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A look back at the transatlantic voyage

Alexia Barrier – from newsletter

How we crossed the Atlantic on a trimaran, and how we’re preparing to complete our Jules Verne Trophy with an all-female crew on an ocean-going trimaran.

One month ago in Antigua, on April 13, 2024, it was time for final checks. Equipment, connections, crew, sails, emergency procedures: we’re getting ready to leave the Caribbean on our MOD70 trimaran “Limosa”, determined to head for Europe, and more precisely Portimao in Spain.

On board this multihull, led by myself, are 8 women, including British Vendée Globe finisher Dee Caffari, my co-skipper. We are the first 100% female crew to attempt to cross the Atlantic on an MOD70.

Here we go on board the MOD70 “Limosa” off Antigua

I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment

More than just another start, I’m setting off on this transatlantic race with great enthusiasm, because after months of maturation, the ups and downs that any project can experience, bank loans, co-construction with our partners, and team training, this is the first time we’ve been able to work together on a major challenge

It’s that great moment when, in the middle of a stormy sea, we’ll see just how tough we are, and what kind of face our crew will put up against the elements.

Are we really perfectly ready to take this imposing 70-foot racing trimaran from one side of the ocean to the other?

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

First nights at sea and heavy weather

Both on board and ashore, behind the photos in the sunshine, there’s no time for reflection or contemplation, as the wind picks up, strong, the waves too, and not a little, the hulls spinning fast, very fast, the boat is powerful and can turn over at any moment.

Photo

Behind the commitment of an entire crew, the boat speeds along, here at sunset in the middle of the Atlantic. Photo : Georgia Schofield

Although we’ve each distinguished ourselves on major ocean challenges in the past, like the talented sailors Marie Riou and Annie Lush who are accompanying me, we need to learn to stick together over time.

It’s time to concentrate, make no mistakes, anticipate, prepare the route and mentalize every maneuver.

Symbolic detail: I didn’t steer much, as there was so much to do for the crew in my role as captain. After all, the most important thing is for the group to hold together at all costs. A strong team spirit can’t be built in a day; it requires constant attention and a lot of energy.

Then, in the dark of night, I find myself taking a step back during a short restorative nap.

You’re at the start of a fantastic adventure

To understand the following statement, we need to go back to the creation of “The Famous Project”, just after the arrival of my Vendée Globe 2020 – 2021: we’re throwing ourselves into the deep end with Jonny Malbon and a few ideas in mind

The following months are naturally very intense. I sleep little or not at all at times. I borrowed 1 million euros from the bank, set out to find and meet our first partners, and recruited a crew of women who knew the sea.

In the months that followed, we trained assiduously, often in the shadows, sometimes in the face of misunderstanding, and continued to carry this ambitious project forward.

Working with Dee Caffari is a real pleasure, as we’re so much in sync on so many points. Photo : Alexia Barrier

In the middle of an oceanic night, off the Azores, I take the measure of these long and difficult months of teamwork, starting – quite simply – by noting that our 100% crew works. Like clockwork, it sails through the stormy seas without batting an eyelid.

This is our first team main performance, together. 

And it’s proof that we fought for something achievable. It shows that our convictions are in line with what society needs: to offer women, and little girls too, the chance to dare.

I’d like to take this opportunity to make a small aside: do you know that it’s possible to sail with us on the MOD70 trimaran “Limosa”, with which we’ve just crossed the Atlantic?
Contact my project manager Maxime Grimard to find out more. 

I look forward to seeing you there!

I’ll give you the rest of the project in a nutshell: on Friday May 31, 2024, the whole team and I will be reunited for the launch of our new ocean-going trimaran with its brand-new decoration.

Our next boat will be the one on which we attempt to complete the first-ever 100% women’s ocean-going multihull Jules Verne Trophy, and we’ll be bringing you the unveiling live. I’ll be there to share this unique moment with you.

Make a note of the date: May 31, 2024 at 11:45 a.m French time or 09:45 a.m UTC, via this link https://youtube.com/live/Q3_DW0Y6bJA

Thanks to all our partners

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