" J'adore le grand Sud. J'aime la puissance des vagues, du vent souvent terrifiant ... j'ai déjà hâte de revenir, j'y suis encore mais j'ai déjà la nostalgie des mers du Sud."
Ces mots étaient les miens il y a 3 ans alors que j'approchais le Cap Horn dans le dernier Vendée Globe. Alors que l'océan me chahutait pas mal et que ma respiration se condensait dans l'air froid autour de moi, je voulais déjà revenir.
Aujourd'hui je suis heureux d'avoir franchi une étape importante qui me rapproche de ce rêve: ma candidature a été acceptée parmi les inscrits au Vendée Globe 2020!
Pour y arriver, j'ai bénéficié du soutien d'une équipe incroyable, celle de mon sponsor cette saison: Ethical Power. Il y a encore beaucoup à faire pour être prêts sur la ligne de départ mais j'ai une équipe de choc, un bon bateau ... et un an devant moi!
" I love the South. I love the raw power of the waves, the sometimes terrifying fury of the wind... I am already restless to return, homesick for a place I have not yet left."
These words are taken from a blog post I wrote at sea while approaching Cape Horn nearly three years ago. Even as the waves crashed around me and my breath condensed in the cold air around me, I dreamed of coming back.
Today I am a lot closer to that dream as the Vendee Globe announced the sailors that have been accepted for 2020 and I'm on the list!
Getting here has been a real team effort and I have been supported by the incredible team at Ethical Power. There's a lot more work to do to get to the startline next year but we've got a great team, a good boat and a year to go!
Conrad reports after the second leg of the Solitaire:
"The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is a legendary race and I am starting to understand why. On that stage we passed the coastline of three countries and we had very light, delicate and tactical conditions and also very strong conditions, gusting 40 and sustained 30 knots, and really we had something for everyone.
In many ways I enjoyed sailing the boat a lot more on this second leg because we had such a variety of conditions, and it was really a big challenge, a puzzle to try and solve. So that how it was. The result is not so good and it is extremely disappointing for me. I had a decent first leg but I was penalized twice by adverse current, I had to fight the tide to get to the buoy at the end of Brittany and I then had to fight it to get back to the finish. As I was coming down I could see the boats zooming the other way and I knew it would be terrible for me.
For me I came here to sharpen my skills, in my career I missed a step. My whol...
The first race of the season, the Sardinha Cup has 3 stages: the Warm Up, a 24h race, followed by 2 four day long races separated by a few days.
The warm up took place today, 31st of March. In very light winds, our 2 Figaro rookies, learnt a lot in a very experienced fleet. They finished in 30th place, leaving plenty of room to improve in the coming races.
Conrad Colman - Skipper " For our first ever Figaro race, Seb and I knew we had a lot on as we had a new boat and a new fleet to tackle. In contrast to the long ocean races that we are used to, the Figaro is a short fleet race where boat on boat tactics come to the fore and wins and losses from navigational strategies hinge on metres, not miles.
We were not disappointed. We came to learn and got schooled in the process! We were a little conservative at the start, got stuck in traffic and were slow in the light conditions due to some mast settings we are still working on. However, we had periods where we were very f...
Quelques nouvelles du front alors que le "crazy kiwi" s'est embarqué pour de nouvelles aventures en Figaro. Pour ceux qui ne connaitraient pas, les Figaros sont des bateaux monotypes (ce sont tous les mêmes) de 10,85m équipés de foils.
Pour naviguer et continuer de progresser tout en continuant à chercher des sponsors pour le Vendée Globe 2020, Conrad a décidé de participer aux courses du circuit Figaro en 2019. Cette aventure est possible grâce à son sponsor Ethical Power, une société anglaise spécialisée dans le financement et développement de projets d'énergies renouvelables pour les entreprises.
Avec leur soutien, Conrad a loué le Figaro 3 n°40, et les dernières semaines ont été bien occupées à découvrir le bateau et le prendre en main en rade de Lorient. Les premières impressions sont bonnes même s'il reste beaucoup à apprendre et découvrir d'ici la 1ère course de la saison: la Sardinha Cup, du 26 mars au 13 avril au départ de Saint-Gilles Croix de Vie. Cette épreuve se c...
