Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, departure November 6
How did this project start?
My wife Geraldine wrote a screenplay about the life of Florence (1), with whom she was a close friend. For the record, you should know that during Florence’s wedding in Porquerolle, my wife and I met and have not left each other since that day. We got married, have kids and that’s it.
So it all starts with the script of the movie?
exactly. Geraldine had this project in mind but it only became more visible a year ago. I wrote a screenplay about Florence’s life with the desire and desire to direct this movie (Editor’s Note: Actress Stefan Caillard will play the character of The Atlantic’s Fiancée). So it was necessary to have a boat so we could take pictures of the sea and we found out that the former ‘Pier 1er’ was for sale. We managed to get our hands on it.
Did you buy the boat?
No, it happened after a meeting with someone who came to me in a café in Paris: he was looking for a sponsor for an event he was trying to set up between Cannes and Saint-Tropez. One thing led to another, we came to explain to him that we had other projects, including buying the boat, Banquo said. He bought the boat (€250,000) and is currently on the ferry between the Philippines where he was based and France. There, Trimaran stops in Sri Lanka.
Since Florence Orthod’s victory in 1990, what has happened to this 1989 Altrimeran?
After Florence, which she could not hold for long, was bought by American Steve Fossett who competed in the Rum and broke some records. I believe it was bought by the Swedes before being sold to a French man who lived in Hong Kong and used it as a speed cruiser. I haven’t seen this boat since Flo arrived in Guadeloupe (laughs).
What is his condition?
It is in good condition, still surviving, which is rare in the multiple structures dating from that era. This means that it is durable, and that it has been well maintained. Well I guess they spotted some small technical issues after leaving the Philippines, so the crew stayed for 15 days on layover in Sri Lanka to fix it.
When will the boat return to Brittany?
I’m supposed to get it from the Mediterranean because the owner will probably make a stop in Cannes. I intend to bring him back to Brittany, perhaps by doing a qualifying course for the Rhum Road. We will then put the boat in the yard for a thorough inspection at Michel Desjoyeaux’s in Port-la-Forêt.
Do you intend to return the same decoration as it was in 1990?
Yes, we will try to recreate the same decoration to recreate the Florence boat idea. It’s a great story to bring that boat back to France because it just disappeared from our waters, especially after what happened to Florence.
His boat, the same decoration, the same deck chair, a movie in the making, it would be very emotionally charged…
The passion never ceased to be strong. Florence was part of our family, and obviously, when she left, we were all heartbroken. We remember him always and there, we feel legitimate, my wife and I, to write a part of his life. My wife was born into the world of cinema: her father was a film producer, she lived on my knees Romy Schneider, her godfather is Alain Delon, so she has every right to make a movie. And I, Florence was a close friend, and a competitor too (Bobbon was second behind her in Guadeloupe). Everything will be respected in the image of Florence, and we do this to make her even more beautiful than she was.
At the age of 67, aren’t you afraid to take on the driving of a 60-foot car that was somewhat choppy?
Physically, I spend half a year sailing in the water and managing winches. These boats, I know their limitations and dangers, we will do it kindly. I don’t claim to have won the Route du Rom (he won the Transat Tour in 1986) but I hope there are some big boats behind us. The basis was the purchase of the boat from Florence for the film, and the project Route du Rhum came into the second part.
What is the name of the boat?
Former sponsor “Pier 1er” is not required, that’s not the idea. We want the boat to be called “Flo,” but maybe the name “Flo” is something. I’m looking for a compromise because I don’t want to show up with a new sponsor. Financial support for the project is needed to exist.
All this awaits the invitation of the organizers…
I wasn’t kept on the first list of registrants but I think, I hope, I’ll get an invite. Florence Orthod has been marked by the history of the Route of Rome and French sailing for a few years: she was a very famous person. Bringing your boat back to Saint-Malo, after 32 years, is a very beautiful story. I am happy to put this project into action with my wife (2).
(1) He died on March 9, 2015, at the age of 57, in a helicopter crash while filming the show in Argentina.
(2) Philip Beaubon, his wife Geraldine Danon and their children, Loeb, Laura and Marion, live most of the time in the Fleur Austrail, a polar expedition sailboat, specially designed for high latitudes and harsh conditions.