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Nicolas Lunven aboard Holcim-PRB is acquiring invaluable experience he set out to gain on his IMOCA

by Team HOLCIM - PRB 5 May 12:54 PDT 5 May 2024
Nicolas Lunven aboard Holcim-PRB © Julien Champolion - polaRYSE / Holcim-PRB

The Transat CIC is proving to be anything but a tranquil journey along the river. It's a thrilling and challenging expedition that has already forced numerous boats to seek refuge along the North Atlantic coast. Despite his initial aspirations to lead the fleet, Nicolas Lunven aboard Holcim-PRB finds himself navigating through the race, adapting to unforeseen circumstances. Bereft of optimal conditions for the past three days, his monohull can no longer harness the full power of its larger sails. Instead, it must rely on smaller sails, limiting its speed potential.

Nevertheless, Nicolas persists in pushing his vessel to its limits, extracting every ounce of performance. Maintaining a philosophical outlook, he acknowledges the invaluable lessons this transatlantic race offers in preparation for the upcoming Vendée Globe in November. "The conditions are challenging, with strong winds and choppy seas, exacerbated by our proximity to the Gulf Stream. We're facing 35 knots of wind, making for a fast but demanding journey. Sleeping is a luxury, as the boat's constant motion requires constant vigilance. These conditions are precisely what I came here for - to experience real-world scenarios and hone my skills for the Vendée Globe. Overall, everything is under control," Nicolas explains.

His arrival at Liberty Island, greeted by the iconic Statue of Liberty, is scheduled for Thursday. Following that, he'll have three weeks with his technical team to prepare Holcim-PRB for the New York - Vendée return transatlantic race, culminating in Les Sables d'Olonne. Despite the challenges ahead, Nicolas remains optimistic, focused on navigating the unpredictable weather patterns without further compromising his vessel. "I'm 800 miles away from the finish line. Sunday promises sustained winds throughout the day, followed by a transition zone with lighter winds. Tuesday will bring a brief southwest wind shift before another transition on Wednesday. The remainder is uncertain, but the final stretch shouldn't be too nerve-wracking. There's still plenty of excitement to come," Nicolas adds, his unwavering energy evident.

Among the 33 IMOCAs that embarked on this journey, only 26 continue towards New York. Currently positioned 14th in a race led by Yoann Richomme on Paprec Arkea, Nicolas is determined to be among those docking their 60-footers in the American city.

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