Miranda to take on the Vendée Globe

IMG_5871Miranda Merron, co-skipper of Class40 Campagne de France aims to take the start of the next Vendée Globe in November 2020! The building blocks of a strong campaign have been underpinned by the arrival of a strong and proven IMOCA60, the former “Great American IV”, designed by Owen-Clarke and built in 2006. Having now taken possession the long qualifying campaign can begin!

Miranda said “I am proud and happy to begin this enormous challenge and this new adventure in the colours of Campagne de France. Such a challenge would also not be possible without the involvement of Halvard. The task before us is immense yet extremely motivating”

Campagne de France finishes 4th!

After a hugely competitive race Campagne de France finishes in 4th place in the Class40 rankings. Miranda, Halvard, Didier le Vourch and Rémi Auburn finished in 2 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes placing them in 14th place in the general monohull rankings.

Congratulations to Catherine Pourre’s Earendil for taking the class win!

 

More to come…

An eventful first day…!

20190219_162858An eventful first day and a half of racing – round lots of islands which we would like to visit one day, and mostly in 16 – 24 knot trade winds. Not too windy, but often very wet nevertheless. So we are all living in foul weather gear in tropical conditions. Naturally the boat smells of roses.

Right now we are rounding Guadeloupe, currently negotiating the lee of the  volcano and so far a much quicker passage than in November – there’s no giant rum bottle close in to land to round in this race. Hopefully we will escape from the windless zone soon.
Miranda
Campagne de France

T-1 Day until the RORC 600

51984892_2349733428428283_8775314352682041344_oMiranda, Halvard and Campagne de France Ready For The 600

Tomorrow afternoon sees the start of the 11thedition of the RORC Caribbean 600. Miranda, Halvard, Didier and Remi will cross the start line at 16h00 (French) and as it’s name indicates, this classic Caribbean races offers its competitors a 600 mile sprint around 11 islands starting and finishing in Antigua.

Miranda and Halvard will know what to expect having secured second place in 2017 but with reigning champions Earendil competing alongside the likes of Luke Berry and Kito de Pavant this is sure to be a hugely competitive race!

The departure Monday at 15 pm on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/RoyalOceanRacingClub

The Tracking:
http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Race-Information/Tracking/

Campagne de France returns to Guadeloupe!

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Last week Miranda Merron, Skipper of the Class40 Campagne de France, returned to Guadeloupe accompanied by friend Phillippa Hutton Squire after a winters break in the Grenadian sun!

Miranda is in final preparations for the Caribbean 600 which starts on February 18thin Antigua. She’ll be joined by Co-Skipper Halvard Mabire, Didier le Vourch and Rémi Aubrun! A fleet of ten Class40s will cross the start line accompanied by approximately 80 others divided into several classes!

Miranda, 13th!

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Last night Miranda Merron crossed the finish line of the 2018 Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe! Having spent 21 days, 8 hours, 10 minutes and 32 seconds at sea Miranda crossed  the line in 13th place, a remarkable result considering the highly accomplished fleet of 53 competitors also racing.

While the theoretical course is set at 3452 nautical miles Miranda sailed 4536nm at an average speed of 8.86 knots finishing five days and four hours behind race winner Yoann Richomme.

Miranda said « It was an extremely difficult edition and much less fun than in 2016, where I finished in 6th! The departure was brutal and the first depression was horrible for the boat. I had up to 55 knots (of wind). In these conditions we sail with three reefs in the main and the storm jib. We wear a helmet and we even have to brace ourselves inside the boat as the sea state can be devastating. The boat repeatedly jumped up and slammed down wave after wave. The wind was irregular and early on a damage to my main sail prevented me from hoisting above the third reef. I was able to repair the damage and she held out for me in the end! The result is better than one would have imagine considering my start. The final 30 miles are impossibly difficult but I was very pleased to pass Arthur Hubert in the final hours of this race. I’m not totally satisfied with my race, and perhaps a little disappointed in the final result. That said the arrival was beautiful, with lots of people on the water and on the pontoons welcoming me and Campagne de France to Guadeloupe. I’m exhausted, I pushed myself to the end of my strengths »

 

 

AC_20181125RDR_2460Miranda Merron a pris hier soir dimanche 25 novembre « la 13ème place de la Class40, sur 53 voiliers au départ. Il lui aura fallu 21 jours, 08 heures, 10 minutes et 32 secondes, pour couvrir les 3452 milles théoriques ce la course, à 6,92 noeuds de moyenne
Elle a en réalité parcouru 4 536 milles à 8,86 noeuds, et termine 5 jours et 4 heure après le vainqueur Yoann Richomme. Récit d’une course terriblement difficile, qui s’est terminée hier soir en apothéose pour Miranda, fêtée par une foule considérable.
Ce fut un édition 2018 extrêmement difficile, beaucoup moins plaisante qu’en 2014, où j’avais terminé 6ème. Les conditions de course ont toujours été compliquées. La tempête du départ, avec cette première dépression a été horrible pour le bateau. J’ai eu jusqu’à 55 noeuds de vent. Dans ces conditions, on navigue avec trois ris dans la grand voile et le tourmentin. On porte le casque et on est même obligé de s’attacher à l’intérieur du bateau tellement la mer était épouvantable. Le bateau tombait et sautait dans les creux. Puis, on a cherché l’alizé mais on n’a jamais trouvé de conditions idylliques de navigation. Le vent était toujours irrégulier, et il fallait en permanence chercher la bonne voile du temps, entre grand spi et spi de capelage. A cause des déchirures dans la grand voile, j’ai longtemps hésité à renvoyer toute la toile. Mais elle a tenu et j’ai repris confiance sur la fin. J’ai beaucoup mieux terminé que je n‘avais commencé. Le final autour de la Guadeloupe est véritablement infernal. Mais je suis contente car j’ai réussi à doubler Arthur Hubert. Je ne suis pas satisfaite de cette course, et un peu déçue du résultat final. Mais l’arrivée a été magnifique, avec énormément de monde sur l’eau et aux pontons de Pointe à Pitre. Je suis épuisée, et je suis allée au bout de mes forces… »

