After saying our "good-byes" to Paris we hopped on a short flight to Montpellier and then taxied to La Grande Motte in the South of France for the much anticipated week of classes that culminate with 3 days of racing. It didn't take long for us to find and get acquainted with several of the new Owners that Steve had connected with on social media taking delivery before and after us (Outremer averages delivering about one O51 a month). These Owners, who we now call friends, hailed from the UK, Brazil, Italy and the US, all working through our options list for our boat builds, sharing valuable insights with one another.
Jean Paul (L) one of our expert Instructors and our new friends and expectant Owners, finally meeting in person at Outremer Week.
We can't say enough about the camaraderie of the Outremer Community. From the first meet and greet on Monday, we knew this was a special company that cares for their Owners. They build quality, ocean-voyaging catamarans and also promote long-term relationships to help us all have successful cruising and racing adventures.
With each class during the week our confidence grew. After all, this was the goal.
Denise successfully catches the bollard in the Women Only Port Maneuvers class
The list of classes was extensive. Here is just a sampling:
2 Day Medicine at Sea
Winds and Weather
Maneuvering with engine and under sail
Preparing the boat for sailing and anchoring
Use of safety equipment and procedures, among many others
Another highlight of the week was meeting our Broker, Pete McGonagle who flew in from Swiftsure Yachts in Seattle. He would be advising us through our preliminary build meetings as we customized our boat from the hulls up. Pete would also be skippering one of the boats for the Outremer Cup Races over the weekend, and we'd be his crew along with the Owners.
A factory tour toward the end of the week made us aware of the stages of the build, so we could follow each set of decisions once we returned home to meet our deadlines. We had many options to review and consider. Pete helped tremendously as our "A" Decisions were due in December. We'd return to Outremer once more next January before taking delivery that summer.
With every class started and completed, we followed it up with delicious French cuisine, many new friends, and preparation for the 3 days of racing ahead…