Loick Peyron is a romantic. He will sail his sweet little wooden yellow trimaran solo, without GPS, without modern navigation aids, using only a sextant, in the next version of the epic Route du Rhum race set to depart St Malo France on November 2.
The boat – Happy – long lost, was rescued from moldering away in an English boat yard by Peyron. Made of plywood, epoxy and fiberglass – she is a sistership to Mike Birch’s Olympus which won the first Route Du Rhum in 1978 by scant seconds in a surprise win over a much larger monohull. Since, every major outright ocean sailing record has fallen to a trimaran – many to Loick himself
Loick’s participation in the race is more than just a celebration of the first race. It is a remarkable return to a simpler time by one of the foremost professional sailors of today.
Peyron follows in the wake of the great French solo-ists – Moitessier, Dumas and Tabarly. He sails without corporate sponsorship. He sails without electronic or computerized navigation assistance. He sails with Dacron sails and symmetric spinnakers. He sails for the adventure, not for the win. He sails for the romance and joy of solo sailing. Sailing Happy – he reminds us of the freedom – and the joy – in simplicity.
Solo-ing pares away the superficial and strips experience to its essentials. Today’s howling madness disappears as civilization slides over the horizon. The boat dances across the sea, bends the wind, slips through the sky. Time slows, then stops. The stars are eternal friends in the dark night, the sun welcomed with delight in the sparkling morning. Surrounded by astonishing beauty and power, the desire to master – to limit – the wild and primitive ocean disappears. A deep, powerful, ancient joy thrums inside.
Loick Peyron is not just racing across the ocean. He is sailing to the edge of the universe. He is going where the stars, sea and wind speak to each other. He is going where the gods of old still rule. He is going where he can be himself. He is going out there…..