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!”

Defi Atlantique – Our Last Day At Sea

Cold, clear night,. Light and fluky breeze. It could take a while to get to the finish line still some 150 miles away.
We sailed straight over the spot where the Grande America went down a few weeks ago. Huge work boat on station, the lights of which were visible from a distance of 10 miles. I wonder what the (probably eye-watering) daily rate is for that…

See you sooner or later
Miranda

Stan takes the helm!

Stan CDFA stunning night, and a little more wind than expected, so making progress east. Italians just a mile or so away. Advantage Campagne de France right now, but it keeps changing…

A photo of Stan getting time in on the helm when it was windier!

Campagne de France
45 10 N 10 18 W at 2320

The Defi Atlantique: Leg 2

56931930_2432113003523658_3611670744037064704_nThe Defi Atlantique, Campagne de France’s last Class40 race…

Today, April 8th, the Class40 Campagne de France will depart the beautiful island of Horta bound for La Rochelle as the second leg of this transatlantic race begins at 13h00 local time. This second leg will not only be technically challenging but will also hold a certain level of emotion as this will be Miranda’s last outing on the Halvard designed Class40 ‘Campagne de France’, a boat the duo put so much effort into.

Once into La Rochelle Miranda and the team will turn their attentions away from Class40 to begin a new and hugely exciting chapter with their recently purchased IMOCA 60 with the goal of competing within the 2020 Vendee Globe.

5th in the first leg alongside Didier le Vourch, Miranda will again seek to push Campagne de France into the best position possible during leg two. Miranda has chosen to increase her crew size, joined once again by Didier le Vourch and for the first time Stan Thuret.

The welcomed reinforcement of Stan will be appreciated. Not only is Stan a very good sailor having embedded himself as a firm favourite within the Mini Class but he’s got ever increasing experience in Class40. Alongside his sailing credentials Stan is a videographer and is currently creating a feature film based upon the history of the sea and the sailors who call it their home. Who better to feature than Miranda, someone who’s dedicated themselves to the ocean, the elements and the romance of a truly inspirational sport.

When asked about his thoughts on the race Stan said “I’m interested in Class40 because I’m preparing for the English Transat. I’ve sailed a number of miles on these boats, it’s kind of like a large Mini 6.50. I met Miranda and Didier in Antigua, we talked about my project and that seemed to interest them! Alongside our race I’ll also be taking some pictures and video of Miranda who’s Vendee Globe campaign is very exciting. I’ve already sailed with Samantha Davis and I like the British attitude when at sea. The fleet is fantastic and it reminds me a little of the Mini 6.5 Class, amateurs and professionals sail alongside one another and the atmosphere is great.”

 The race begins at 13h00 local time (14h00 GMT) and can be tracked online via the following link:

http://defi-atlantique.geovoile.com/2019/tracker/

Campagne de France 5th..!

Miranda Merron, Didier le Vourch and their Class40 Campagne de France crossed the finish line of leg one of the Defi Atlantique today, Wednesday, April 3rd at 22h15m45s (local time) in 5thn place

Having covered a theoretical course of 2230 nautical miles in 11 days, 08 hours, 15 minutes and 45 seconds the duo sailed an average speed of 8.17knots.

More soon!