Samantha Davies started her 25th Transatlantic and 1st Route du Rhum at 14:00 yesterday (Sunday) alongside 122 other skippers.
The multihulls and monohulls crossed the three-mile long start line (five kilometres) of the 11th edition and 40th anniversary of this legendary quadrennial solo transatlantic race. The only cloud for Davies, one of six women in the race, was a technical issue on board her IMOCA60, Initiatives Cœur, 45 minutes before the starting gun, which disrupted her pre-start phase. The team had to be very cool-headed and quick-witted to deal with the unexpected event. All is well now and the British-born, Brittany-based Davies had moved up to sixth this morning (Monday), heading to Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) full of determination and the desire to save the lives of more children. (The successful Initiatives-Cœur campaign supports the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque charity, which enables children around the world to undergo cardiac surgery).
At 10:00, before boarding the RIB that took her to her monohull, a smiling Davies, said:
“I may have slept a little less well than on my previous races, but I’m feeling good and I just can’t wait to get on my boat, make it my own again after 12 days and to share it all with family, friends, partners and the media.”
Then came the time for the goodbyes with Romain (note: Romain Attanasio, is her partner and also a competitor in this race).
With 45 minutes to the start, the mainsail cunningham broke (note: the cunningham helps trim the shape of the mainsail and keep it taut along the length of the mast). Davies reacted philosophically: “The breakage is obviously bad news, but by chance the race has not started yet and the team is still on board – it just makes the preparation for the start more complicated,” she said. Indeed, to make the repair it was necessary to immobilise the boat, which explains Initiatives-Cœur’s slight delay on the start line.
Former names: Foncia, Banque Populaire, Maitre Coq
Home port: Lorient
Design: VPLP – Verdier
LOA: 18,28m Width: 5,80m
Mast height: 29m
Empty weight: 7,8 tonnes
Upwind sail area: 300m2
Downwind sail area: 660m2
Foils added: 2016