Thursday, November 16, 2017


After having lost the battle for leadership to Erwan, Clarisse was since the middle of the race a solid 2nd but on the final part of the race she made a routing error and had suddenly 3 other boats practically side by side. She fought to the end to beat them and do you now what her reaction was when she had them under control going some miles ahead? :" I cried for the last three hours of the race ", on her own words.

That's not the first time I was very surprised with the reaction of another great woman in what regards sailing: I remember one time when Ellen MacArthur (on a racing solo circumnavigation) had to go to the top of the mast in very nasty whether, bouncing around with the boat movements. She had managed to do the repair and come safely to the deck....where she started crying complaining about how difficult it had been!!!

Of course I have the utmost respect for what both of them have done but on both situations, after having accomplished a very difficult task, a man's reaction would be very different. On Ellen's case I am quite sure a man would have kicked the mast mast said yeahhh!!!! while doing some enthusiastic movements with the hands.

Well, different but not slower and less efficient and what fun would it be if men and women were alike in what regards reactions?

About Clarisse they posted this on the race site : "Clarisse Crémer, big heart - Thinner, tears of emotion at the time of crossing the finish line, Clarisse Crémer has held strong until the end resisting to attacks from her pursuers to the finish line at Marin. The young woman, who had almost no experience in offshore racing  (even less solo) demonstrated that  by sheer willpower, hard work and a very big motivation, it is possible to move mountains.

To better understand why all this is extraordinaire, not only the sail exploit from a woman on a sports dominated by men, but the incredible way how it was done. Clarisse came from nowhere, in what regards solo sail racing, to beat very experienced sailors not only the ones from the production boats (55) but most of the ones that raced on much more evoluted prototypes, made of carbon with canting keels and daggerboards. If she was racing with her production boat on the prototype class she would have been 5th, leaving 20 prototypes behind.
On the presentation page they say nice words about Clarisse but I don't think that anybody thought that she would be able to do such an astounding performance on her first Transat: "Clarisse Crémer story with the Mini-Transat begins as a vulgarity: the story of a nice and funny girl who wants to cross the Atlantic on a nice little boat. The nice girl, dubbed by a good friend, gratifies us with videos not devoid of humor, tells us her financing research in a slightly crazy mode, avoids taking herself seriously ..."

"In short! We would say that Clarisse on the Atlantic is a nice story that will fall into anonymity once the sport has recovered its rights. Except that we had forgotten a parameter: Clarisse Crémer is a hard worker, the kind to never let go, spent hours on the water training, listened to the advice of the elders, to ensure that day after day she would eliminate her weak points..."

And after this spectacular result we are all thinking what is coming next? well it seems that she does not know: "What I want to do ? I was hoping that the race would bring a revelation but eventually no. It's a disaster, I do not know what I want to do. It was a great project that took me two years of my life, now I have to find something else."

I really hope something else has to do with sailing, if not..... I am quite sure she will do great in anything she really wants to do.

The incredible Clarisse story  left a bit in the shadow the great victory of Erwan Le Draoulec and it is unfair. Erwan was the only one that managed to beat Clarisse and has done so in a clear way, with a 100nm advantage and he is just a 21 year old kid!!! On other sports 21 is a normal age to be a champion, not so on Solo offshore racing where the learning curve is not fast. He and Clarisse have that in common, that and also the fact that they have won together the last mini Fastnet, a duo race).

Two sailors with a huge potential that we hope don't give up sailing. Already great sailors but from here to be great at the top racing solo classes goes a lot of work and years of training. I believe both have the talent to accomplish that if they have the motivation (and sponsors).

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