Maud Fontenoy on target
The 29-year-old one-handed skipper Maud Fontenoy was greeted by several thousand people in the port of the "Pointe des Galets" on LRéunion on Thursday. On Wednesday she finally crossed the finish line on this French indicator island with her 26 meter long monohull "L'Oréal Paris" after she had only sailed under emergency rigging for over four weeks.
Maud Fontenoy had cast off the lines in LRéunion on October 15th, 2006 to sail around the globe against the prevailing wind direction on the former "Adrien" of Jean Luc van den Heede. Only six people have successfully mastered this route as a single-handed sailor so far, including the German Wilfried Erdmann (2001 in 343 days). The record is held by Jean-Luc van den Heede: It only took 122 days.
Maud Fontenoy did not set out with the aim of breaking an official record - that would not have been possible with a start in LRéunion in the southern hemisphere. The young sportswoman wanted to show young people in particular that "in life it doesn't matter whether you are first or last, but rather that you set yourself objectives and achieve them". The first interview words on arrival were also addressed to the countless children present: "Never let yourself be persuaded that your dreams are impossible to realize!"
The almost five-month trip (150 days, 23 hours and 48 minutes for 21,300 miles) was marked by a wide variety of conditions: phases of calm were replaced by storms with up to 60 knots and waves 10 meters high. Maud Fontenoy was close to giving up after her mast broke on February 10 in relatively "tame" conditions. The skipper finally built herself an emergency rig in order to sail as far as LRéunion. She had to extend the route several times due to impending hurricanes.
Maud Fontenoy has already made a name for herself as an extreme rower: in 2003 she rowed alone across the Atlantic, in 2005 across the Pacific.
Further information, partly in German, at www.maudfontenoy.com