A Man of Unlimited Natural Energy: Conrad Colman

After a major refit, Conrad Colman just relaunched his Open 60 that he will race singlehanded, non-stop, without any fossil fuel in the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe race. If he is successful, he will be the first people ever to complete the Vendée Globe without burning a drop of fuel. This a great goal of a young man with a huge ambition, but no major sponsor to help cover the massive costs. Therefore, he has set up a crowd-sourcing campaign to keep his program moving forward — just another example of his positive outlook.  

Conrad Colman enjoying the moment after a long winter in the shed.

Conrad wrote the following which appeared in Sailing Anarchy on April 29th: 

Sick of the election? Want to focus on something cool in November? Come vote with your wallet and help get me into the Vendée Globe. As some of you will know from previous posts here, I won the Global Ocean Race and co-skippered Nandor’s boat in the last Barcelona World Race. I am now signed up for the Vendée Globe, the solo non-stop race around the world that starts in November. I have secured a boat, completed a refit, and will be sailing across the Atlantic next week to participate in the solo race from NYC at the end of May.

In a professional racing class defined by big budgets as much as fast speeds, I am one of the few projects scraping through on the smell of an oily rag. This winter most skippers checked in on their refits once a week whereas I have been pulling 16 hour days in the boatshed with one day off since the new year, and have personally sanded the bottom, painted, laminated, screwed, wrenched and cursed my way through the winter. Number of full-time employees at Gitana? 35. Number of full-time employees at team C? 3 (Me, my wife and one preparateur).

Work progressing on his massive mainsail at UK Sailmakers France.

In addition to repainting the whole boat, repairing the mast, servicing the keel fin, replacing the electronics and redoing the rigging we ripped out the diesel engine! That’s right, we’re going fully electric and zero emissions for the race around the world. In partnership with Sailing Anarchy advertisers Ocean Volt, UK Sailmakers, Power Sails, Super B batteries, Gori propellers and Fischer Panda (to get through the IMOCA tests) I will race around the world without burning diesel with only solar panels in my mainsail and the hydrogenerator function on the motor providing clean limitless energy.

If you want to contribute, click here. 

I hope you join me in this crazy adventure by participating in my crowdfunding campaign or by becoming a sponsor of the campaign. The Vendée is one of this year’s biggest international sporting events, I’m one of the only English speakers and I have a TV deal to top it all off!

Conrad Colman
Vendée Globe 2016 Skipper
Mobile +33 (0)6 09 05 77 55

Articles: 364

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