And so it continues…

69908704_2703868286348127_6343502448052666368_oThe summer holidays have not finished for Miranda Merron as to be honest they never began! Following the arrival of the IMOCA 60 Campagne de France Miranda and Halvard have been busy optimising, training and racing with all things pointed towards competing in the 2020 Vendée Globe!

The Rolex Fastnet Race started on August 3rd. The fleet of 20 IMOCAs left the Solent in near perfect conditions. Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France placed 15th out of 20 competitors gaining the all-important qualification miles for the Vendee Globe whilst also gaining valuable time onboard their new boat.

“I don’t know if the boat is going fast but she’s certainly beautiful to look at,” says Miranda. “This is the ideal yacht for a first Vendée Globe. It is forgotten all to often, but a solo race around the world, without stop overs and without assistance, is an exceptional adventure, a challenge that will never be trivialised. We’re preparing, always aware of the opportunity given to us by our partner Campagne de France. The boat is theirs, it carries their colours and their values, values that align perfectly with our own. Few women have completed the Vendée Globe, 6 I believe, among which no less than three are British, and not least Ellen Mc Arthur (2nd in 2001), Dee Caffari (6th in 2009) and Sam Davies (4th in 2009). This is not only motivation but my inspiration too. With Halvard, we are doing everything in our power to be starting in the autumn of 2020. Finishing this race would be the significant achievement in my career to date.”

“The Vendée Globe is a colossal project for the scale of our small team. It is a commitment of every moment and it takes energy without providing time for rest. Being at the start, in Les Sables d’Olonne, in 2020 is the price and we accept that with good grace.

Campagne de France continues to prepare in Cherbourg with a number of days on the water planned for September. “There is still a lot of work to do on board, especially with our onboard electronic and communication systems. We are also still waiting on some sails but beyond that we’ll be ready for the Transat Jacques Vabre departing Le Havre on October 27th.”

 

 

Mission Accomplished: Campagne de France, 16th in the Rolex Fastnet Race

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Finishing early this morning Miranda Merron, Halvard Mabire and their IMOCA 60 Campagne de France complete the 48thedition of the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2 days, 13 hours and 8 minutes! In finishing this legendry race the duo completed the mission of finishing an important event in the IMOCA60 calendar and therefore bank the crucial qualification miles moving Miranda one step closer to the 2020 Vendee Globe.

The hunt for miles continues for Campagne de France with the next race on the calendar the Transat Jacques Vabre, a double handed transatlantic beginning in late October.

Photo: Josh Hall

 

 

News from Campagne de France

67779297_2652819131453043_1248121597911367680_nNews in From Miranda: Apologies for the lack of updates so far! Just getting light, we rounded Fastnet this morning. So much to do just to tack this boat that we completely missed out on sightseeing! We’ve now scrapped down the west side of the forbidden TSS. Have been tackling issues since the start. Here’s hoping for a more peaceful leg to Plymouth!

Inbound for the Rolex Fastnet

67556690_2645487078852915_8954698781400498176_oThe IMOCA60 Campagne de France left Caen this morning bound for Portsmouth, England.

In England Miranda Merron, accompanied by Halvard Mabire will find no less that 400 yachts registered in no less than nine categories, mostly IRC but also multihulls alongside 19 other IMOCA60s all readying themselves for the 48th Rolex Fastnet Race.

The Fastnet is a race that’s become closely associated with the very best of the sport. A loop from Cowes, around the mythical Fastnet Rock before returning to Plymouth some 600 miles later. A hugely competitive fleet of 20 IMOCAs will take the start line, all with the shared goal of furthering their qualification for the 2020 Vendee Globe!

