The Outremer 52 AWEN has set sail for Miami.
Adventures like this are always a dream for sea lovers, but for Holly and Stéphane this desire has just turned into an exciting reality. Setting off from the picturesque town of La Grande Motte on the southern coast of France, this resourceful couple of sailors are putting themselves to the test with an epic voyage aboard AWEN, their new Outremer 52, to the U.S. Mainland.
The ultimate goal? To reach the prestigious Miami International Boat Show (MIBS) to be held in February 2024. This voyage, however, is more than just an ocean crossing…their plan to sail across oceans and discover the world aboard Awen, has finally become true.
The voyage of the Outremer 52 AWEN
Stéphane and Holly’s adventure aboard AWEN began in southern France, from which they set off for the Canary Islands, a strategic stopping point to prepare for the Atlantic crossing.
AWEN’s owners are lifelong sailing enthusiasts: Stéphane is an experienced sailor, while Holly is a popular blogger, who will be documenting the entire journey, step by step. The couple bought Outremer 52 with the desire to embark on this extraordinary adventure, named “All Together,” living on a boat for 2 to 3 years, thus discovering the world through the eyes of sailors who have done it before, and in the most environmentally sustainable way possible.
The goal is to arrive (as a first stop) in the Canary Islands, where they will stay a few weeks for various supplies and to set up their multihull in the smallest details. This will also give them the opportunity to improve their sailing skills in preparation for the challenge ahead.
Once ready, the next goal will be to reach the Caribbean, a dream destination for many sailors, propelled by the trade winds that are blowing at this time. To make this crossing, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, there will be two more women on board: Stéphane’s daughter and the famous British skipper Nikki Henderson, the youngest skipper in the world to make the “Clipper Round the World Yacht Race” and a partner sailor of the shipyard. This help, in addition to providing a strong image (which will then be conveyed by Holly to everyone though her blog) of 3 women venturing on a voyage of such magnitude, will allow the owners to have extra confidence in sailing, and to learn even more from Nikki, who knows Outremer 52 better than anyone else.
In February 2024, MIBS will then represent the conclusion of this incredible adventure, and it will certainly be an incredible moment for Holly and Stéphane, who will be taking Outremer 52 to the shores of Florida for the first time.
How Outremer prepares its owners
Being prepared for such a voyage is far from simple: Stéphane and Holly have recently completed a many-week preparation that the shipyard punctually follows up with its owners.
The Outremer 52 AWEN was designed according to the owners’ needs and uses: performance and safety have always been at the heart of the design of the shipyard’s “Blue Water” catamarans; ease of navigation and quality of life on board, however, are the two essential components that can never be lacking aboard an Outremer catamaran. The willingness to push the limits, to take advantage of the ample space on board, and the ability to handle the multihull even in two, makes Outremer 52 the perfect companion for Stéphane and Holly on their epic adventure.
Among the features that the couple most appreciated about this catamaran are the large windows (which provide incomparable visibility) and the connecting spaces between exterior and interior, which are unencumbered, ensuring safety even in very rough sea conditions.
One of the impressive features of this catamaran then, is its ability to sail even in light winds. AWEN‘s main goal is to maintain a constant speed of about 10 knots, even in light winds. Its potential, however, is quite different: during trials off the coast of Corsica, in very strong wind conditions, they reached a top speed of as much as 17.5 knots in a 22-knot true wind.
As soon as they purchased the catamaran, Holly and Stéphane also underwent a training course, which moreover Outremer provides to all owners, developed over several weeks. During this time the couple learned how to manage and understand the maintenance, safety, mechanics, hydraulics and all the electronic systems of the catamaran, with the opportunity to spend a few weeks at sea practicing steering their Outremer 52 on their own.
Holly also attended a specific training program, the “Ladies Sailing Program” designed specifically for women who wished to feel more confident and prepared to sail in extreme conditions. After the Cannes Yachting Festival, Holly and Stéphane joined a second part of training, this time based just on Awen, to learn how to handle it and use all the tools independently.
To best test all the onboard features, the couple sailed alone for a week in front of the coast of Corsica, with the possibility of contacting Outremer support for any doubts or changes that needed to be made, making Awen simply perfect. Completing the training then were courses on all emergency procedures and how to use the first aid kit, leaving nothing to chance and always putting safety first.
This adventurous voyage is not only about the desire to explore the wonders of the world by boat, but also about the responsibility to preserve it for future generations, and the theme of environmental sustainability (so much desired by Holly and Stéphane) can be seen in Awen’s technical details. The boat is equipped with a major solar panel system that generates as much as 2000 watts of clean energy.
These solar panels provide the energy needed to power a range of electronic instrumentation, including cameras, satellite communication systems, and advanced navigation instruments.
Solar power ensures that the boat can operate efficiently without having to rely on diesel generators or other polluting power sources, combined with the attractive onboard hydro-generator. This device uses the power of water to generate energy through a turbine and an underwater propeller, which turns while sailing. The energy produced is stored in the two large lithium batteries provided, and can be used at times when the solar panels cannot generate enough power-a perfect example of how technology can be put to the service of sustainability.
These innovative solutions ensure that the boat can remain completely energy autonomous while minimizing its environmental impact, one of the key focuses for Holly and Stéphane.
Outremer 52 AWEN: the route
The first leg of the journey has begun: AWEN has left La Grande Motte, France, to head for the Canary Islands, an approximately 1,400-nautical-mile journey.
This is undoubtedly the most challenging leg of their journey, with uncertain weather in the Mediterranean, and a new boat to manage. That’s precisely why Stéphane and Holly have Jean-Marc, an experienced skipper, on board to offer safety and support during this first tricky passage.
In the Mediterranean, you know, the weather can be unpredictable, and there are more risks to consider: first and foremost, you should not get too close to the coast of Morocco because of the risk of pirates, and you should avoid the routes frequented by killer whales during the ocean outing.
The next leg of the journey then, will take AWEN across the Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, with a distance of about 2,600 nautical miles, which could take 10 to 15 days to cover, depending on wind conditions.
Finally, their ultimate goal will be Miami: where they will participate in the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS) in February 2024. An epic feat for all sailing enthusiasts-which we look forward to following closely.