Gironde: a septuagenarian embarks on the crossing of the Atlantic by oar

the essential Jean-Jacques Savin, who will be 75 on 75 January, intends to leave in mid-December from the region of Faro, in the south of Portugal, for a crossing of around a hundred days with an arrival in the French Antilles.

The Girondin Jean-Jacques Savin, who had crossed the Atlantic in a barrel in 2019, will set out again in December on the same route but this time by paddling, a feat which he intends to be the dean at 75 years.

The adventurer, whose boat was officially baptized – by the name of “Audacieux” – Saturday at the sailing club of Arès, the town where he resides on the Arcachon basin, “felt the call of the sea “. “I wanted to go back,” he told AFP. He should therefore leave in mid-December from southern Portugal to reach the French Antilles in a hundred days.

In 2019, the former soldier had spent more than four months in a barrel-shaped boat 3 m long and 2, 10 m in diameter to cross the Atlantic alone, tossed by winds and currents.

300 kg of equipment

This time, his orange canoe, like the barrel, is 8 m long, 1, 70 m wide, and is equipped with two cabins in the front and rear and a row post in the middle. He will embark 300 kg of equipment, including freeze-dried food, a heating point, a harpoon gun for fishing, an electric desalinator and a manual, his mandolin as well as Champagne, Sauternes and foie gras to celebrate Christmas, the New Year and his birthday.

“I’m going to row eight hours a day, and when the wind blows hard, I lock myself up,” with a sea anchor to prevent drifts, he said. It will also benefit from an important protection: the attribution of a code which will allow it to be seen by the radars of the freighters, which it did not have two years ago.

In the meantime, Jean-Jacques Savin ensures by training “that (his) hands are resistant to blisters”. “I must have horn on my hands.”

The man does not run after the records but nevertheless proposes to be the “dean of the Atlantic, a way of taunting old age”, he said. He will write a logbook on Facebook, as in his previous exploit, and will be followed day by day by the children of the Ela association (European Association against leukodystrophies).

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