Route du Rhum: "I did not want it to become dangerous," says Galfione

Route du Rhum: "I did not want it to become dangerous," says Galfione

Like former pole vaulter Jean Galfione (Serenis Consulting), who participates in his 2e Route du Rhum, several sailors have made the choice to return to port to shelter from the storm that crosses the Atlantic. Not without a feeling of guilt.

Many sailors have decided to take shelter. It was the wisest decision?

JEAN GALFIONE. This is not a whim. A week before departure, the stress escalated. Some sailors are seasoned, others, like me, were a little worried. While passing Ouessant, I looked at my weather files, the anguish is mounted. I said to myself if I'm stressed when I'm not there yet, it may be a sign. The option to take shelter, considered before departure, was a relief. I did not want to put myself in a situation that I could not handle, I did not want it to become dangerous.

For you as for the boat …

The first thing is the breaking of the boat. A crisis of anxiety, it can become dangerous for everyone. In case of breakage, we must come and get us, if we can … It's a series of horrible things that we must not live. To be a good sailor is also to say that you do according to your abilities. Will I know how to do ? I had this doubt. I was a pole vaulter not so long ago, I do not know anything about sailing.

How were your first hours at sea?

Everything was fine. I changed the sails regularly, it was cold, there was a little sea, it was raining, it was not comfortable but it was controllable. The continuation, with the passage of a big front, became more complicated. Gusts of wind at 55 knots (over 100 km / h), troughs of 6 to 8 m … I have never experienced that. We do not realize, but it's the beginning of a storm, we're not just talking about big waves. The boat goes up and when it falls, it hits. These boats are several tons and shock after shock, they are weakened. I did not feel it, but it does not mean that the sailors who left are unconscious, they know how to do.

Have you traded with other skippers who have found refuge in Brest?

It's a very strange climate. To take shelter is to accept its limits, it is not obvious. I listen to stories, everyone finds a reason to say stop. There is no shame to have, but it is not easy to live. It's hard to tell I can not do it, so I stop. What reassures me is that there is a quarantine in this case.

Is the decision to restart or not taken?

It's also a dilemma … I'm looking at the weather files, the door is closed until Saturday. I'm on stand-by but still racing. I rest, I try to digest this break, to find energy to leave. The more time passes, the more complicated it is. It's so stupid to find yourself in such a situation.

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