MOD70 to Maxi-Trimaran

@ Jean-Marie Liot

Relaunch complete..

Alongside it’s partners IDEC Group, CIC, Wipro, and Richard Mille, the team of The Famous Project relaunched the Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT today, Friday, May 31. The boat took to the water in Vannes, in front of the Multiplast shipyard, which constructed the giant trimaran in 2006. After five months of work, the legendary sailboat, triple winner of the Route du Rhum and holder of the Jules Verne Trophy since 2017, returned to its natural element. The boat is now based in her home port of LaTrinité-sur-Mer.

Captain Alexia Barrier, will now be able to gradually take command of the 31.50-meter giant. A busy summer lies ahead, which Alexia and her team will use to fine-tune the boat while continuing the delicate selection of the crew set to attempt theJules Verne Trophy record in 2025.

@ Jean-Marie Liot
@ Jean-Marie Liot

Thus, a new chapter begins for Alexia Barrier, who will now take the helm of her ultimate dream: in an attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy record with an all-female crew. She has chosen the boat that has held the title since 2017, the Maxi trimaran IDECSPORT, which Francis Joyon and his five crew members led to the pinnacle of ocean records, achieving a time that is now legendary: 40 days, 23 hours, and 30 minutes.

The sailboat, launched in June 2006 under the colors of Groupama, greatly deserved a thorough and detailed inspection. “We stripped the boat completely bare,” explains Alexia. “Everything that needed to be changed was replaced within our budget limits,” continues the sailor from Antibes. “With its new design by Jean-Baptiste Epron, the boat seems to have regained a second youth.”

“Hulls, bulkheads, arms, and mast were meticulously inspected for the slightest weakness or signs of aging. All hardware, standing and running rigging, were disassembled and checked in the finest detail,” adds Eric Lamy, (a former member of the Groupama Sailing Team), who knows the ship perfectly and led the work with eight people.

A new era opens for The Famous Project team and Alexia. Taming the giant and discovering its secrets for her female crew will take time and many miles. Finding the right sailors to accompany her is still the subject of a meticulous recruitment campaign that is not yet complete. “There is no shortage of female talent in sailing,”Alexia insists. “IDEC SPORT is open to the world and to all female sailors who dare to dream. Our project is NO Limit!”

The Partners

Daniel Baal, Chairman of the CIC

“When we signed up alongside Alexia Barrier as a founding partner of The Famous Project, the team consisted of just a handful of professionals committed to this adventure and a training boat. Today’s launch of the IDEC SPORT trimaran marks an important milestone which will enable this all-female crew to tackle the legendary Jules VerneTrophy and prepare for a unique sporting challenge.”

@ Jean-Marie Liot

Patrice Lafargue, Chairman of the IDEC Group: 

We are delighted that the history of the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT, this legendary boat, can continue with this new 100% women’s Jules Verne Trophy challenge, led by Alexia Barrier. This exceptional human adventure, rich in values such as surpassing oneself, passion, solidarity and team spirit, perfectly embodies the principles and aspirations of the IDEC Group. By supporting this daring project, we are reaffirming our commitment to excellence and innovation, while promoting initiatives that push back the boundaries and inspire with their boldness, determination and resilience. This challenge is not only a race against time, but also a true celebration of the human and sporting values that drive us every day. It’s a unique opportunity to show our support for women in extreme sports and to promote equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion,fundamental values that are at the heart of our company. On the road.”

Wipro and Richard Mille join The Famous Project team and its co-partners in celebrating this important milestone in the preparation of the Jules Verne Trophy.

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Idec Sport – new design

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Idec Sport – new design

TFP – NEWS

The feigned elegance of The Famous Project’s maxi-trimaran

Sailor Alexia Barrier will launch the IDEC SPORT Maxi trimaran on May 31. With the help of well-known designer-navigator Jean Baptiste Epron, she chose a very graphic design for the sailboat’s new image, in agreement with its main partners the Groupe Idec, the CIC bank and Wipro, while retaining the red bows. of IDEC SPORT, still holder of the Jules Verne Trophy record, the ultimate challenge of Alexia’s 100% female project. A project that Jean Baptiste was able to take on, to attenuate the harsh masculinity of the sailboat, emphasizing the femininity of the project, while respecting the personality of the boat.

