MICHELLE DESGUAYO: «We have to believe we won't hit a whale.»
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MICHELLE DESGUAYO: «We have to believe we won't hit a whale.»

French sailor about the risks of the Volvo Ocean Race around the world.
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The legendary «loner», two-time Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux has joined the year's main race, the Volvo Ocean Race, and will be conquering the globe with the Spanish MAPFRE team.

Michelle tells you what to prepare for and what you should really be afraid of when racing the Volvo Ocean Race.

About freedom

My parents always lived on the verge of normality - they were free thinking people even before it became fashionable. They taught me to do what I wanted without worrying about what people would think about it.

On single voyages.

I've made a name for myself on [solo round-the-world voyages] - they always catch the attention of journalists - but if I crossed the ocean alone in 30 days, with the team I sailed more than 400. So that's nothing new!

About Volvo Ocean Race 14-15

For the first time it is a race of real monotypes: all boats obey clear rules, what is possible and what is not. We'll all have the same tools in our hands.

My voyages were made possible by technological advances - they could have been forgotten if we had always raced the «same design». We would never have been able to reach speeds as fast as we do now!

My friends and I were thinking of making a site - its name can be translated as «it will never work». We wanted to document all the things that had ever been said to «work», and they were revolutionizing the industry. It's not just about how to find a way - it's often about how to implement it.

About storms

With the new course, we will only look briefly at the roaring forties between India and Brazil.

About the past VOR

I've raced [in the Volvo Ocean Race] three times, and every time we got hit by something. The first one was in 1985, when we left the calm strip in the South Atlantic. We were going against the wind, blowing it out, the waves were huge. The boat was leaking in several places, we knew it, and every few hours we dredged the water. And so we get rid of the water, and we hear a big noise - not a blow, but a crackle. We get it, the hull cracked. We fixed it by building a sealed barricade of vests and rigging.

About living on a boat.

The two longest stages will take 25 days each. The office, kitchen and bedrooms are allocated very little space - 40 square meters on the nine - but despite that, the competition is higher than personal disagreements. For long passages, we're picking up more supplies and spare parts. Everything is done well - and even if you do not spare the boat, with the right approach everything will be fine. It is not just a fast boat, but also strong and reliable. But we are not robots, we are people - people make mistakes!

About what to be afraid of.

Bump into something at full speed - in a cargo container or whale - yes at a speed of 30 km / h. The whale will be softer, of course, but it's still a lot of meat in the water!

Of course, the worst of all is the man overboard. There are no suitable conditions - we go fast, often at dusk. You never want that to happen.

About his favorite yachting types.

Imagine that you like to play with the ball - you can play with legs, hands, with the net, with the goal. Yachting is the same - there are many ways. But in the end, I just love it - and it doesn't matter if it's monotype or open class.

About overcoming difficulties.

It's good to be an old guy, you've seen a lot of problems before. And when a new one comes in, you know-- oh, here's another one, and you just solve it.

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