 

 

Miranda Finishes in 13th Position

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After 21 Days, 8 Hours, 10 Minutes and 32 Seconds Miranda and Campagne de France crossed the finish line of the 2018 Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe in 13th place. Much more information will become available soonest.

 

The limitations of green energy

seaThe limitations of green energy: too much sargasso weed for the hydrogenerator. It  is picking up weed every few minutes and it doesn’t like it at all. It’s still dark, so the solar panels aren’t charging. So diesel it is. It was already pretty warm inside the boat before switching the engine on to charge. As we have to run a satellite phone 24 hours a day, plus the Sat C ( being used by the race organisation to locate Campagne de  France, since the race tracker failed in the first week),  it’s not possible to get through the night without charging the batteries.
The Sat C has other uses, as a distress system and to receive text weather forecasts and navigational warnings. These include piracy attacks, and make for interesting/ alarrming reading. Ships are being advised to stay 200 miles offshore, or more if possible, of certain west African countries.

At nightfall, there were phenomenal clouds full of rain and no wind. Campagne de France just scraped behind one monster, only to be nailed by the next one – no escape as it was taking up the whole horizon. One or two of these must have got Arthur (boat ahead) too. The wind has reappeared and it has been relatively quiet since then.

Les limitations de l’energie renouvelable: trop de sargasses pour l’hydro qui n’aime pas ça du tout. Il fait nuit donc les panneaux solaires ne chargent pas. Donc c’est du bon gasoil. Il faisait dejà assez chaud dans le bateau avant de mettre le moteur pour charger les batteries. En course il faut garder le téléphone satellite en marche 24 h par jour, plus le Standard C (qui serre accesoirement pour avoir la position de Campagne de France depuis que la balise yellowbrick a rendu l’ame la première semaine), donc assez gourmand en energie et les batteries ne tiennent pas la nuit entière.
Le Standard C est utile pour d’autres raisons – système de détresse, bulletins météo et divers avis pour les marins, dont ceux que je lis avec effroi sont les attaques de pirate. Notamment (mais pas que) certains pays ouest africains.

A la tombée de la nuit, il y avait des nuages énormes plein de pluie et pas de vent, le permier évité de justesse, mais pas le deuixème. Nul part ou s’évader,  car c’était tout le long de l’horizon. Depuis le vent est revenu et c’est plutot paisible pour le moment.

Journée frustrante

Début de nuit et enfin il y a du vent. Nuit magnifique (pour l’instant) de pleine lune , quelques mini cumulobetes en croissance. Le paysage nocturne peut changer très vite. Un pu dngereux sur le pont à cause des nombreux poissons volant, dont quelques uns réussisent à traverser par dessus le bateau sans rien toucher.
La fin de la course risque de prendre du temps. Il reste 500 milles à Tete à l’anglais au nord de la Guadeloupe, et ou commence la course pénible dans la course pour retrouver la bouée bouteille rhum bien placé sous le devent d’un enorme volcan.
Mais ça c’est pour un autre jour.
 
Frustrating day, often light wind from nowhere useful, in stifling heat. It’s early evening, full moon, a few cumulobeasties growing in the moonlight. Beautiful for now. A little dangerous on deck due to flying fish, some of which make it straight over the boat.
The end of the race could be slow.500 miles to Tete a l’anglais, a rock off the north of Guadeloupe which has to be left to port, before the usually painful race within a race to get to the rum bottle buoy off Basse Terre, conveniently located in the lee of a sizeable volcano…
But we’re not there yet.
 
Miranda/ Campagne de France

The Gybing Game

Naturally it is impossible to reach one’s destination in a straight line. The wind is due to shift east then eventually southeast, and sometimes it shows promising signs of doing so. Therefore it’s time to gybe, which involves moving at least half of all moveable items to the new side, socking the spinnaker (too windy to risk a catasrtophe by skipping this step), gybing the boat, unsocking the spi and moving the rest of the stack to the  new side. Then wait 10 minutes to be sure to see wind values not yet seen. Repeat.

No need for a heaadtorch or deck light as it is almost full moon. Thank you also to Jerry and Sue for the wonderful Toblerone – it can only be eaten at night! Midnight feast

Le jeu de l’empannage: puisque c’est impossible de ralier sa denitation en ligne droite, et que le vent commence à moments de prendre de la droite, il faut empanner. C’est à dire, mettre la moitié de tout l’equipement matossable au nouveau cote, chausetter le spi (trop risqué sinon), empanner le bateau, remonter la chausette de spi, finir le matossage. Attendre 10 minutes pour etre sur de vooir des valeurs de vent de vent pas vu jusque là. Tout recommencer.
quasiment pleine lune pour eclairer tout çà.

Miranda/ Calmpagne de France