Alone mid Atlantic, his giant multihull broken, waiting for rescue, and Frenchman Sidney Gavignet has his camera on….watch his Route du Rhum story on November’s CNN MAINSAIL.
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Or watch online here: CNN Mainsail – November 2010
Over one million people came to see the skippers of the Route du Rhum before they left the French port of St Malo to race alone across the Atlantic to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. As the sailors slip away from the dockside there is a gentle ripple of applause, the air is heavy with respect for those who are taking on a race that has a brutal reputation. History shows that around thirty per cent will not make the finish.
To leave St Malo all boats must ‘lock out’ – on board the one hundred and ten foot multihull OMAN AIR MAJAN is CNN MAINSAIL Presenter Shirley Robertson, Carolyn Gavignet and two children Tara Jane and Chade as they prepare to say goodbye to skipper, husband and Dad, forty one year old Sidney Gavignet.
Robertson has spent time with the family in the build up to the race, both at their home in Paris and training with Sidney from his base in Lorient. She has watched a proud and nervous family prepare to see Sidney, a vastly experienced ocean racer, take on the Atlantic alone is his huge mutihull.
On Wednesday November 3rd, three days into the race Sidney’s shore team receive a call that hoped would never come…
Their skipper is in trouble, major damage on board, mast broken. There is only one option: for Sidney to leave his boat.
The way that the rescue is coordinated is a credit to the race organisers, to the seamanship of Sidney Gavignet and to the Captain and the crew of the cargo ship Kavo Alexander. But leaving a broken boat and getting aboard a ship is far from straightforward as the extraordinary footage filmed by Sidney and seen for the first time on CNN MAINSAIL reveals.