2024 Performance Settings

We are once again offering this training course, led by Benoit Hantzperg.
Members who registered last year for the cancelled session are of course given priority for this new edition.

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2024 meetings

This year, we are organizing two Pogo meetings:

manche, Barneville-Carteret, June 15-16, 2024

atlantic, Douarnenez, September 7-8, 2024

In the Mediterranean, we’re studying the idea of a meeting in Antibes, but we haven’t yet been able to come to a conclusion.

The AIP office

Cornouaille Club Trophy

Ronde Sénane

Cornouaille’s clubs are offering a program of 2024 regattas. The Sénane, in which we have participated for several years, is one of them.

President’s greetings

Dear friends,

At the start of this new year, the AIP board wishes you a superb new year of sailing. We have some magnificent boats: let’s make the most of them!

The new Board, appointed at the close of the Annual General Meeting in November, is already hard at work. We are delighted to welcome five new members to the Board this year: Aurélia Stephan, who will be in charge of our secretariat this year, Dominique Le Guillou, Michel Boer, Christophe Jacqueline and Randall Watson. Agnès Gach and our Italian friend Giuseppe Denti now complete the team of the ever-faithful Claude Nos, Emmanuel Liron and Xavier Rouault. We’re slowly going international, but we haven’t yet reached the parity we’d like to see… Where are our valiant female skippers?

At the beginning of February, we’ll be announcing the dates of our three Pogo gatherings, one of which will bring together Italians and French, our winter training courses ashore, the dates of regattas where Pogo skippers will be able to participate, the date of our spring cruise, which this year will be heading for Norway, and of course our AIP 2024 good plans!

But our team wouldn’t be complete without the participation of the other AIP members, that’s to say you… So I invite you to show your solidarity by renewing your 2024 membership on our website, promoting our activities and letting us know what you’d like to see by simply answering a questionnaire that Michel will be proposing to you at the start of the year.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Xavier Poncet

Azores May-June-July 2023

preamble

For most of us, our spring 2023 Pogo cruise looked like a challenge: to sail a half-transat seemed reckless, to say the leastAs thelucky owners of these four beautiful Pogo yachts are not necessarily newcomers, we made our arrangements well in advance, planning specific offshore training sessions at the start of the year. Thanks to preparatory meetings, we have rigorously planned a maximum number of things to validate in order to hope for serene sailing. A direct route of around 1,240 miles from Groix (1,370 miles on the outward journey), with a forecast of eight to twelve days involving management of the inevitable anticyclones that the Azores have the secret of, pushed us to work much harder on our knowledge of routing and better use of our navigation software. Several of us actually had two different software packages, so as not to have our eggs in the same basket. Likewise, we drew heavily on the literature to modify our accommodation (e.g. repositioning the main mooring in a waterproof bag, matossage, repositioning weights) and grouping together survival gear (survival gear and TPS Cotten drysuit) and first-aid kit

Several new issues were addressed: self-sufficiency in energy, fuel and water, satellite communications, daily monitoring by Cross Gris nez after filling in a very complete online file, minimizing interactions with killer whales, which have been rampant for over a year in Spain and Portugal, minimizing contacts with cargo ships and other container ships by using means other than AIS to avoid collisions with fishermen in the Bay of Biscay, who have the unfortunate habit of cutting into the Bay for very bad reasons.. Each of these points was addressed, and the contribution of each participant was essential. 

The participants

  • Bruno B. BOOMERANG 2 Pogo 36 from Saint Malo,
  • Patrick A. L’AVENTURE Pogo 10.50 from La Trinité,
  • Henri M. LÉTHÉ Pogo 30 from La Trinité,
  • Xavier P. X-RAY Pogo 30 from Kernevel Lorient

 

For the last four years, we’ve been going by our usual principle: Pogo grouping, which is in no way a regatta, a rally or even a cruise with GOs! On each island, we tried to get together in a festive, even very festive, atmosphere for a debriefing of the sailing and weather analysis of the days ahead, to define our objectives. Everyone could set off on the date of their choice and from their home port, with the primary objective of reaching the easternmost island, the small island of Santa Maria. It turned out to be an excellent choice

The descent to Santa Maria

an excellent friend from Brittany, a five-year solo tour-du-mondiste on a Garcia 43 from Sein, full of wisdom and accumulated experience, had given me a couple of tips: when soloing, always reef the boat at night, never go beyond the roof without a double-hooked lanyard, and make sure you cut the cargo route perpendicularly, then sail away for twenty miles or so before resuming your course. As a result, it’s a lot safer outside their likely path

This last point seemed to me to be very judicious. Leaving Lorient, I had to cut the line from the Ouessant rail to the Spanish point rail as soon as possible. A few years ago, these tankers were travelling at 23 knots. Now that the oil crisis has passed, their average speed is closer to 17 knots. Three days before my scheduled departure, I did this experiment to find out roughly how long it would take to cross their route, and then calculate how I could get there during the day. This little run was very instructive as I headed due west. What amazed me, however, was figuring out exactly where due west was in relation to Groix….. No, it’s not really heading towards Belle-Ile, but towards La Jument, the southern cardinal of the Glénan islands! It’s better when you check the map. Watching the weather forecast on TV in the evening gives an image that may surprise a neophyte

I was the first to leave the Pogo de Lorient on May 12 at around 10 a.m. to reach this crossing point, but the conditions when I found myself far offshore to the west of Penmarc’h were in fact very different from the test: NNW with 16 to 28 knots of wind. Wind in the nose… Once past Pen Men, I’ll take the decision to head for Les Poulains, Pointe de Belle-Ile. Of course, this will mean cutting much further south along the famous route, but you’ve got to know how to adapt. At 9pm, 1 reef staysail then 2 reefs staysail. At 2 a.m. I had to brake, furl the staysail and strike: I was too close to a freighter. Around eleven o’clock in the morning I finally cut the cargo route with 18n of wind and continued for two hours on the same route before shooting down. First good, windy day with 183 miles covered. The routing now takes me southwards, over a hundred miles off the Spanish tip. The Azores are ours!

The second and third days were less straightforward, with a much less sustained and irregular wind, sometimes dropping to less than five knots, but fortunately still from the NW. I had to be on my guard: on the third night, a freighter cut my course at 45 degrees. Fortunately, I had bought a Mer-Veille at the beginning of the year. New but of old design, very inexpensive, with the immense advantage of complementing the AIS. In fact, it detects radar. Very interesting, since Spanish trawlers leave it activated, unlike their AIS. Great!

From day 4 onwards, rough seas and winds of 22 to 35 knots. Trials under gennaker at over 10 knots on the bottom with the strong new NKE settings recommended by our trainer Benoît H. Trials quickly stopped due to luffing starts. Normal. Second breakfast standing up… A peak at 11.7 n under single-reef genoa. 22 to 29 n. It’s a real head turner. The hydrogenerator is even having trouble spreading out, so hard is the pilot working. He’s doing the Saint Guy dance. Two reefs and a staysail at night: slower but calmer. 640 miles in four days. Average speed goes up. At 11:30 am I gybe towards the Azores. I’m fairly low down on the coast of Portugal. Still two reefs on the staysail. Bruno, Anne and their crew, who left Morgat with their 36, are 259 miles ahead of me on the same course. The wind is oscillating between 24 and 34 knots.

day5 and6, third day under staysail… 820 miles in five days. 292 miles from Aveiro in Portugal and 514 from the finish. Still sporty, with a puff at 32 knots. The gribs indicate only 20 knots! Another big day at 181 miles

day7. Took my gribs for the3rd time thanks to the iridium GO. Great! Wind still NE but becoming more manageable from 21 to 24 knots. I’ll learn on arrival that in Brittany the E wind lasts as long as it does here. Day breaks late. Fifth day under staysail. At 2 p.m. I hoist the gennaker with a bit of courage. A knot of current in the nose. Passed a sailboat heading for Morocco at 2.7 knots: it’s not there yet! I kept the gennaker up all night. Between 7 and 11.4 knots on the descents. A real kid

At 9:50 am, or 7:50 am local time, abeam the Gonvalo Vello lighthouse. Welcome to Portugal and the Azores. 1369 miles in 7 days and 23 hours. Yes! We cam too …

My Boomerang 2 friends Anne, Bruno and Hervé are welcoming me with great kindness to the tiny port of Vila do Porto on the island of Santa Maria. It took them six days and eight hours to break the record with their beast of a race. It’s a good thing there’s no radar on the water yet!