The elegance of the Classics

« This boat is virile and very masculine. The facial shapes chosen to adorn the veils tend to suggest the very feminine essence of Alexia’s project. » explains Jean Baptiste Epron. The designer, highly sought after by those involved in offshore racing, has a real history with this boat, for which he signed the livery from its conception, in the colors of his first partner Groupama, then of the two following sponsors, Banque Populaire and the Group. Idec. The maxi trimaran, triple winner of the Route du Rhum in these three different colors, holds a special place in Jean Baptiste’s imagination. “ I love this boat. It has the elegance of classic yachts. It is witness to a whole generation of multihulls before flying boats, a sort of synthesis of what ORMA trimarans were. It does not have very marked lines, a sign of the great architectural freedom of its creative firm VPLP. He exudes gentleness, a feigned feeling in truth, when we know his fury in the breeze. »

A decoration that tells a story…

“Jean Baptiste Epron is the boat artist par excellence” emphasizes Alexia. “I trusted him completely. Our partners, the Idec group, the CIC and Wipro have all bought into the story that Jean Baptistes tells us with these faces sketched in our sails, and these color codes on a black background. It’s about telling a story, about solidarity, about a common adventure. But Jean Baptiste did not want to “over-feminize” the project, because he rightly believes that in the long term, women on such adventures will no longer be an exception, but the obvious rule. He also knew how to find the color codes which refer to our three partners, with this nod to the Jules Verne Trophy record established by Francis Joyon under the red colors of IDEC SPORT, maintained on our bows, as a mark of respect for this legendary trimaran. »

JB Epron

Alexia will return to Brittany this weekend, to participate and supervise the end of the long project to get the giant back into shape undertaken at Multiplast in Vannes, under the watchful eye of Eric Lamy. 15 people work tirelessly to give the boat launched in 2006 yet another lease of life. Following its launch, IDEC SPORT will return to La Trinité sur Mer for its final adjustments, before the first test sailings scheduled for the end of June, the first training sessions in July, and the delivery in September to the Mediterranean.

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A look back at the transatlantic voyage

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MOD70 to Maxi-Trimaran

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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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The Famous Project x Richard Mille

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Idec Sport – new design

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The Famous Project x Richard Mille

TFP – Paris

A new global challenge for women

– To build a 100% female crew to attempt the Jules Verne Trophy in 2025, on a 32 meter Ultim Trimaran

– Establish the women’s reference time for a non stop lap of the planet

– Support a bold adventure through challenges, risks and performance

Richard Mille is delighted to announce a new challenge that ecompasses sea, spray and performance. The brand is committed, to the renowned skipper Alexia Barrier, who created The Famous Project. Beyond sports, this project is a maritime epic never before realized.

The Richard Mille brand is particularly known for being a specialist in sports watches, materials and innovative technical solutions. The brand has embarked on multiple challenges, being very involved in motor sports, especially in Formula 1 with McLaren and Ferrari, or in endurance with the Richard Mille Racing Team, not to mention its presence on tennis courts, golf courses… always alongside the greatest athletes.

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

The goal? Move lines and consciences. How? By achieving a world first, to complete a non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation during a Jules Verne Trophy attempt. Indeed, The Famous Project will bring together an exclusively female, international crew composed of ten sailors, aboard a 32 meter, maxi-multihull. The team aims to establish a women’s reference time on this sailing tour of the globe, and why not, try to beat the current speed record of the Jules Vernes Trophy. A major challenge but within the reach of Alexia Barrier, a skipper for more than 20 years, with a list of 18 Transats, including 5 solitaires, a 2020 Vendée Globe finisher,  with more than 200,000 miles nautical traveled.

To do this, Alexia Barrier and her teammates will soon begin training on a real Formula 1 of the seas, the Ultim IDEC SPORT. The boat is the fastest maxi-trimaran in the world to date.   It was on board this racing machine that Francis Joyon set, in 2017, the last record for the Jules Verne Trophy, in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds.

“It was the boat of my dreams to realize this project. A major project that, in addition to sport, wants to give women the same weapons as men to win engaging races. The Famous Project is therefore part of a social issue and summarizes our mantras: dare, dream and share”. Alexia Barrier

Commitment is not an exception but a rule for Richard Mille, who likes to explore new territories. It is obviously always a question of speed, no longer on asphalt but on water. A universe that Richard Mille knows well through past collaborations with the Voiles de Saint-Barth and then the recent creation of his own regatta called Richard Mille Cup.

