Paul Fenn

The Transquadra Race, Where Old Guys Rule

Transquadra 2014-2015

Last Sunday, my 11 year old daughter competed in a local indoor track meet. There were a ton of kids there of all ages competing in everything from the 100 meter dash to the 200 meter relay to the shot put to the long jump to the pole vault. Mollie ran the mile crossing the finish line in 6:35; not too bad considering she hasn’t been training.

The meet was billed as an “all comers” meet meaning that it was open to everyone, kids and adults alike. As a runner myself, I’ve competed in plenty of road-races where it’s common to see people who are well into their 70s and even their 80s truckin’ along in good style. I was surprised however when a group of mature and seasoned hurdlers stepped to the starting line and blasted down the track leaping along like a group of high-schoolers. It was a wonderful thing to see and proves the point that you’re only as old as you feel.

Like those older hurdlers, the Transquadra race is reserved for those sailors over the age of 40 who still lust for adventure and the feeling they get when racing under full sail across the open sea. The other requirement for racing in the Transquadra is that it is only open to those racing either single-handed or double-handed.

The race is broken into 2 legs. The first leg is held in the fall and begins in either St. Nazaire, France or Barcelona, Spain. Both legs finish on the island of Madera. The second leg started earlier this week and will finish on the French island of Martinique, some 3,500 miles away in the Caribbean.

YOLO at the start of the 2nd leg of the Transquadra race from Madera to Martinique.
YOLO at the start of the 2nd leg of the Transquadra race from Madera to Martinique.

Racing this year in the double-handed fleet aboard the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600, YOLO, is my good friend and colleague, Jean-Francois de Premorel. In the first leg from St. Nazaire, Jean-Francois along with the help of Philippe Laperche finished 2nd, only 14 minutes behind the leader and getting 3rd on corrected time; not bad for a couple of old guys in a 7 day race!

“The Sun Fast 3600 proved incredibly stable and powerful in strong winds, and we were able to keep the spinnaker and mainsail under full sail at above 40 knots of wind.  Nothing broke, and we had very good camaraderie aboard, which made for a beautiful first leg of the race!” Jean-Francois de Premorel

YOLO, along with an impressive number of other Sun Fast 3200s and 3600s, left Madera this past Saturday and is currently in 2nd place. They are racing day and night and are due to arrive in Martinique sometime around February 7th. A race like this is not for the weak of heart but just like those older hurdlers racing down the track, they are only as old as they feel and they are going for it and loving every second of their journey.

On we go…

I invite you to track YOLOs progress at www.transquadra.com/positions.php

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