Five weeks to visit the Azores

Santa Maria

My personal favorite. Our information warned us that the marina was very small and crowded. All wrong. Several free berths, a very friendly harbour master, several houses with closed shutters. We soon found out: this island is Portuguese, of course, and many of the houses are in fact second homes, occupied only in the summer months. By mid-May, we’ll be the kings of oil! We’ll be delighted with this superb island, which the four of us can visit by renting a car for a small fee. The east coast is simply magnificent. The weather will surprise us. If you’re thinking of bringing your sarong and sun cream, you’re in for a slight disappointment. What can I say? It’s very mild, but as die-hard Bretons, we find it rather invigorating: wind, regular showers and sunshine. Like last year, we’ll be setting off each day by car, so that we can spend most of the day climbing, with an essential stop for lunch. An invigorating Spanish inn. The number of proposed stops in remarkable places is incredible. Everything has been taken care of: the setting, the tables and chairs, a welcome shelter and even a barbecue ready to serve… We’ll have some great photos at the table in front of the sea, showing us starving with our hats and oilskins on!


We soon enter this almost tropical forest with its luxuriant vegetation (so much water, so much water), approach our first craters, visit our first lighthouse with a beautifully dressed officer who has the grace to give us a private tour, our first awareness of whaling by these poor inhabitants.


Four magical days. Our stay is off to a good start, but we’re going back to sea to try and visit as many islands as possible. For the record, most sailors don’t visit more than two islands, supposedly because the harbors are small and crowded. Our journey will prove us wrong

Sao Miguel

57 miles further on , a big change of scenery. A large marina with all the advantages and disadvantages of civilization. First observation: winter must be severe, given the XXL-sized hull protectors that the yachts are still wearing in early May. A warm welcome at the harbour office, despite the need to change places, lots of noise and car hire at tourist prices. Fortunately, the island is very beautiful.

Visits to the craters, whaling museums, walks through the different-colored lava and tasting the famous bacalao in restaurants with generous home cooking are a must. But without reservations, there’s no salvation. We’ll be happy here for seven days.

Beautiful Horta

157 miles in 25 hours. The wind blowing from the largest volcano on the island of Pico played tricks on my mind. The four Pogo boats will arrive in staggered order in this marina, which will turn out to be jam-packed.


It’s easy to understand: the locals have their year-round berths, and the news of a gale doesn’t help matters. Too many boats for too few berths. 48 hours before the low, Boomerang 2 and X-RAY will do as everyone else does: anchor! After that, it’s a case of muddling through at the harbour master’s office. You have to be very, very diplomatic. A few delicious Breton cakes from the large on-board stock will do the trick… Bruno suggests taking a pontoon berth for eight days. After a lot of palavering between the two people in charge of the harbor master’s office, his request is accepted, which is miraculous to say the least. The worm is in the fruit! As a result, X-RAY will also have the right, after even more and less understandable palavering, to be alongside a sailboat waiting for engine parts. It’s a dream if you don’t want to sleep with one eye open at anchor in the outer harbour, especially as more and more yachts come to take shelter and, of course, the space between each boat narrows as time goes by…

To speak of Horta without mentioning the Café du Port and its current owner Peter, internationally renowned by all transateurs, would be an error in taste. Thanks to Bruno, we’ll be treated to a private visit to the second floor of his fabulous museum of scrimshaws (engraved sperm whale teeth) and other whaling memorabilia.

José, a third-generation owner who was never called Peter, any more than the other two (but that’s another fabulous story), will not only tell us a lot about his family, offer us a pavilion of his famous Café in exchange for an AIP handlebar, but will also advise us to rent a catamaran to see the whales up close. A dream come true. A magical moment of discovery for many of us


We’ll be visiting the island at length with the other Léthé and Aventure crews who have joined us

We found it complicated to go to the island of Pico just opposite us with our sailboats, due to the lack of a suitable port. The best time to see this very high volcano was often at sunrise, as it quickly disappeared beneath the clouds. We preferred to take the ferry twice and ask for the services of a taxiwoman who had the advantage of showing us the most beautiful places and then dropping us off for our usual walks. It’s a steep climb on this island too. From now on, we’ll have to sign up to climb to the summit, as the departure is scheduled for around 5 a.m. at night, with a guide to ensure we don’t get lost alone in the fog

