Saturday, October 30, 2010

Etienne Giroire interviewed by students from L'Ecole Française du Maine

Second and Third graders are pictured above with their teacher, Didier Carribou, cheering for Etienne Giroire, ATNINC five days before the start of "La Route du Rhum", the most famous transatlantic single-handed yacht race in the world. The official flag of La Route du Rhum seen in this photo was donated to the school by Kip Stone after his victorious win during the 2006 race, and is a very special and cherished gift.

Etienne Giroire, sailing ATNINC, of Fort Lauderdale, is the sole American participating in the 2010 single-handed transatlantic race "Route du Rhum" with his Walter Greene designed 40' Trimaran "" . Etienne is a very experienced sailor, a favorite among the 11 sailors of the "Rhum Class". The record to beat is 19 days.

"" 40' Trimaran of Etienne Giroire was designed by world-class nautical architect Walter Greene, of Yarmouth-Maine. Students are planning to visit Walter during the race.

Skype session with Etienne Giroire from his boat in Saint-Malo, France

A great thank you to Etienne Giroire, who took the time from his busy schedule, five days before the race, to answer questions from second and third grade students.

How long will it take you to cross the Atlantic?
The record with a boat like mine is 19 days.

How and when will you be able to sleep?
I will sleep when I can; near the European shore or near Guadeloupe I cannot; too many risks (ie: collisions). I may be able to nap a few minutes at a time. When in the middle of the ocean, I'll have some opportunities to rest. If the wind stops, that means it's nap time!

What will you eat?
Fruits, cereals, pasta, saucisson, bread, lots of water and a few canned goods.

Can you fish?
No, my boat sails too fast.

How do you cook pasta on board?
It is a real treat that I have a small kitchen on the boat

What are some of the dangers you are facing?
The number one danger is collision with large commercial ships near Europe.
It is almost impossible to stay awake at all time.

How do you navigate the boat?
My job is to adjust the sail (orientation, surface etc..) depending on the wind conditions.
I use winches and ropes. The wind usually changes constantly and when it doesn't, I rest for a while.

Do you have a motor?
Yes, to recharge batteries and computers, but we cannot use it to race.

Etienne ended the questions with a great quote:
" La mer n'est pas un endroit dangereux, mais il faut savoir la parcourir"

Good luck Etienne and Atninc
More info at