Vendée Globe 2016 – Just back from the United States, Academician Erik Orsenna took a brief detour via Vannes in south-west Brittany, to see how things were progressing with the build of the monohull St Michel-Virbac at the Multiplast yard.
Jean-Pierre Dick and Fabien Delahaye showed him the developments since his first visit. In return, Erik shared with us his impressions and his witticisms via a series of images. Writing and sailing are one and the same, the Academician claims. We invite you to take a tour of the yard with the added bonus of a few choice morsels!
Erik Orsenna: “What I love about the Vendée Globe boats are the alliances, the alloys and the composites. You obviously need the sailor, but that person also has to be a business leader, who carries his or her own story and inspires you to be bigger than it might appear at first glance. Culture and adventure are one and the same. When you launch into the Vendée Globe adventure, you write a book, you make a film and you surpass yourself. On a personal level, at 1m73, I am keen to be surpassed. Jean-Pierre won’t find that difficult, but in so doing he’ll show me what it is to take things to another level.”
“What greatly appeals to me about Jean-Pierre is that he is all-encompassing. He designs the whole project: the team, the technology, the finance and the architecture, whilst also being able to look at the detail. When I write a good page, I feel like I have a foil, that I’m not being slowed by a hostile environment.”
“We plunged into the boat’s hull, which is still virtually empty. We were diving into the belly of the whale, like in the book of Jonah in the bible, and equally we were diving into the carbon. What is carbon? It is an atom of life.”
A passion for travel, a need for escape
Jean-Pierre Dick: “We visualise a project in the same way from A through to Z. I’m happy that Erik’s following our journey in its entirety. It’s his second visit to the yard. Erik is involved in it in a profound, non-superficial way. It’s rewarding talking to him and his position slightly set back from our own as well as his eye as a writer both mean a great deal to me.”
“We are both men who have a passion for travel and the southern ocean. The Vendée Globe is a massive voyage around the world that is coloured by technology. We consider travel and technology. It’s a cocktail which excites us both and it will enable us to enjoy this incredible adventure.”
by Vendée Globe