23 23.05.2019

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede: From 36.15 MET to the Golden Globe Race


Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, aka VDH, an exceptional sailor, reached new heights back in January by crossing the finish line of the Golden Globe Race as the winner after 211 days 23 hours and 12 minutes at sea. Going around the world with a chart and a sextant, but without electronics or contact with the shore, at 73 years of age is one of the many challenges he has undertaken. Garcia Yachts today salutes the determination of this ocean racer and remembers his remarkable career during the very first Vendée Globe Challenge. In 1989, he took up the challenge aboard 36.15 MET, a 60-foot aluminium sailboat designed for ocean racing by Philippe Harlé and Alain Mortain, and built by Garcia. This "cigar"-shape, very different from the boats of the time, was to be one of the last plans drawn by naval architect Harlé. In March 1989, the Garcia brothers launched this 18.28 m (60’) sailing boat at their shipyard in Condé-sur-Noireau, in Normandy. VDH was to cross the finish line in Les Sables de d'Olonne in 3rd place after 112 days 1 hour 14 minutes at sea. The lightest, and cheapest, boat in the fleet, few people had bet at the time on 36.15 MET because it was too radical. However, he crossed the line just 3 days later than first-placed Titouan Lamazou. In July 1990, 36.15 MET passed into the hands of Isabelle Autissier with whom she participated in the BOC Challenge under the name of Ecureuil de [...]

26 26.03.2019

The Antarctic with HaiYou


It has now been 4 years that Lynn and Chris are sailing around the world with their Exploration 45. Formerly owners of an aluminium centerboard, in 2014 they decided to change for “a boat designed for the high latitude, with a solent rig for upwind work, hard dodger and pilot house”. In their quest of the perfect boat, they find out to be “very impressed” by their visit to the Garcia Yachts shipyard and their experience on board the Garcia Exploration 45. “The boat met all the requirement we had, the yard could accommodate all our demand.” The number 5 hull of a long serie, HaiYou, has been sailing since 2015 from France to Norway, afterwards to warmer latitudes Canarias, Brazil. And heading south to Uruguay, Argentina …until Patagonia via the Falkland Islands and Ushuaia.  Heading south again in October 2018, they “push off from Valdivia,  reaching Terra del Fuego’s Puerto Williams by mid-December, and then onward to Antarctica.”  Today we are glad to share with you their last adventure in the Antarctic.   Extract from HaiYouSailing blog: Of Ice and Rock February 28, 2019 “97% of the Antarctic continent is made of ice… the rest is rock. The Antarctic Peninsula extends northward for about a 800 miles, but the sailable area is the top 300 miles. Further south ice become more impenetrable for a small boat, protected anchorages are rarer, and the wildlife disappears. We arrived in the continent through the South Shetland, anchoring first at [...]

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