“Richard Mille is once again embarking on an extraordinary adventure combining excellence, technology and performance, three pillars of the brand. Dare, challenge yourself and take risks: The Famous Project allows us to write a new page in our history for women. This project is above all driven by the passion of each of the people involved. Alexia Barrier’s obvious desire to surpass herself regardless of the rules of the game seduced us.” AMANDA MILLE

“I wanted to skip a class and sail in Ultim to try to break the world record by sailing. Our first challenge will be to train our crew with skippers who have never sailed on this type of machine. Forgetting everything to start all over again, that’s what awaits us.” Alexia Barrier

Richard Mille is very happy to support this bold and courageous initiative that is shaking up the codes of the world of sailing. A disruptive vision of the adventure that has guided Richard Mille for more than 20 years now. We find in The Famous Project an effervescence and enthusiasm that have always animated us.

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Going Big…..

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A look back at the transatlantic voyage

News

Going Big…..

Author – Andi Robertson

Going Big…..Transition planning and execution, as The Famous Project move up to the record breaking ULTIM, and contemplate 40 days 23 hours.

With some 18 days until the date The Famous Project plan to launch their giant ULTIM IDEC Sport, the craft on which they plan to challenge the Jules Verne Trophy record of 40 days 23 hours in winter 2025, the technical team are working flat out to achieve the deadline to have the boat in the water. After launching there will a period of commissioning and testing from the team’s base in La Trinité sur Mer, before a summer of training which will culminate in a series of record challenges.

The current Jules Verne Trophy record, the fastest ever sailing passage round the world, was set January 26th 2017 at 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds, achieved by Francis Joyon and a crew of six on IDEC Sport. Despite numerous attempts over the years, the record still stands. And, indeed, most of the bigger ULTIM teams which have just completed the ULTIM solo race round the world plan their own record assaults this winter.

The vision…..

So, in this context what are the realistic objectives of The Famous Project?

Project manager Jonny Malbon asserts, “The reality is that it is going to be very difficult for us to beat the record……not impossible, but very difficult!!!  That’s evident as the record has stood since 2017. It has eluded teams with bigger budgets, bigger teams, more experienced sailors and faster boats. There would need to be so many different things line up for us to beat what is an incredibly fast time. And, yes, it might get lowered again this winter. But, like we say, it has stood since 2017. Our main goal is to get the boat round, to participate in the Jules Verne Trophy, all the time giving everything we can, with the intention to try to break that time. But the reality is the main objective is to get the boat around in one piece, to set a benchmark time and a world first. But the main thing is to give the programme scope to build and to grow. That is the vision.”

Next steps…..

Getting aboard the record holding ULTIM, going sailing and learning quickly and efficiently whilst initially trialling more girls are the next steps in the process. The learning and training process will be very similar to what has worked so well on the MOD70 Limosa. As Malbon and founder-co-skipper Alexia Barrier pointed out recently the ULTIM is bigger, faster, heavier than the MOD70 but it is simpler. The systems are simpler and it is less ‘tippy’ but it will require excellent teamwork to sail efficiently.

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto
@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

Step 1….

Malbon explains: “We will do a week of initial commissioning sails, going out and working through the reefs, the different headsail configurations, the systems. The boat is ‘theoretically’ more simple than the MOD70, and we just want to validate everything, see the comms are working properly. That will be a week’s worth of day sailing. I think we are looking at a week-on-week off program, getting different people out there. The boat eats miles and so in a five day training session we can certainly put miles on the boat and miles with the team.”

Expert mentors, just like the MOD70 will optimise the learning

There is a large pool of experienced ULTIM talent, including many who have sailed on the boat as IDEC Sport and previously as Groupama, and Banque PopVII. And many sailors have already offered their time to help the training process.

Malbon highlights: “Training will be very similar, we will draw on a group of experts, some of whom have already have sailed on the boat. But we already have a good pool of experts who are keen to help, Brian Thompson, Loick Peyron, and hopefully Franck Cammas, have expressed their interests in helping, and have the kind of expertise we are looking for, to ease the girls into the learning. Nothing is signed up as yet but that is the plan. We will work with girls in smaller groups through some fairly intensive weeks of training, exactly like we did with the MOD70. We are still trying new people. We have a good grasp of exactly the type of people that we need. We will keep the training programmes going and get three or four training sessions done, get the girls sailing together and then try for some records in September before we head to the Med where the boat will be based.”

