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Bostik on its way to Wellington in New Zealand

Bostik on its way to Wellington in New Zealand

Caen, Sunday 16 December 2007 - Charles Caudrelier, skipper of Bostik, the first Veolia Oceans® one-design built with the SolOceans 2009 in mind, Liz Wardley, Erwan Tabarly and Erwan Lebec crossed today the start line of the round-the-world Reconnaissance Tour of the SolOceans at 2.00pm, at the exit of the port of Caen-Ouistreham. After having rounded the regatta buoy,Bostik aimed at the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula on its way towards Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, where her arrival is planned in about fifty days, around the 7th February 2008.

Nothing was missing, not even the dolphin making a couple of capers in front of the conquering one-design's red stem in the exit of Ouistreham's channel. A fifteen-knot wind, a clear blue sky without a single cloud, a warm sun in a biting cold - everything was in order to let guests of the partners of Bostik and of the partners of theSolOceans to realise how cold is going to be the enemy of the four sailors when they will enter the hostiles oceans of the Southern Hemisphere in about twenty days. A mythical aria sang by Maria Callas when Bostik entered the lock at Ouistreham, followed by the triumphant march from "Pirates of the Caribbean" when the doors toward the open sea opened and everybody was choked by emotion. On the quay, the biting cold was not the only responsible for the eyes clouded with tears. The slogan PURE EMOTION under the logoSolOceans was well deserve today when Bostik headed towards the Great South.

"It's great to set off with an east wind ", declared Charles Caudrelier before casting off the moorings. "At this time of the year, all the sailors trying a round-the-world record are impatiently on the lookout for such a window, as the dominants winds arrive from the South West and the West and violently blow. And yet, today and the coming days, we will be able to leave Europe at a fast speed, escaping the first main trap that is the Bay of Biscay ". More intimately, answering to André Ladurelli, CEO of Bostik, wishing him fair wind and expressing his joy to thus offer him the opportunity to start this great voyage on a Veolia Oceans® one-design, Charles Caudrelier added: "We are four spoiled children, because having such a one-design to go and discover the South before going back there alone during a race in exactly two years, is an extraordinary chance. We are really happy ". This was confirmed by the look on the faces of the four partners.
Answering the question what is going to be the sailing pace of Bostik, while this round-the-world Reconnaissance Tour of the SolOceans is neither a competition nor a record attempt, but simply a test in real condition as it never happened before in oceanic races, Charles Caudrelier's answer was clear. "We are a team composed by four single-handed sailors. In turn, one of us will be at the handling and on duty, one of us watching to give him assistance if he needs and the two others will be at rest". In clear, this means that each of them will sail as single-handed sailor in the conditions of a real competition, to test the Veolia Oceans® one-design as well as to test themselves but their mind free knowing that another, even three other sailors, can suddenly appear at any time on the deck to resolve a complex situation.

The start, as in a regatta, nearly with a fifteen-knot reach in a slightly faster breeze, then a perfectly set spinnaker set the tone of the original navigation of four single-handed sailor on board the same boat. Charles Caudrelier was joking about that before leaving Caen this morning: "I am really happy to be sailing with Erwan Tabarly. Usually, I keep looking for him behind me or in front of me, as we often race in the same competitions. For a change, he won't be too far, neither in the frontŠ nor at the back by the way", he added laughing, realising the reflexiveness of his declaration.

However, security is in our four sailors' mind on board Bostik, as Charles Caudrelier underlined it: "Once we will cross the Cape of Good Hope and we will enter the Roaring Forties, we will slow down, exactly like all the single-handed racers racing in this sailing zone which has multiple risks. Our main objective is to arrive with Bostik in Wellington without any major problem."

Three long horn blows, as a tradition, and then the friends and family boat turned its stem towards the Port of Ouistreham.Bostik, her spinnaker set with about fifteen knots disappeared in the low-angled gold winter sun. The adventure has only begun. PURE EMOTION.

Let us recall that the SolOceans is the first single-handed oceanic round-the-world race sailed on equal footing on totally identical sixteen-metre (52.5feet) high-tech one-design monohulls: the Veolia Oceans®. This class has been named Veolia Oceans® after the main sponsor of the SolOceans race, Veolia Environmental Services. The first SolOceans race will start on 25th of October 2009, from the town of Caen-la-mer and will stopover in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. It will then return to Lower Normandy, to Cherbourg-Octeville where the final ranking of this round-the-world, via the three Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn) will be made. Each leg will take between 50 to 55 days of sailing for a total voyage of 26 000 miles (48 000 kilometres) around the planet.

In full speed with a fifteen-knot wind, Bostik crossed the start line between the committee boat and the buoy "Ouistreham". It was 2.00 pm (1.00pm GMT) on Sunday 16 December 2007 off Caen:Bostik headed for Wellington in New Zealand.Free of rights for press use, subject to the compulsory mention: Photo Jean-Marie Liot - SailingOne.


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