Campagne de France Officially Retires..!

Campagne de France Officially Retires From The Transat Jacques Vabre…

At 13h01 on Tuesday Campagne de France suffered damage to their rudder system requiring Miranda, Halvard and their Class40 Campagne de France to head for shelter to access the extent of the damage sustained. The duo have now officially retired from the Transat Jacques Vabre and have returned to their home port of Cherbourg. Below is more information on what happened…

Following a fantastic start and perfectly executed passage through the first of two violent fronts, Miranda and Halvard had positioned themselves exactly where they wanted. Halvard commented that they could finally “let go of the reins and head south at speed with good hopes of a strong position on the fleet with a small leeward advantage”.

Unfortunately, at 13h01 precisely, Campagne de France broached without explanation at first. Halvard had just passed the helm back to the autopilot and the boat was surfing at between 15 and 18 knots. Conditions were almost ideal except the sea state was still problematic. The wind came from the north west at between 22 and 28 knots with the occasional gust of 35 knots plus. Perfect for fast VMG sailing!

Miranda said, “Usually we are able to bring the boat back relatively easily however this time we had no response from the helm. » It quickly became apparent that the port rudder was loose and the top bracket had ripped off. The rudder was held in place by only the lower bracket and soon after that also became loose with the rudder repeatedly hitting the hull. Miranda continued to say “We had to get the situation under control, the rudder was a real danger to the hull and the spinnaker had exploded. We had to get that down and wanted to bring back the pieces by socking the spinnaker. As we tried the spinnaker luff cable wrapped itself around the forestay and the genoa, blocking the bucket of the sock with only half of the spinnaker enclosed. After more than an hour of struggling, things everywhere and two very tired sailors we managed to get everything on deck and focused our attention to the secured but damaged rudder. After some time we managed to dismount the rudder and bring it onboard. Immediately the boat became so much more maneuverable however we could only sail on one tack.”

The closest port was Brest. Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France headed almost due north to be sure they’d reach land. The return meant two things. One, a probable retirement from a race that both the boat and crew were preforming in, and two, a return to very harsh upwind conditions with an aggressive sea and gusts of 46knots.

Halvard had this to say:

“Now that we have regained control and are moving safely towards Brittany we are beginning to understand the extent of the damage and are now trying to understand why this happened.

It is difficult to know if the rudder bracket broke because we fell back onto it in the rough conditions resulting in an incredible amount of force causing it to fail? We have sailed more than 20,000 miles and a similar system is found on almost all ‘Machs’ so this is unlikely. We have also found that the link bar on the steering system is defective, which could also be the origin of our early exit. Either way and whatever happened the repair list is large:

– Top port rudder bracket has been torn off and is completely twisted. Impossible to fix at first sight

– Low bracket attached but detached from the rudder

–  Damaged to the rudders composite

– The rudder itself is damaged

– Link bar to repair

– Fixings lost at sea (its hard to keep everything onboard when disassembling a unit like this in heavy seas)

– Medium spinnaker is irreparable (may peace be brought upon it and thank you for the good times)

– The hull should be inspected although the only damage should be small impacts to the skin at worst. » 

Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France have now safely arrived into their home port of Cherbourg. They are both bitterly disappointed to have exited the race early but are pleased to be safe. The pair are relatively upbeat and are enjoying a small beer and some good food. The jobs list will no doubt grow in the coming days but rest assured that both are looking forward to a busy 2018. The additional time onshore will provide an opportunity to look at the boat in its entirety and perhaps find a little bit of time for themselves – stranger things have happened..!

Campagne de France Officially Retire

IMG_1097Having now arrived safely in Cherbourg it is with regret that Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France have to announce their official retirement from the Transat Jacques Vabre. More information will follow soon.

Serious Damage onboard Campagne de France:

Shortly after 15h00 Halvard Mabire spoke with Sylvie Viant and the Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction. Halvard informed them of serious damage to the port rudder onboard their Class40 Campagne de France. The bracket holding the port rudder in place gave way causing the boat to spin violently. Sailing in 5th position Campagne de France was racing with two reefs in the main and surfing at 18knots. Conditions were rough with more than 20 knots of wind from the north west, often gusting 30 knots with large seas. Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron struggled for more than two hours to restore the boat and understand the extent of the damage.