But first….get on the water…

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto
@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

Malbon affirms: “The initial challenge is managing time and getting things done in a cost effective way, as we are still looking for funding. We need to get out on the boat, not just for the experience and training of the girls but because we need to learn what we need to do to the boat before the Jules Verne second refit. The main challenge is to get on the water and get sailing as soon as possible in safety.”

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Idec Sport – close to relaunch

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The Famous Project x Richard Mille

News

Idec Sport – close to relaunch

TFP – Vannes

Getting IDEC Sport ready to launch and the excitement is mounting at The Famous Project

Founder Alexia Barrier and The Famous Project all-women team are now into the exciting transition phase as they look forwards eagerly to the launch at the end of this month of their record breaking giant Ultim IDEC Sport, moving from the MOD70.

A winter refit in Vannes right beside the Multiplast facility where she was built between 2005 and 2006 as Groupama is coming close to completion and Barrier and the team plan a launch at the end of the month before a couple of weeks final work at the dock prior to July and August day sail training which she hopes will go on to include a passage round the British isles and perhaps a tilt at the Route of Discovery, continuing the proud history of the famous 105 footer which has already won the Jules Verne Trophy three times before setting the current round the world record at 40 days 23 hours in the hands of Francis Joyon and crew.

As they progress in their quest to set a womens benchmark in winter 2025, getting the big beast in the water soon is an important landmark.

Barrier reports, “The guys are working well even if the weather in Brittany never seems to be with them. Now we have brought the boat to a good base level, doing a big maintenance. Before now it has just been used over the last year for a sustainability promotion and so it was not already in an acceptable state to go sailing. The last race was the Route du Rhum (in 2022) We have not made any real modifications.”

She is back and forwards to the yard and will be there again this next week, “We are lucky to be at Multiplast as the boat was built there. Our neighbours are VPLP – who designed the boat – and North Sails. We are working with both of them and we can ask any question about the boat and the history and they have all the answers we need. And we are fortunate to have the boat captain Eric Lamy who  worked on the boat since it was Groupama 3 and was part of the build team and so he knows every little corner, every nut and bolt.”

Right now there is a team of team of seven working all the time, in composites on electronics and The Famous Project have now brought in all their own tools and tooling, “Now it is important for us that we can do most of the parts ourselves as everything is a prototype. And it is a big, big boat and a really huge work and I am so proud of what the team have done there, it is a great job.”  

But after the challenges of the light, fast and tippy MOD70 the challenges of the Ultim are more straightforwards,

“Well the boat may be much bigger than the MOD70 but it is simpler as it has no hydraulics and safer, and so I am not stressed about sailing on the big boat, but I will be happy to start training with the team towards the end of June.”

Barrier explains the team’s planning, “We will launch at the end of May. Initially June, July, August it will be day sailing out of La Trinité and Brittany and out in the Atlantic.  And if we are good enough we will try to sail around Britain at the end of August and then go to the Med in September for our sponsors and then maybe the Route of Discovery.”

Ireland’s Pam Lee has been pretty much full time on the big boat all winter, “We’ve been full team in place since the start of January. As a big overview, we’ve stripped everything down and off from all the electronics, although not completely stripped back, we’ve undone everything, taken it off, serviced and either replaced what needs replaced or repaired and we’re just about to start putting everything back on. That’s in terms of the engine, the mechanics, the electronics, all of that. Also, all of the lines, all the sheets, all the pulleys, all the blocks, all the winches and mechanics, all of that stuff has all been taken off, cleaned, examined, serviced. We’ve ordered spare parts, replaced spare parts”

Becoming skilled, increasingly autonomous and more self reliant has been an essential step too. “We also have another workshop that’s electronic, rigging and mechanic, so we’re really set up to do everything in house in our containers. We’ve stocked it all out with good tools and machines, so a lot of what we’re doing is getting set up to do everything in house. Even a lot of the repairing of pieces, all of that, we are doing as much as we can do in house. All the strat and composite repairs, making of little pieces and all of that kind of stuff is all done in house as well, so that’s really cool.”

Lee has loved the learning on the job process, “It’s really cool and an awesome opportunity to work on a boat this size. For me it’s really interesting to be here from the start because I’m really getting a good understanding of what I’m dealing with and what we will be dealing with when sailing. Even understanding the loads on the sheets and the loads on the rigging, the size of the winches and all of that stuff, you are learning to respect and understand what you are working with and so that’s a really nice thing for me being involved at this level. I’m also getting to know the boat very well, it’s one of the idiosyncrasies.”

She concludes, “That’s the mad thing about this boat, you can’t really do anything yourself. It takes two people to do almost anything because even the winches are huge and putting in the rudders and stuff like that requires minimum four hands for most jobs. And when you consider what Joyon did himself it’s incredible, it’s mind boggling and really impressive. It’s all about that education, the conversation we come back to a lot with offshore sailing, it’s not about the force or strength you have it’s about knowing what you’re working with and how to use it, I always say that applies to offshore sailing and bigger boats, it’s using your head. It’s very clear that if he was able to manage boat as well as he did that he knew the things well and how to do all of the big stuff!”

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The Famous Project: Mod70 Limosa in Portugal

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Going Big…..

The Famous Project: Mod70 Limosa in Portugal

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

The Famous Project: Mod70 Limosa in Portugal

The Famous Project’s all girl crew of the MOD70 Limosa reached the Portuguese Algarve port of Portimao this morning to successfully complete their main objectives, delivering the boat back to Europe from Antigua on the first ever transoceanic passage on a MOD70 by an all-female crew and to significantly increase their learning and cohesion together as a team at some 18 months before they plan to sail the Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT on the Jules Verne Trophy record course and set a women’s benchmark.

The Transatlantic passage was co-skippered by project founder Alexia Barrier (FRA) and Dee Caffari (GBR) and the team comprised Marie Riou (FRA), Joan Mulloy (IRL), Deborah Blair (GBR), Annie Lush (GBR), Rebecca Gmuer (NZL) and media reporter Georgia Schofield (NZL). In part the crossing helped in the training and future selection of the 10 strong team which will sail the giant multihull ULTIM IDEC SPORT non stop round the world during the winter of 2025.

For the former Vendée Globe solo ocean racer turned team leader, project founder and ocean racing skipper Alexia Barrier, it was also another big step in her own personal transition from lone singlehanded racing to skippering a strong team of women  on a high speed multihull for the first time.

“I discovered myself as a captain,” Alexia Barrier admits with her usual frankness. For the past year, she has been learning the role of skipper and team leader which she gets more and more used to.

“Certainly, we have not pushed the boat to its limits,” says Alexia, “We didn’t look to make it hard for ourselves either. The main idea was to build cohesion and good understanding between us eight women who had very little sailing time together, even if we all knew each other individually. As far as I was concerned, it was important for me to prove to myself that I knew how to take on the role of captain and leader. It seems to me that on these two counts, our Transat is a success. There was loads of good fund and good humor all the way across. Everyone quickly found their place, and I was able to keep a close eye on the team and assess their reactions, both from a technical review point and on a human level. I appreciated their good humor and their ability to support each other. There was a real kindness on board which seems essential to me for a successful round-the-world crew.”

Supported ably Caffari on the water, and on land by team manager Jonny Malbon, Barrier is giving herself several more months to continue her experiments and trials with other sailors. “Our doors are open to everyone, whatever their level of excellence or experience. We share the belief that everyone can dare and achieve their dreams. The fundamental criteria are an ability to adapt and live in a group in the long term. I think I will have to test around ten more girls before deciding on a shortlist of 14 people, for a final crew at the start of the Jules Verne Trophy of 8 to 10 teammates. New races against the other MOD70s, Phaedo by Brian Thompson, Zoulou by Erik Maris and Loick Peyron on Argo with Jason Carroll) are on the program, in Palma de Mallorca this summer and in Greece with the Aegean 600. And on May 31, the IDEC SPORT trimaran will be launched ready to go sailing.”

With no time to rest or enjoy a pastel de nata in Portimao Alexia heads to Lorient for the start of the The Transat CIC this weekend before going to Vannes to catch up on progress with the Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT at the Multiplast yard ready to supervise the launching of the famous boat which still holds the Jules Verne Trophy.

Nearly there!

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

Nearly there!

Less than 500 miles to go for The Famous Project Limosa, ETA Portimao Tuesday

With around 500 nautical miles to sail to Portimao on Portugal’s Algarve coast where they will finish their Transatlantic passage from Antigua which they started on Saturday 15th April, the all girl The Famous Project crew on the MOD70 Limosa are in good spirits as they look forwards to the final miles.

This Sunday evening they are working their way east through the light winds in a wide high pressure ridge north east of the Azore, the light zone standing between them and the brisk N’ly trade winds off the Portuguese coast. Speeds have been around seven or eight knots. They are expecting to make Portimao on Tuesday.

Dee Caffari reported this evening, “The objective of the delivery was to manage the boat and the team safely. I think we have achieved that. We have tried to anticipate the wind and conditions and stayed one step ahead. Choosing a manageable sail plan that has allowed everyone a good amount of driving time and minimising stress. We headed north upwind for a couple of days to start with before we started to reach when the conditions eased. We then hoisted the gennaker and have enjoyed several days of downwind VMG sailing with boat speeds averaging 20knots day and night. We have now entered a transition phase 500 miles from the Portuguese coastline. We are waiting about the new breeze the other side coming from the north east. We should find this tonight about midnight and then we will be reaching for a while as the breeze fills and before we hoist the gennaker again for the final run into Portimao, arriving on Tuesday. So far all the crew are happy and the boat is in one piece so objectives are being met.”

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

Saturday as they passed north of the Azores, Georgia Schofield the on board media reporter wote, “We are making our way around the top of the Azores. There’s been an increase of birds flying around us and some fishing boats in the night. We’re too far away to see the islands themselves but it feels like they’re close. The boat is on a mission, it’s barely dropped below 17kn boat speed in the last few days, usually averaging 20-22 downwind. Life on board is pretty easy in these conditions, a stark contrast from the first two days (most of which I spent with my head in a bucket or sleeping).

The sunrises are the best time of day as we greet the sun earlier and earlier each day making it feel like we made good miles overnight.”

Livestream from Limsoa – Mid Atlantic!

Livestream from Limsoa – Mid Atlantic!

Mark your calendars!

Join us this Thursday, April 18th, at 2:30 PM (UTC) for a live event as we embark on a groundbreaking journey with Alexia and her all-female crew.

Witness history in the making as they sail across the Atlantic aboard a Mod70 – a feat never before achieved by an all-female team!

Don’t miss out on this historic moment. Tune in, be inspired, and become part of the adventure!

https://www.youtube.com/live/QiKs1wcz0JI?si=Nx1z1_jkBQNw3DvD

And they are off!

@the_famousproject @georgiaphoto

A promising weather outlook for The Famous Project’s Transat Challenge which starts Saturday

Saturday morning will see the The Famous Project crew cast off from Antigua as they set out to take on the Atlantic on the first all-female MOD70 crossing of the Atlantic, bringing Limosa back to Europe on what will be a valuable oceanic training stage for the team.

Delayed since late February because of the bad weather they faced then, the wait looks like it will be worth it for the eight strong team which represents four different nationalities. The latest GRIB weather files suggest that the outlook looks favourable all the way across.

Co-skipper Dee Caffari reports, “The morale is great, spirits are high, we have a great group and can’t wait to get going. The objectives now are first and foremost to keep our people and the boat in one piece, have a low stress but enjoyable trip, to get the boat back to Europe and to learn and grow in confidence sailing with each other.”

According to the co-skippers Caffari and Alexia Barrier, the assessment of the weather outlook is promising, “The weather looks pretty good. With the MOD70, the multihull, the wave height is one of the biggest considerations – more than wind sometimes. We start in 2.5 metre seas, it is all do-able there is no obvious source of stress. The weather is being shaped by a big high pressure in the north Atlantic and two low pressures that we will be affected by. The route around them is pretty obvious and pretty clear. We are going NNE for a few days before we can go East. We should be just wide of upwind so it will likely be uncomfortable but no stress.” Says Dee who continues, “The most wind we will see initially is about 20knots coming out of Antigua, and then that will drop to 15 knots.

“Then we should get into some downwind sailing after a light winds transition zone. And so we get a little bit of everything and that will be perfect. We have only looked to Gibraltar and not into the Med but will make our choice whether we go to La Grande Motte or Palma depending on timing.”

The objective of building trust and confidence in each other will in part be optimised by the watch system, Caffari explains, “We are going to run a rolling watch of three pairs of two and so every hour somebody changes and that means we all get to sail with more, different people. And Alexia and Georgia (Schofield, media person) will float and so choose when they need to sleep and be awake. And that way Alexia gets to see and sail with everyone too.”

Follow the boat here https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/SV-Limosa/