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Kevin Le Poidevin and Open40 Roaring Forty: A roaring round-the-world journey

by Margherita Pelaschier / Global Solo Challenge 4 Oct 2023 05:29 PDT
Roaring Forty © Kevin Le Poidevin

Kevin Le Poidevin, the only Australian skipper entered in the Global Solo Challenge and born in 1961, is a sailor of vast skill and capabilities.

Thirty-one years in the military have allowed him to not only develop efficiency, skill, and knowledge in numerous areas but also great human qualities and a heart of gold. When he had to choose a name for his team, he decided on "Aviator Ocean Racing", recalling a superior in the air force who used to say, "we are all aviators", not just the pilots but also the mechanics, cooks, and all the base personnel.

"My team consists of me, my family, and my supporters. In the end, I do most of the work. I'm not afraid of hard work and can put in twenty hours a day if necessary. I've managed every aspect of the project given my prior expertise: design, maintenance, logistics, procurement, contracts, advertising, social media, video editing, drone operation, article writing, photography, electricity, mechanics, equipment, and composite repairs... Oh yes, and also sailing." His stories flow smooth; you could listen to him for hours, always slipping in a humorous comment that lightens the mood, revealing a deep yet joyful spirit.

Naturally, Kevin counts his boat as part of his team, playfully nicknamed "The Beast" when it becomes too demanding to handle. The actual name of Kevin's Lutra BOC Open 40 is "Roaring Forty" which he purchased back in 2017. He had an ambitious project in mind, but his plans were upended by unforeseen events, particularly Covid. "My original sailing program was supposed to span seven years but got disrupted due to the pandemic. Now, my primary and significant goal is the GSC; I've always dreamt of sailing around the world. Afterward, I'll sail the boat back to Australia and do another refit to participate in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, then the 2025 Melbourne-Osaka race, followed by an attempt to break the Australia round-trip record. By the end, I'll either be completely worn out or broke," he jokingly concludes.

The name of his boat, Roaring Forty, aptly suits the spirit of the Australian sailor. "I see myself as a simple custodian adding a new chapter to the Roaring Forty story. In the future, I'll hand it over to another sailor. Back in Australia, I own a Sigma 36 named "Rogue Wave". I like the connection between these two names, both evocative of the sea and wind."

Regarding the type of boat, Roaring Forty is an Open 40, a kind of predecessor to the Class40, but with distinct features outside the box rule: for instance, the hull can be made from any material, like carbon fiber, unlike Class 40s which must be made of fiberglass. Roaring Forty has a ballast capacity of 1000 liters on each side, whereas Class 40s are limited to 750 liters.

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