The damage is severe enough to make the boat almost impossible to sail and the repair can only be done in a sheltered port. Miranda and Halvard will make haste towards shelter, probably in Spain.

More information will be available in the coming hours and a decision on their preferred destination will become clear soon. Both Miranda and Halvard are safe and well although disappointed that for them the Transat Jacques Vabre might have been cut short.

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Campagne de France: 24 Hours until the 2017 TJV..!
Well, it is now less than 24 hours until the start of the 2017 Transat Jacque Vabre and the crews have been busy finalising their kit bags, buying last minute fresh food and attending the final race briefings before treating themselves to a final meal and restful night sleep! The 16 Class40s will leave the Bassin Paul Vatine at approximately 09h00 local time before heading out to the start area to work out the preferred sail plan for the crucial first few hours. At 13h35 local time the gun will sound sending the fleet north west to Étretat giving thousands of fans and spectators the chance to see the fleet in all its glory before rounding the mark stipulated by the Race Director. Once rounded it’s 4500nm straight(ish) to Salvador! 
The Weather:22710e7d-0777-4077-9ce4-730196093ddb
Having very briefly assessed the weather forecast it looks like it is going to be a fast and furious first few days. The start is currently forecasted to have between 15/20 knots from the north west although as always the models do not necessarily agree with some stating between 20-25knots. With shallow waters, numerous competitors and support boats the sea state will also prove challenging. Either way it will be no easy start for the crews and it looks as if it will only get tougher as the north Atlantic depressions lining up continue to grow in size.
How to follow the start:
The start will be broadcasted live online. You can view the start by clicking on the following link:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x66vam6.
Once the start has begun you can track the fleet online by visiting:
https://www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en
We will of course be keeping you up to date throughout the race and information on tracking will soon be available, but should you want then please do follow us on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/Halvard-Mabire-and-Miranda-Merron-Sailing-team-126461740755474/

Campagne de France: 4 days until the TJV 2017..!

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Campagne de France: 4 days until the TJV 2017..!
Having arrived in Le Havre on Friday 27th October, Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France have been exceptionally busy readying themselves for the start of the Transat Jacque Vabre and attending official events throughout the week. With boat preparation top priority, the duo have spent time onboard their Class40 double checking systems, re-coating spinnaker sheets and completing the security scrutineering required by the TJV and French Sailing Federation.

While the duo have been hard at work they have allowed themselves some time away from the boat to see family, enjoy time with guests of Campagne de France and sign autographs for fans young and old! Today the pair are answering all of the weird and wonderful questions posed to them by local school children. Who knows what nuggets of information they’ll return to school with but inspiring a new generation of sailors is vastly important and an experience enjoyed by all!

As with any major offshore race in France the race village has already seen vast numbers of visitors in attendance and this number is sure to increase as the start date nears. The French passion for adventure is as evident as ever and the ability to see a fleet of high performance racing boats will bring roughly 300,000 visitors to the docks and interview after interview for Miranda and Halvard.

With the race now fast approaching it is time for Miranda, Halvard and the shore team to begin loading the boat with the items required for between 20 and 25 days at sea. After a spring clean tomorrow it’ll be time to look at the all important weather and begin building a picture of what to expect.

We will of course be keeping you up to date throughout the race and information on tracking will soon be available, but should you want then please do follow us on Facebook! 

https://www.facebook.com/Halvard-Mabire-and-Miranda-Merron-Sailing-team-126461740755474/

Campagne de France arrives in Le Havre

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On Thursday 26th October Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France left their home port of Cherbourg bound for Le Havre and the start of the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre. With little to no breeze the duo left Cherbourg at 14h30 and arrived in Le Havre some 13 hours later! Miranda said « It is great to be in Le Havre, and the delivery was fantastic. The wind built slightly allowing us to test two new sails in near perfect conditions however as the evening approached the wind died, and with the channel flat calm we were left little option other than to motor the remaining miles. » And after a brutal delivery home from the Caribbean the duo certainly deserved a somewhat enjoyable passage..!

