He finished calmly, relaxed and surprisingly alert for someone who had just spent a week sailing solo at a pretty tough pace. Happy to have finished and to have a leg win, Davy Beaudart looks back on this first stage of the race.
How did you feel overall when you finished?
“Like that it has been a job well done. Good preparation is the key. I never bet on the fact that I arrive here without breaking something having pushed the boat as hard as I did. The boat is very solid. It takes a bit of luck, but this is the first time that I have pushed it so hard. The work this winter has really paid off. Getting to Lanzarote with a few hours cushion is really very nice. This boat is amazing: along Portugal after Lisbon, I was sailing non stop at speeds of between 15 and 17 knots with peaks of 19. And then, you just do not get wet on board; it is amazing. In fact, the keel gives a foil effect and so the boat does not dive and just seems to fly above the waves. What is hard is that when the boat slows down, he falls and there, the shock is really violent. ”
“There was a time when I was fed up around Lisbon. I was exhausted and so set my sails to goose-wing and just slept two hours. Life on board is hard and even when you want to rest it is difficult because the shocks are very violent. Noise is constant. Then I had a meal, slept two hours and felt thoroughly refreshed. Considering the speeds I had had all night, it was impossible that someone would have passed me; I could afford that luxury of sleep.”
Lessons for the second stage
“The second stage is a little different. But the boat has potential for incredible speed; it’s a good asset. Above all, what I know now that my boat has a few weaknesses, including sailing in light winds, but the strengths far outweigh any. Looking at the pros and cons, the results are largely positive. On this Transat, we do not necessarily see the weaknesses. When we started the project, we followed a path. In fact, we had to work with the good architect, a good manufacturer. Last year, had I pushed the boat so hard, I would have broken lots of things. Everything has been strengthened, so I’m at 50% above last year’s capacity. ”
The best time of the stage
“Was last night. First, because you know it’s the last. And above all, conditions were idyllic: between 15 and 20 knots of wind, the boat was sailing well on a nice sea. The boat was just so at ease. On top of it all, we had an amazing moon, you savour these moments. But in general, this boat is a pleasure to sail. The only time things are not great on board is when there is no wind. This boat is really easy and safe; I’ve never seen that before. “