A very memorable delivery sail was recently completed by the brand-new J/45 ACADIA from Les Sables d’Olonne, France up the west coast of France and across the English Channel to Dartmouth, United Kingdom . She was sailed by ACADIA co-owner Erik Asgeirsson along with the J/Boats UK/ Key Yachting team of Wayne Palmer and Mike Stills. Here’s Erik’s commentary of that epic voyage:
“The journey started at the home of J/Composites in Les Sables d’Olonne, considered the offshore sailing capital of the world by many. We departed from the famous Vendee Globe canal in the early afternoon and were greeted with a building easterly.
As the breeze built, the sail up the coast of France turned into a nice beam reach ride averaging 11-12 knots and topping out at 14.5 knots boat speed in around 15-20 knots of breeze. With full main and J1 jib up, the balance and lively performance of the J/45 were greatly enjoyed. The sunset and sunrise over the shores of France were also a sight to see!
By 8:00 am the following day, we reached the famous lighthouse off Pointe Du Raz in Brittany, which is known for the crashing waves, strong winds, and currents. “Raz” means a strong current of water. At this point, the ENE had built to 22-24 knots, and we had reefed the main and gone to the J4 jib. The boat felt very well-balanced sailing at 9 knots close-hauled.
As we left the shelter of the Brittany coast, we were provided a “baptism by fire” greeting by the English Channel… surprise surprise. By evening, the ENE wind had built to a steady 30-plus knots that held throughout the night and the waves grew to 10-15 feet.
At this point, we went to a reefed main and no jib. This is where the balance and stability of the J/45 really stood out and she continued to make 7–9 knots boat speed close reaching into the strong English Channel wave set. At times, waves were crashing over the whole deck and running off through the transom. A baptism to remember! The J/45 took it all with grace and ease.
By sunrise the second day, we had completed the 100-mile-plus English Channel crossing, thankfully avoiding dozens of ships steaming up and down the Channel, and arrived in the historic harbor of Dartmouth, England . Later in the week, ACADIA was moved to Hamble , and she is now days away from being loaded onto Seven Star Transport in Southampton for the transit to Newport!”
Here are two videos for you to watch: