Congratulations to Ludovic Gerard for this victory in the middle sea race.
An incredible 2022 season for Ludo with a full double card on his JPK 10.80 Solenn for Pure Ocean!
(Cap Martinique / Drheam cup / Middle Sea race )
Courtesy of JPK Composites
Here is his account of the middle Sea race:
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is an addictive race, I like this atmosphere in Malta, the warm welcome of the Maltese that I find year after year. Relocating to Malta at the end of October is always a pleasure and this race has been rather successful for us so far: 2nd IRC6 in 2018, 1st IRC6 in 2019, 2nd double in 2021 (5th IRC6), the objective was therefore clear: to win. My faithful teammate Nicolas not being available, I sold the business to Stephane Bodin, owner of the jpk1030 Wasabi in La Rochelle, bragging to him about the magnificent landscapes, a very beautiful plateau and weather conditions ranging systematically from 0 to 40 knots. He didn't hesitate for long and now everything is falling into place, including trips for the family to meet us there a few days after the race.
Convoy Marseille – Malta solo for me, in express version in 3.5 days the 650 miles are swallowed. Stéphane arrived by plane and it was already the coastal training race, which we finished 2nd in a rather light wind.
The preparation for the race follows, and the weather forecasts prove to be very stable for the next 10 days, too stable and above all very weak... it's very unusual, an anticyclonic situation has been fixed on the Mediterranean for 2 weeks , and it will last… We recount the supplies and water and take the start on Saturday October 22 at 11.10 a.m. with the cannon fired from the fortifications of Valletta, magnificent! We finally climb quickly to Messina with the help of the currents and a little wind, and we leave the strait on Sunday evening, not without having seen a school of tuna hunting in the strong current, which is magnificent! The battle is fierce with Calypso, a Maltese J99, Red Ruby an American SF3300 also double-handed, Colombre an Italian JPK 1080 and a few others sharp and fast in light winds.
This is where the wind really died down and the days and nights with a mirror sea followed one another: Stromboli, north coast of Sicily, Favignana, Pantelleria... there we are at 6 days of racing and are starting to ask ourselves the question how to finish before Sunday and catch our planes! Not enough diesel, just enough water, food until Saturday noon, no choice, we have to finish and hope that the expected easterly wind (10 knots max anyway!) will arrive well. Saved, the wind picks up after Lampedusa and we arrive on Saturday evening, right in the middle of the post-prize ceremony at the Royal Yacht Club Malta. The contrast is striking between these 8 days for two in absolute calm or almost and the party at the club! Almost half of the fleet abandoned for lack of time, food or water. Exceptional edition "once in a life" as the English say.
In the meantime, our families have abandoned the idea of joining us given our ETA a few hours before flying back, we will have to come back again!
Finally we won the double-handed event, while finishing 2nd in the IRC6 (crewed), behind another Italian jpk 1080: "Columbus" crewed. A big thank you to Stephane, an Atlantic/Mediterranean encounter aboard Solenn that was most interesting and rewarding!
Very good season ends for Solenn with three double-handed victories: Cap Martinique, Drheam Cup and Middle Sea Race. What else?
Ludovic Courtesy of JPK Composites