Miranda doesn’t put herself under any unnecessary pressure: « the main thing is to finish and accumulate miles towards this qualification. The boat is coming out of the yard and the sail to Portsmouth, where we will wait until the start, will be the first showing of our new livery. There is still a lot to do, especially with the electronics. The Rolex Fastnet Race is a test that Halvard and I love very much. Organised in a very professional yet friendly manner by my club, RORC. »

The IMOCA 60 Fleet will start Saturday 3rd August at 12h45 local and you can track the fleet by visiting the following link:

https://www.rolexfastnetrace.com/2019-fleet-tracking-race-player

Miranda and Campagne de France 13th!

60349689_2505267079541583_2747634387641171968_nMiranda Merron, Skipper of her newly acquired IMOCA 60 Campagne de France finished the Bermudes 1000 Race today in 13th Position! Miranda completed the course in 8 Days, 23 Hours, 5 Minutes and 47 Seconds!

Miranda said upon finishing the race « I left without really knowing the boat at all. I’d only had two short deliveries! One across the channel and the second from Caen to Douarnenez. This 2000 mile race was a fantastic way to discover her. We had everything in terms of conditions, it was really good but I still have a lot to learn, particularly with regard to the range of each sail. I’d already a good amount of experience on IMOCA, but that was almost last century! I’m glad to have arrived. The goal was to finish the race and we’ve achieved that. Overall I enjoyed myself. At one point three birds joined my crew, at another the autopilot misbehaved causing the loss of my tea! At that moment I thought I deserved the Vendee Globe! »

More information to come soon.

 

 

 

News from Miranda!

sunriseYesterday was spent trapped in the forecasted windless bubble. I think I’ve escaped its clutches now, but the evil grey cloud mass behind is not far away. Hours of going nowhere fast with the sails slatting violently in the swell. So much so that one of the mainsail batten fittings parted company with its car on the mast track. So I had to drop the mainsail, get it back in, which took a while, and then – my favourite pastime- grind the mainsail up again. The little breeze there was kept shifting every time I turned my back to do something else. Long day!

There are advantages to being becalmed though – good for wildlife viewing. A humpback whale surfaced right next to Campagne de France. Magnificent, if a little startling to have such a huge creature just metres away, but fine in light airs. There were also a lot of Portuguese Man of War jellyfish with their purple sails. Good markers to see tiny amounts of boat speed in no wind.

Day 4: Morning Training

Miranda post front 2

📢🇬🇧 News from Miranda and Campagne de France:

« When I started this race a few days ago (seems like weeks ago), I really didn’t know much about the boat. In the cockpit alone, there are over 30 ropes, excluding sheets. I had no idea what the range of each sail should be and as for the rest… I know a little more now, but still have a lot to learn!

Some manoeuvres are becoming second nature. Tacking, for example, is quite straightforward as long as the following list is adhered to:

– Unlash and move the two waterlogged sails on deck to the other side of the boat with the help of gravity (I forgot to move them other day and had to set up a purchase system to shift them….).

– Empty / transfer ballast tanks and stack all interior equipment + other sails with the help of gravity

– New daggerboard down

– Release keel

– Tack…

– Cant keel

– Immediately change speedo setting (we had to replace one which didn’t work, but for some reason, it doesn’t switch automatically) while system alarm goes off

– Grind old daggerboard up…

This morning’s tack was in 20+ knots of wind when the front went through before dawn. The wind then dropped as expected, so as extra special pre-breakfast training, I then got to furl one headsail, unfurl another and shake two reefs out of the mainsail all in one go.

The wind is supposed to be west, but at the moment it’s southwest roughly the same direction as the next mark. Grey sky and clouds ahead and to the left, blue sky just to the right, so hopefully it will shift enough soon. Some sunshine would be welcome as it has been quite chilly and damp.

Miranda/ Campagne de France

Day 2: Saturday Afternoon

Very chilly northerly wind with the delicious scent of damp earth, even though still a long way from land.
Things were going quite well yesterday until I got trapped in the low which brought pouring rain all afternoon. Groupe Setin wasn’t far away but escaped.
Three birds arrived onboard, lost in the low, and headed straight inside to seek shelter… There are now only two as one of them didn’t appreciate the sound of a heavily loaded sheet being eased off a winch. I »ve only seen one flying around this morning, and it doesn’t seem keen to go on deck.

Miranda /Campagne de France

Miranda Merron takes on the Bermudes 1000!

59831521_2486484098086548_5236650506419437568_nToday marks the start of Miranda’s first IMOCA Race since 2009 in which she broke the Round Britain & Ireland World Record with Dee Caffari onboard her Open 60 Aviva! After a number of years focused on the Class40 Miranda returns to the IMOCA Class with her sights firmly set on the 2020 Vendee Globe!

Continually backed by French dairy cooperative Campagne de France Miranda will be sailing onboard their Owen Clarke designed IMOCA 60, formerly known as Great America IV, as she begins her journey to qualify for the Vendee Globe.

The Bermudes 1000 is a race with a misleading name. The racecourse totals 2000 miles and doesn’t visit the warmer waters of Bermuda. In fact the 17 competitors will leave Douarnenez today at 17h00 local in 10-12 knots from the west south-west bound for Fastnet Rock before rounding the Archipelago of the Azores and making their way to the finish in Brest with the first boats expected to arrive on the 16thMay.

“I barely know the boat” said Miranda following a busy week spent anchored in Douarnenez with Halvard readying the boat. “We recently brought the boat back from the United Kingdom and have been based at V1D2 in Caen. Everything is heavier, more physical and more complicated than onboard our Class40 and I’ll be taking my time during manoeuvres in order to continue learning the intricacies the boat presents.”

Miranda and her IMOCA60 Campagne de France line up against a number of highly regarded competitors, 17 in total, all with the aim of furthering their ambitions to be on the Vendee Globe start line in the Autumn of 2020. The 17 contain familiar faces with the likes of Manuel Cousin and Maxime Sorel also stepping up from Class40, while Sam Davies, a friend of many years and many miles together will be competing onboard her foiling IMOCA60 Initiatives Coeur!

The full competitors list can be found below:

• Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Art & Fenêtres)
• Alexia Barrier (4myplanet)
• Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ)
• Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artipôle)
• Manuel Cousin (Groupe Setin)
• Sam Davies (Initiatives Cœur)
• Clément Giraud (Envol)
• Pip Hare (Superbigou)
• Boris Herrmann (Malizia Yacht Club de Monaco)
• Ari Huusela (Ariel 2)
• Stéphane Le Diraison (Time For Oceans)
• Miranda Merron (Campagne de France)
• Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group)
• Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil)
• Sébastien Simon (Arkea-Paprec)

Race Tracking can be found via the following link: https://www.bermudes1000race.com/cartographie-bermudes-1000-race

The Defi Atlantique – 4th place!

 

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Campagne de France arrives 4th into La Rochelle!

After a fantastic performance the trio onboard Campagne de France lead by Miranda Merron and accompanied by Didier le Vourche and Stan Thuret arrived into La Rochelle this morning finishing just an hour and thirty-two minutes behind leg winner Earendil.

Crossing the finish line of the second leg at 04h12m2s (local time) Campagne de France covered a theoretical distance of 1,280 miles in 5 days, 13 hours, 12 minutes and 2 seconds at an average speed of 9.70 knots. When combining the two legs Campagne de France covered 3,800 theoretical miles in 16 days, 21 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds at an average speed of 8.68 knots.

Having finished 5th behind Enel Green Power in leg 1 the pressure was on Campagne de France to reverse those positions in the second leg. They managed to do that finishing 1 hour, 50 minutes and 12 second ahead of Enel Green Power thus securing 4th place overall!

“I really like this two-legged race format from the Caribbean back to France” said Miranda “Campagne de France behaved exceptionally well, she really is a fantastic boat and is a boat that I genuinely love very much! We have sailed well, always pushing to try and get back in touch with the leading trio, it took a lot but we’re collectively delighted with this fourth place!”