Campagne de France Crowned 2017 RORC Class40 Champions..!

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club has crowned its 2017 Class40 champions with Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France being rewarded for the dedication they have shown to the circuit. Having won the RORC Transatlantic, placed second in the RORC Caribbean 600, third in the Myth of Malham and third in the Rolex Fastnet Race the duo beat fellow British team Phor-ty skippered by close friend of the team, Peter Harding to take the podiums top spot. Arwen, skippered by Austen Clark completed the 2017 podium, a fantastic feat in a class where 26 boats registered to compete.

“I’m naturally delighted with the title,” said Miranda, a longstanding associate RORC member. “The RORC races are incredibly well organised, both on land and at sea, and always run at an affordable cost. It’s a great pleasure to participate. These events attract a lot of competition, including our Class40s, and many French crews are participating too, both in the Channel and/or the Atlantic. We sailed tremendously this year, and have put more than 20,000 miles on the clock, most of which was competitive racing. Halvard and I are proud to offer this success to our longstanding partner, Campagne de France.” Miranda also said « A big thank you to Ronan de Kersauson, Jean-François Guillou and Rémi Aubrun, who raced with us on Campagne de France in this season’s RORC races. Our Class40 victory in the 2017 RORC Championship was a team effort, and we look forward to racing together again soon..! Thank you also to Hervé Jacqueline who raced with us in Grenada Sailing Week at the beginning of the year. »

 

Campagne de France: The Transat Jacques Vabre Awaits..!

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Miranda Merron, Halvard Mabire and their Class40 Campagne de France are currently undertaking final preparations prior to competing in the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. The race leaves Le Havre, France on Sunday 5th November and will see 16 Class40s take on 4,350nm of the Atlantic Ocean to Salvador De Bahia, Brazil.

The Transat Jacques Vabre comes at the end of a busy twelve months for the trio having competed in the RORC Transatlantic in December of 16, enjoyed a busy Caribbean season and delivered Campagne de France home to Cherbourg double-handed in testing conditions.

Halvard says, “With more than 20,000 miles on the meter we now know every inch of the boat, how she reacts and how we can be more efficient. We have recently been able to optimise very specific areas of our boat and are constantly improving a well-designed, well build platform that has recently been sailing in rough conditions. We have worked on the positioning of the keel, reinforced the mast footing and will arrive in Le Havre in a competitive mood with a new set of performance sails designed and delivered by All Purpose.”

Halvard goes on to say, “We have not set any specific targets, Class40 is the most competitive and sustainable ocean racing class. It is bubbling with talent and the latest designs. Playing with the best seems a reasonable ambition for us! We have our advantages starting with our team, we are both strong on the water and strong on land, both make any Transat easier and enjoyable! The Transat Jacques Vabre is a major race for the class of which I am the President. Once again the race brings an international field with six nationalities represented and several mixed gender crews.”

Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France will aim to leave their homeport of Cherbourg on Wednesday 25th October after completing final preparations and regrouping with the teams shore crew.

As always you’re able to follow Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France online and for shorter updates on Facebook.

Website:
www.mirandamerron.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Halvard-Mabire-and-Miranda-Merron-Sailing-team-126461740755474/

Team Campagne de France

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A Summer Holiday

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A Summer Holiday:

For the first time in what seems like a while Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire have granted themselves a few days off this summer! Since Campagne de France was launched Miranda and Halvard have raced and raced covering a little over 20,000 miles with many of those in punishing seas. Halvard, who not only sails her but also built and designed the vessel is certainly proud of the solid and reliable build. The hull is strong and fantastic when sailing close to the wind. He does however regret a certain lack of power when reaching and bearing. Both things that the duo are trying to correct with one eye on the 2018 Route du Rhum in which Miranda will compete in.

Second in the European Trophy:
The European Trophy was created in 2017 with the aim of rewarding boats for competing in Class 40 events excluding transatlantic races. Phil Sharp’s British-European team Imerys comprehensively dominated this first edition. The trophy takes in The Grand Prix Guyader, Normandy Channel Race, Armen Race, Les Sables-Horta and the Rolex Fastnet.

