.