A remarkable museum at N d’Horta, created by the Prince of Monaco, very didactic, with lots of explanations about recent irruptions, and museums on both islands about whaling, which stopped in the 1970s after the invention of synthetic oil. Whaling arrived in the Azores with the arrival of American fishing boats, which were increasing their prospecting grounds. Soon, sperm whales were the only fish caught, as unlike whales, they do not sink in deep waters if they die

We spent eighteen days visiting these two islands. For my part, I had expressed the wish to also visit the westernmost island, Florès

Florès

Dilemma: this normally hurricane-proof island was unexpectedly visited by a hurricane’s tail five years ago, which literally ravaged the brand-new marina… All the guidebooks pointed out the beauty of Florès, with even more flowers than on the other islands. So it was with a small plane and a guide with a passion for nature and ornithology that I discovered its hidden beauty. Many years later, the remains of the pontoons are still piled up beside the quay. A dozen reckless sailboats with big tires for defense are against the rough quay, and surprise: half of them were Bretons!

Sao Jorge

After 55 miles, the four of us set off in disarray, with or without going around Pico, to arrive at this surprising marina. I would arrive a little after everyone else and find a place at the back of the marina after a poorly negotiated landing. Darn! All my friends come to welcome me, saying: “You’ll see at night, it’s Verdun… We’re surrounded by high cliffs and I don’t really see the problem straight away. The harbour is indeed very well protected, but it’s squatted by hundreds of shearwaters who leave their nests at nightfall and go out fishing, making an incredible noise: earplugs are a must! Short tour of the island,


evening restaurants and fresh supplies. We’re already looking ahead to the return trip. The weather forecast is not looking too good: either too much wind or a huge anticyclone is blocking our way back to France. Everyone cogitates and guesses. Crew changes scheduled by plane on the island of Terceira mean that the other three boats have to go there anyway, book their places in advance and plan ahead

For my part, after several contradictory routings, I decided to set off at the same time as my friends, but bypassing Sao Jorge to the west, unlike them

The climb towards Brittany

The four Pogo’s set sail early on Wednesday June 21st. It’s funny to be separated, and even funnier to see the tracks of our friends on the AIS as they make the other turn around Sao Jorge

Around 9 a.m., the wind strengthens to 25 29 n from W SW. First upwind to pass the tip of the island, then more downwind. At 2pm, two reefs of staysail for lunch. I set a very northerly course at the edge of the low-pressure area, leaving the huge light-blue anticyclone far to the right. The night under two staysail reefs is a good refresher. I wake up every 20 minutes, look for other boats on the screen, take a look around, adjust the sails: it’s just business as usual. A good first day, covering 158 nautical miles.

Second day with less wind between 16 and 21 knots. As the forecast gale has not yet arrived, we hoist the gennaker. We’re sailing between 7 and 7.6 knots, which is perfect. The wind will come in during the night at 27n. Small technical problem: during a gybe at six in the morning, the mainsheet I’m holding up gets stuck in the center cleat. Not good at all, lack of concentration.at daybreak, I noticed that my mainsail was looking a bit grey. After a good breakfast and a lot of thought, I lower my sail. As a result, the lead car has extruded under the impact and I don’t have another one. This one is different from the others, and doesn’t have a screw rod that goes into the battens. Mac Gyver came to the rescue by making a dyneema rigging with several small white sliders that I had in advance. Very, very gently hoisted. It seems to be holding and I’m saving a reef for later. If it can hold for several days, that would be perfect

For the next two days, the wind will remain strong at 18 to 32 knots. Fourth day at 198 miles. It feels strange to be sailing due north, very far west of France. Ran into a sailboat I’d seen yesterday with its red spinnaker. Probably heading for Scotland or England. Still impossible to turn right towards Brittany as this windless strip is enormous

On the6th day, I’m finally in front of Penmarc’h, but at 656 miles !!!! it’s far, but far… It’s going to seem like a very long time. i cut off the cargo route at midnight on the eighth day. Not ideal, but it’s going well despite the fear of a cold front

