“ Sometimes it’s very nice to slow down in life, it gives you the chance to really explore and appreciate the boat and the beauty of sailing”
Loick Peyron has raced some of the fastest and most modern boats on the planet during a long and glorious career, but in the The Transat bakerly he is going to take his time – and he can’t wait.
Sailing alongside the race on board Pen Duick II, the boat sailed by Eric Tabarly to victory in The Transat (then the OSTAR) in 1964, Peyron will do it the traditional way at an average speed that he can count on the fingers of one hand.
Speaking in St Malo, ahead of The Transat bakerly Warm-Up to Plymouth that sets sail tonight, Peyron said this type of transatlantic voyage was something he had wanted to do for a while.
“For many years I have wanted to cross the Atlantic in the same way as I did the first time when I was 19, racing in the Mini Transat with just a sextant and a self-steering system,” he said as he made final preparations on board Pen Duick II.
“I’ve wanted to do it again in this way for many years, but I needed a reason,” he added. “What better reason than as a tribute to the sailing master and legends of the past like Eric Tabarly? So I asked the owners of Pen Duick II if I could sail The Transat bakerly, the same way as Eric did 50 years ago.”
Peyron is going to cross the north Atlantic in a time-warp. Apart from some modern safety equipment he will be relying on 1960s-era technology. “The boat has the same rig (as Tabarly used), the same sails and the same self-steering system, which is very nice,” he said. “It’s all super-slow, so I’m taking a lot of books.”
Peyron’s goal is to try and reach New York in less time than the 27 days that Tabarly took to complete the 1964 race which finished at Newport.
“Sometimes it’s very nice to slow down in life,” added Peyron. “It gives you the chance to really explore and appreciate the boat and the beauty of sailing. You don’t care about the size or the speed of the boat – you care about the boat itself.
“I’ll still be racing for sure, but against no-one but myself – cruising is not the plan.”
Peyron will leave St Malo this evening and will arrive in Plymouth some time tomorrow.