On the mid-Atlantic, (1500 miles from any continent, I met an open cat with a guy on it. It was Yvan Bourgnon, sailing around the world standing on its trampoline……heading for Guadeloupe, Yvan won the Transat in 1995 and navigates on its open cat with sextant. A few hours later I had 50 knots of wind against, worrying very much about his health. I could not get him on the VHF (Marine radio). The following week only headwinds with thunderstorms and extreme aggressive squals. Result was that I decided to step out of racing mode in order to save my boat. Target: boat should go back on the cargo to Lorient (in one piece). Those last days, two Italiens left their boats and were not able to finish in Guadeloupe.
If you can understand French, Yvan is telling exact the same story as I did and do: unbelievable weather, 50 knots of wind, many days (Yvan talks of 16 days), exceptional and never experienced this bad on a Transatlantic crossing. Extreme feeling of fear. He capsized in the 50 knots of wind and was for 2 hours in the water, only than being able to get his cat up again.
Yvan Bourgnon 23 Novembre 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLOc71zuKrE
Paprec Virbac/Roland Jourdain/Jean-PierreDick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGL9rkuOcVk
Robert Rosen Jacobson
Transat NED 602