a barrier. Lewis Burton: “Finding a Solo Guide to Going Fast Without Damaging the Boat” – Sailing



Guaidar Bermuda 1000

I quickly picked up my old Armel Tripon boat after the Vendée Globe, won the races on Friday, found the controls?

It’s a 2020 boat that was the first of its kind with a frontal spatula version. It was also the first Imoca for this architect (Sam Manuard) and I think he did a great job the first time because at all passing speeds it is one of the fastest boats in the fleet. We checked it out at the Tour de l’Europe where we passed it over 36 knots! Which is totally insane on Imoca. It’s a slightly more complex boat in transitions and in lull. On the other hand, once there are twelve knots of wind, it sails at all speeds. It is an exceptional boat.

You weren’t able to finish Transat Jacques Vabre out of dread, but you are there and my eyesight…

All is well. It’s not the final mast, it’s a repaired mast so we take it easy anyway because we have to return it when we received our mast and in one piece if possible. The idea is to slowly ramp up your activity. We’re very quickly in the red with these boats. During operation, there were audible alarms that started to ring as soon as they rose. You don’t have to break everything. We should receive our new mast in early September.

First solo race on this boat, what do you expect from 1,200 miles?

The track will finally be a little windy. We left in a fairly calm weather and in fact, we’re going to have some wind. We will try to find a use mode where I can stay fast without harming the device. We can see that this is really the problem because we can see that with 15 knots of wind, boats can become dangerous. You have to find a way to use with one hand where you can control the boat, as you don’t fly away every 2 seconds. And we have a whole new set of sails we built for the Transat Jacques Vabre, some of which we haven’t been able to use yet. And there, due to weather conditions, we will have to use it. I can’t wait to see that with a sail that doesn’t reach the top of the mast but goes all the way to the end of the stream. The boat seems crazy when there is this sail. Maybe I’ll be able to get it out in the second part of my Fastnet climb in some breeze.

Is it also a race that allows you to qualify for the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe?

It is the highest priority. Indeed because it allows you to write off one of the commitments of this year’s big event. And then, we have a noble agreement with all the masters in the IMOCA class. If a boater freaks out during this race, the deal is for me to return the mast. This means that I cannot race until I receive the last mast from Lorema. You have to confirm the shot, qualify as if there was ever a problem, that’s it! We should receive it at the beginning of September but be careful because it is very difficult to get equipment, the delivery times change.

There, you’ll be 24 in this back-to-school race: That’s not bad…

This is exceptional. I should have raced in Bermuda five years ago and we were five boats. Something happened in the world of marine racing, in France and even in the world with a renewed interest in sailing. This means that there are more and more partners and brands getting into sailing. There was also a change at the helm of the class with the arrival of Antoine Mermaud, the new president, who was able to start a path and momentum that has led us today to have a huge fleet in this race. And in Rum, we usually raced 12-15 imukas. There, we’ll be 37 years old. It’s great, it puts a renewed interest in all the other events and turns the “story” race into a great one. They are not optimistic. These are big boats, big teams, big budgets. There are a lot of people who work in this environment, who go to hotels and restaurants …

Third in the Vendée Globe, a beautiful high-performance boat: Are desires and ambitions greater?

True, one of the challenges is the performance in the races between two Vendée Globes teams. This is the new challenge of the project. Previously, we were very focused on the Vendée Globe and with lower budgets that didn’t always allow us to keep our sails. There, we want to do well in this race, the Jacques Fabre Transat… and try to do better at the next Vendée Globe. Which will be difficult because there will be so many of us. There are a lot of new boats coming out with concepts close to me.

But maybe you have a bit of a head start after getting the boat back early enough?

Yes I believe in long-term sailing with your boat. It is important for the Vendée Globe.

What exactly are races like the Guyader Bermuda 1000 Race?

It allows us to have great events throughout the year and gives meaning to the World Championships in Imoca. It allows you to do a lot of miles in the race. We know that training, even for many people, does not have the same effect as running. You learn more when you’re racing, especially solo. So, improving skills, performance, and possibly in terms of a program like what I had before, I’ll make it to the Vendée Globe with 5,000 miles covered in races and vocabulary. Normally, I would go 1,000 miles.

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