The sun beats down unrepentantly, only this time I’m not flapping listlessly in the doldrums but ripping across the dry landscape of Spain towards my next challenge. I have traded the intense isolation and daily struggles of the Vendee Globe for new challenges, mainly lots of presentations and interviews to make up for those 110 solo days at sea.
Since running down the pontoon with a flag in my hand I have run all over the world; frequent meetings in Paris and London and side adventures to Plymouth, Glasgow, Geneva and Auckland mean that I have accumulated more miles since the race than during it! It has been a great opportunity to share my story, meet the people that followed my journey around the globe and meet new ones who are keen to embark on the next adventure.
Speaking of new adventures, I am starting a new job this week where I will be working for the race organizers of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante. My job will be to decipher the ocean racing strategies of some of the best...
It's been only a week since Conrad stepped back on land. A week on a cloud, trying to understand all the miles traveled, all that has been achieved. The same questions arise " Are you waking up a lot at night? Are your legs adjusting to being on land?" and the answers don't change " No, I sleep well, don't wake up at night, and I've felt stable on the ground since I arrived". The Kiwi skipper had to dig deep into his ressources and now sleeps like a baby, finally relieved of all the stress he endured during the race and especially in the last weeks.
It is hard to come around all that has been accomplished in 110 days at sea, solo, fighting to finish this Vendée Globe. After the intense satisfaction of crossing the line despite losing the mast, there are still some regrets about this 10th place. It seemed so close and yet so far, 700 miles from home and a few days before the finish. But the race was memorable and the lap is complete. It was the objective at the start so one ne...
After being dismasted late on the evening of Friday 10th February, when he was in tenth place and some 250 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal, Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of the 27,440 nautical miles race which started from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 6th 2016. Since he was dismasted in what should have been his last big storm of his race, only three and half days from the finish line where he seemed assured of an impressive 10th place, Colman has run out of food and lasted out his final days on the survival rations from inside his life raft. On Wednesday he confirmed by radio that he had only two biscuits left.
Colman, a trained sailmaker and rigger, set one of the most efficient jury rigs seen in the history of ocean racing, working diligently and smartly to the end to improve the sheeting angles and hence efficiency of the rig which is constructed from his boom, part of his mainsail and his storm jib. Only Ph...
Conrad is going 6,2 knots tonight, 117 miles away from the finish line. He believes he can make it early evening if the conditions remain as forecasted 😀
If you are too far to come here, you can follow most of the action of the day on Facebook with lives and lots of updates. Even if you don't have a Facebook account you can see the content of official pages: for Conrad or the Vendée Globe.
🚩 Program for the arrival if you're around:
Conrad can make it before 18.45, he will be able to go down the channel directly with the tide
IF he arrives after 18.45, he will have to wait for the morning tide and will stay on the boat until morning and go down the channel at 8am
IF he were to arrive in the morning Saturday, he would go down the channel in the afternoon between 13.00 and 19.00
=> In all cases he will go down the channel, then be interviewed at the dock before going on stage before the official press conference
We hope to see lots of people to welcome the #CrazyKiwi...
Chaque jour je rêve à mon retour ... car j'ai souffert et eu un voyage laborieux sur les océans que j'ai parcouru. *
De la Grèce ancienne aux temps modernes, les paroles d'Homère sonnent vrai... les marins et les aventuriers souffrent sur les océans dès qu'ils quittent le confort de leur foyer mais dès qu'ils y reviennent ne rêvent que d'une chose: repartir!
Le vent a disparu. Ma fière grand-voile se traine d'un côté à l'autre du cockpit. Même le doux son des vagues le long de la coque n'est plus là pour me distraire et Foresight Natural Energy avance à une allure d'escargot vers l'horizon. Le tourmentin (voile tempête à l'avant) est la seule touche de couleur dans un paysage morose et silencieux, sous un ciel gris d'étain. Si la variété permet de pimenter son quotidien, ma journée était fort ennuyeuse comparée à celles passées dans les tempêtes à filer dans les vagues avec de l'écume plein le bateau!
Dans un tel environnement, difficile de ne pas être nostalgique en rep...