The eighth day will be very invigorating off Penmarc’h. Not only several freighters in the sights, but also an impressive number of fishermen, despite a strong gale and still 33n of wind. What courage. I’m reaching with two reefs on the staysail, the sea isn’t very rough but the wave interval is short. No matter how hard I use the new NKE strong settings, it doesn’t help. X-RAY luffed. I try an alternative by putting in a third reef, and miraculously the boat goes like clockwork. I quickly passed Groix and set my sights on Quiberon, as I had arranged to meet my yacht at La Trinité the next day. Arriving at Le Pouilloux at the tip of Quiberon, the wind drops off but I don’t take my reefs off. I savor these last hours, tacking through the Conguel pass. I’ll be arriving at Port Haliguen at 2:30 am on Thursday June 28th. The first thing I’ll do is take my two smelly garbage cans out of the stern hatch and, with undisguised pleasure, walk the 500m to the containers. Everyone can have as much fun as they want, but I’m rocking! I’m absolutely alone on my feet at this hour, but happy. Return in 8 days and 17 hours. 1426 miles. Total distance of 3067 miles. And three and a half days to return from 650 miles west of Penmarc’h

Epilogue

Anne and Bruno pick up a crew member and set off two days after me on the same route. They’ll have a tough two days upwind before heading for Saint Malo via the Raz de Sein in milder weather.henri and his new crew will make their way back to La Trinité with his usual serenity. Patrick will take the option of heading for Spain, with the obligation of cutting through this zone of calms, before returning to La Trinité in good shape

I hope I’ve inspired you to embark on this wonderful adventure; frankly, it’s superb out there. Go for it! Next year we’ll be heading much further north, to Norway. If you feel like it: there are still two places left..

Best regards

Xavier

 

 

Appendices:

 

https://belle-isle.eu/2017/08/acores-encore/

Crossing declaration: gris-nez@mrccf.eu

Atlantic Islands navigation guides Imray Vagnon

The green guide weekandgo Azores Michelin

Observer’s Guide to the Oceanic Marine Life of the Acores Gallagher, Portero & Santos

Azores guide Marinas

Acores Nature vivante tourist guide in French www.azoresguide.net

Peter Cafe sport: Jose Henrique Gonçalves Azevedo https://www.petercafesport.com/

Delivery of polo shirts

Hello,

We received the polo shirts in two large boxes, a little ahead of schedule.

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contributions 2024

Hello everyone,

Our Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday October 28 at La Trinité. You can find a full report in the Documents folder.

Among other things, we adopted the unchanged 2024 membership fees. Memberships taken on or after November 1 are valid for the new year. They are online.

The AIP office

Engine training

Hello everyone,

Escale Formation Technique Escale Formation Technique is an organization based in Rezé near Nantes.

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Notifications

We are setting up a notification system for site news.

All the info is here: All the info is here: https://www.assopogo.net/en/my-account/

Douarnenez meeting, and that’s the third one!

Participation

Twelve Pogo (plus our vice-president’s J120) took part in the Douarnenez meeting, the third one of the year after those of Carteret and Loctudy.

One Pogo 12.50, three Pogo 36, four Pogo 30 and four Pogo 8.50 took part.

Friday 1st September 2023

The flotilla gathered in Tréboul Harbour (Douarnenez, face to the gorgious Tristan island). Three pontoons had been reserved to accommodate the boats.

At the end of the afternoon, a festive drink gathered all the crews, with the exception of MOANA, wich would not arrive until late in the night from Lorient. We had a lot of opportunities to get to know each other.

 

Saturday 2nd September

After the traditional breakfast/briefing at the Winches Club, we set off at 10 am with the goal of rounding the Basse Vieille, then the Basse du Lys and back (a course of 35 NM).

Most of the course was beam reach, with a steady force 3 wind that enabled the course to be completed in six hours. The boats stayed so close together that they were able to take pictures of each other and exchange some great shots afterwards.
At 6pm, the AIP set up the aperitif and the 40 crew members began a long debriefing of this splendid day, which ended in the night after a tasty couscous and a prize-giving ceremony awarded by drawing lots.

Sunday 3rd September

This new day of sunshine and joy began with the sacrosanct breakfast/briefing. The course was limited to a round trip to Basse Vieille (21 NM), which should have allowed to be back for lunch. But the wind died down. Some on the boats had to leave the fleet to start their return trip. The others could reach back Douarnenez only after 3.30pm, and could not enjoy the convivial meal of the previous day’s leftovers ?.

No matter, during this magnificent weekend, ocean racers, saltysea dogs and epicurean cruisers merged with good mood to share their passion and exchange lots of information to increase the pleasure of sailing a Pogo.