Halvard who is the Class40 President said this of The European Trophy “The European Trophy highlights the vitality and diversity on offer within the Class 40 race programme. While primarily designed for transoceanic racing, Class 40s also make for appealing boats for any offshore racing. With the ever-increasing level of competition in Class 40, it is important to reward performance. Congratulations to team Imerys on their victory!”

Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France finished a fantastic second and can also be proud of what they have achieved in the many RORC races they have entered. They currently sit in first place with only a few races left. We will find out if they have maintained first place in November beating off no less than 26 Class 40s for this prestigious title.

Our thoughts are with those in the Caribbean…
Words from Halvard:
“We are particularly affected by the hurricanes that have relentlessly battered a part of the world we love so very much. We have many friends in the Caribbean. Over the decades many races have driven us to these beautiful islands and strong ties have been forged. Again last winter during our Caribbean season we had the opportunity to meet people, build relationships and while Hurricane Irma has destroyed much of the infrastructure it cannot destroy friendships and the strength the Caribbean people hold so dear.

More generally the violence of this phenomenon is unfortunately only confirming what we have been feeling and seeing whilst at sea. Weather events are increasing in frequency and increasing in brutality. That is a certainty. Of course, global warming must have some involvement. An increase in ocean surface temperatures, even very low is now without its effects on thermal and condensing exchanges with air masses flowing over the seas. This certainly helps to amplify the troubles. That is a statement and is not up for debate.

Secondly, the debate on whether or not mankind can take any responsibility for global warming. This debate is on going and opinions are opposed but I know my thoughts. I remember as a child when my elders said “with their sputniks and their rockets, they are going to screw up this beautiful world.” The more I advance with age the more I would like to think that the earth is sending us signs to tell us that we must not continue as we are. We may have to deal with some things a little differently and have a little more respect for nature. Irma is not a fatality, but a natural phenomenon. A hard lesson that must be given with humility, as a warning and it is not something that is preventable through legislature or by officials. There is no doubt that recent events have and will continue to bring untold misery to those affected but perhaps it reminds us of the full force of nature and that we understand we as men and women are merely a guest on planet earth and that men of law are not much in front of the laws of nature and their gods. »

As always you’re able to follow Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France online and for shorter updates on Facebook.

The Myth of Malham awaits

Campagne de France remains faithful to the RORC series!
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After a winter competing in major Caribbean races organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France now have European racing at the forefront of their minds. Having recently placed fifth in the highly competitive eighth edition of the Normandy Channel Race Campagne de France is now making its way across the English Channel heading for Cowes to race in the RORC organised Myth of Malham.

The race around Eddystone Lighthouse is one of the most popular races in a Rolex Fastnet Race year, mirroring as it does, the start and first 130nm miles of the seasons main RORC event. The course once again takes in some of the most challenging and complicated tidal waters that Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France recently covered during the Normandy Channel Race. A course totaling 256nm sees crews leave Cowes on Saturday 27thMay.

Halvard said yesterday “We leave for England tomorrow (today)” “These RORC Races are a little too unknown in France. They are remarkably organised, highly competitive and provide a good opportunity to share stories after racing” This year Miranda and Halvard will race alongside Ronan de Kersauzon. “One of our priorities for the season is to win the RORC Championship, and the Myth of Malham is an important race for that and also as a practice start for the Fastnet. » commented Miranda. « For a Class40, a 250-mile race is a sprint and especially as we are three up, I doubt if we will really get any proper sleep. With water ballast we hardly ever have crew on the rail but with stacking permitted, short tacking is physically exhausting, as we move everything to the windward side of the boat. This is often done very enthusiastically, so I tend to wear a crash helmet when the kit is flying around. There is a very competitive fleet for the Myth of Malham, and we expect the result to be very close. »

A good result in the Myth of Malham will further cement Campagne de France at the head of the 2017 RORC Season’s Championship within the Class40 class having previously obtained a first place in the RORC Transatlantic and second in the RORC 600.