JEAN LUC VAN DEN HEEDE - Rustler 36 - Winner Golden Globe Race 2018 - Report on Hydrovane
“Suite à une préparation minutieuse, j’ai choisi l’Hydrovane pour m’accompagner dans ce périple…”
“… je ne regrette pas mon choix et je peux même dire qu’Hydrovane a une part de responsabilité dans ma victoire.”
Translation: “After careful preparation, I chose the Hydrovane to accompany me on this journey …”
“… I don’t regret my choice and I can even say that Hydrovane had some responsibility for my victory.”
Download Testimonial in French: Témoignage JL VDH
For windvane self steering systems, the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE was a formidable test as these mechanical auto-pilots needed to work 24 hours a day (except when we were steering!) Several competitors experienced problems in this area [with their windvanes].
After careful preparation, I chose the Hydrovane to accompany me on this journey. Even with a capsize that caused a crack in the mast, the hydrovane survived unscathed. This device is certainly heavier than many others, but it also has a lot of advantages:
1 / It is absolutely reliable and I didn’t change ANY PART during this sail around the world, even after the capsize. Some bearings have a little more slack after this circumnavigation and now should be changed, which is normal!
2 / It allows to steer without touching the device since it is autonomous. This is handy when you want to leave the helm for a few minutes. Of course, when you steer yourself, you can better anticipate the movements of the boat.
3 / In heavy gales it did its job perfectly and if I capsized it was because I stayed too far across the wind and the waves.
4 / With a bit of practice of the settings, I spent 50 hours in a row under spinnaker.
5 / In the event of damage to the boat’s steering gear (whether it is tiller or wheel helm) it can be used as an emergency rudder.
So I don’t regret my choice and I can even say that Hydrovane had some responsibility for my victory.