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“Sip of water”, “gaping hole”, “opening you”: Destremau’s cardboard cap is living its last hours 

As expected, the skipper of the Merci monohull saw his makeshift construction deteriorate at high speed in the Atlantic.

It was one of the “attractions” of the start of the Vendée Globe, at odds with the latest technological innovations which, with hundreds of thousands of euros, transform monohulls into flying boats. With cardboard and elbow grease, Sébastien Destremau had made, a little hastily, a cardboard cap to adorn the cockpit of Merci, his “old” boat, launched in 2005. Allegedly in order to better protect yourself from sea spray but also – and above all – to make people talk about it, with a societal message to pass on. “I absolutely wanted to make it out of cardboard, first of all for the sake of economy and also because I’m fed up with these boats which are all carbon when there are plenty of things we can do differently. . All non-structural elements should be bio-sourced materials. It will come, ”confided before leaving the 56-year-old sailor, the last to arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne four years ago, after 124 days at sea.

»READ ALSO –Vendée Globe: Destremau’s cardboard cap is “no longer waterproof”, the sailor has “super pain in his back”

“It’s like I have a sunroof!”

Sebastien Destremau

Thank you capSebastien Destremau

“If she doesn’t – it would be amazing if she could go around the world – it really doesn’t matter. I’ll get more wet, that’s all, ”warned the Toulonnais. Already badly damaged after five days of racing, the construction is visibly hanging by a thread. “The cardboard cap of Thank you deteriorates rapidly due to the fall of the boom and the mainsail on the latter from the third day. Today the most damaged part is full of water and has given way to a gaping hole. It’s as if I had a sunroof! ”Explained the skipper on Friday morning, 28e in the ranking and currently off Cape Verde.

»READ ALSO – Vendée Globe: in full descent of the Atlantic, the poignant testimony of Alex Thomson on school bullying

On the verge of tearing itself off, the paper structure is living its last hours. Not a big deal for its inventor: “Since the incident the other day, we know that it’s only a matter of time before it completely destroys itself. I would have liked to show him the South Seas but I’m afraid we’ll be a bit short. In any case, this project was really fascinating to carry out and what is nice is that by making people talk about it, this cap makes people think and will move the lines ”. The book has lived but the publicity stunt is successful.

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