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Freedom and good fun.
Dominique Demachy reached Pointe à Pitre on November 21st 2006, completing the Route du Rhum on board Gifi before heading to the Paris Boat Show, where Nauticnews met the award-winning skipper, who lives in Villeneuve-sur-Lot in the south-west of France.
You just finished your first Route du Rhum?
Yes. I finished 6th in the Multihull Class 2 category. It took me 23 days, 2 hours and 21 minutes to reach Pointe à Pitre with Gifi. She’s a 50-foot catamaran, my second boat, and like the first one she was built by Tournier Marine and designed by Erik Lerouge.
So what’s next?
I’ll be returning to Asia early this year, because I have been working for Gifi since 1985, that’s how I have always been able to finance my boats myself. As far as racing is concerned, I’m having a 50-foot boat built for The Transat in 2008. Of course I could have switched sponsors to do it, but I like to keep my freedom and independence, and above all, I don’t want to quit my job.
So you just never stop?
That’s true. I never stop working. I go from one event to the next. I’ve just finished the Route du Rhum and I’m going back to work in Asia, via the Philippe Tournier stand at the Paris Boat Show of course. My next boat will be based on the new Freydis Class 50’ Open. The main modifications will be aimed at making her lighter (4.5 tons instead of 7.5) and wider (10.4 metres instead of 7.8). The characteristics will be more like a trimaran, because so far, nobody has proved that trimarans are necessarily faster.
Why Tournier Marine?
I met Philippe in 1991 when I was looking to build a big catamaran. His shipyard does not turn out many boats, but they are all high quality, with good sailing performance. So far, nobody else has designed a faster, more reliable 50-foot catamaran than Tournier Marine. They produce customised boats with up to 6 cabins, so you can really live on board. Their boats are designed for racing and for fast cruising. That’s why my 3rd boat will come from their shipyard too.
So you believe in loyalty?
Very much so. I’ve been working for Gifi for 21 years now, and I’ve stuck with Tournier Marine for the past 15. I’m also true to my convictions. I always have 4 bottles of champagne on board for when I cross the finish line. For me, racing should be synonymous with fun, a celebration. It has to be fast of course, but also fun. Maybe that’s why I always finish all my races. But most importantly, I want to keep my freedom, to do what I want, with my own boat.
– NG –