And the winner is…
|24 February 2012||Posted by Alex from Lagoon under Lagoon world|
As I promised in one of the last posts about the ARC, I am coming back with the story of the winner in the multihull category on corrected time and 3rd on elapsed time behind a Gunboat 66 and a Barreau 71). I interviewed Jarek Chlopek, one of the directors of the Dobre Jachty company (Lagoon’s distributor in Poland), who was aboard the victorious Lagoon 560 Blue Ocean, alongside the owner Janusz Owczarek.
How did you get involved in this adventure?
I have known Janusz for some years, since the time when I worked in banking. I organised the financing of his first boat, a Dufour 485 GL, with which he won the ARC in 2007. I was aware of his passion for racing, and it was in this spirit that the crew was chosen, with six experienced sailors and Janusz as skipper.
What was your strategy in this ARC?
Given the specifications of the Lagoon 560 (dimensions, weight, sail area), no one thought a cruising catamaran of this type would be able to compete on equal terms with faster catamarans such as Gunboats and Catanas. We therefore had to devise a strategy to have a real chance in the rally. The crew was totally dedicated to enhancing the boat’s performance, whether in terms of sail trimming or analysing the weather, night and day.
How did the race go?
We followed our strategy from the starting line: mainsail and 250m² spinnaker set. All went well for the first three days, then that night a 30-knot gust tore our spinnaker. Half was left on the stay, half in the water. We managed to get the torn sail back on board without to stop the boat. As a result of this mishap, we had to change our sail plan. Depending on the wind angle, we had to deploy either the fore-staysail and the genoa “butterfly style”, or the asymmetric spinnaker (350m²) overlapping the forestay sail. These two combinations were more difficult to maintain, but more efficient than if we had just used the asymmetric spinnaker. That is how we sailed for the remainder of the race.
How do you explain your victory?
The key factor in our success was our analysis of the weather. We used every possible indicator, even the smallest cloud visible on the radar, to get as much wind as possible. Our win was also the due to the quality of our sails, the excellent team spirit of an experienced crew, and the fact we had such a good boat!
The boat is now in Santa Lucia waiting for new adventures more relaxing! She will cruise in all the Carribean for charter. To conclude we can say that it is possible to have fun on a Lagoon catamaran at the anchor but also during a race!