AWEN, Holly and Stephane’s Outremer 52 arrives in Lanzarote. Here’s the report, an absolute exclusive
Offshore cruising is always an adventure, but when it comes to crossing the Meditteranean in winter, the challenge becomes epic. Leaving from La Grande Motte on November 1, the AWEN team, made up of Holly, Stèphane and skipper Jean-Marc tackled a very challenging sea with strong winds and very high waves to reach Gran Canaria. They succeeded. The voyage was planned accurately, starting with a setup and boat testing phase in La Grande Motte, before tackling the unpredictable waters of the Mediterranean. Harsh weather characterized much of the journey, suffice it to say that 70 percent of the time was spent sailing against the wind, especially on the first two days where sea conditions were definitely severe.
Overall, an impressive 1,597 miles were covered during the 11 and a half days of navigation, covering a route basically divided into two long legs: La Grand Motte – Gibraltar and Gibraltar – Lanzarote.
As mentioned above, the first part of the crossing was characterized by upwind sailing, alternating with times of motor sailing when the wind was really contrary or in the rare cases when it let up completely. Near Tangier, the crew then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and headed westward, to seek wind at downwind gaits and avoid the danger of killer whales.
The next 3 1/2 days were spent on the stretch between Gibraltar and Gran Canaria. Here the sailing was mainly under sail, downwind with the Outremer 52 proving excellent performance, suggesting all the quality and attention the shipyard puts into these boats to make them sail at 100% of their potential. The top speeds were impressive: in 20 knots of true wind AWEN sailed consistently above 15 knots, recording top speeds between 18 and 20 knots.
“AWEN’s first route was challenging but very exciting; it allowed us to fully understand the boat by putting her through her paces in bad weather conditions” tells Stéphane, owner of AWEN, the Outremer 52 that is soon to cross the Ocean.
In fact, AWEN will depart from Lanzarote in a very few days to tackle the longest route, the one that will see her arrive first in the Caribbean and then in Miami, where she will be exhibited at the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS). At the U.S. show, Stèphane and Holly will also have the opportunity to share their trip recap during the Blue Water Seminar scheduled for Feb. 17, 2024.
“I really enjoyed living aboard AWEN, even in these conditions we felt like we were at home,” said Holly, AWEN’s owner.
What stunned Holly and Stéphane is that AWEN has already proven to be not only a catamaran of exceptional quality, but also a reliable companion even in the most challenging sea weather conditions, and for this we have to thank the Outremer shipyard. The route to Lanzarote has already become an epic tale of endurance, determination and adventure, now we wait curiously to see how the great Atlantic Ocean crossing will go.