ELEMEN'TERRE

Pen-Duick VI

The symbol of sailing in the heart of the French

Pen-Duick VI is a legend, a reference in the world of ocean racing. A steel colossus of 22M and 33T. Conceived in 1973 by architect André Mauric from Marseille for a crewed round the world race with stopovers (the 1973 first  Whitbread) the boat showed an nonstandard potential during this race but broke her mast twice. From 1973 to 1977, the boat took part in all great offshore races with the likes of Kersauson, Pajot, Coste, Titouan Lamazou, Poupon, Le Cam and others at her board.

In 1976, as he lacked time to conceive and build a new boat, Eric Tabarly decided to compete in the OSTAR, which he had already won once in 1964, but this time he would sail onboard Pen-Duick VI. Few people believed in this idea. The boat had been designed for a crew of 14 men, she was physically challenging, maneuvres took time, sails were heavy. Yet the OSTAR is a solo race from Plymouth to Newport.

After sailing through 5 depressions in a row, seeing his auto-pilot break down, after spending one night heaving to and thinking about giving up because of the difficulty and the tiredness, to everyone’s surprise on the morning of the 23rd day of the race, Eric Tabarly, who had not been able to communicate for more than 2 weeks, crossed the finish line in the lead at Newport. Neither the committee nor journalists were there, and no family at his arrival, as nobody knew where he had been. He himself did not even know that he was leading!

Following this victory, Pen-Duick VI took part in a few other races, but the evolution of hulls and the technologicial development of racing boats made her performances obsoletes. Then, she started a new stage of life: have people sail across the Earth to discover its wonders. For 15 years, Pen-Duick VI chartered across the world, from Greenland to Patagonia, through Brasil and the West Indies. To this date, she has sailed the equivalent of 14 times around the globe.

My mother Jacqueline and myself are still her keepers. For me, this journey will be a beautiful occasion to meet again all those who contributed to her history, as this boat has left memories all over the world !