Eric Tabarly (Eric Tabarly) was born on June 24, 1931 in the glorious city of Nantes, located on the banks of the Loire, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. From childhood, the sea for Tabarli had some kind of symbolic character. He passionately loved him with all his heart and knew for sure that his whole life would be devoted and given to the sea.
Eric Tabarli: legends don't die, they merge with dreams
They say that all sea wolves cook great. They will never be hungry themselves, nor will they leave their crew without tasty food. It may indeed be true that many avid sailors boast superb talents as a chef, but that doesn't make them legends. The famous French yachtsman and racer Eric Tabarly, who is rightfully considered the godfather of French yachting, did not know how to cook at all, but he did not become less great from this. Tabarli was always at the helm, but not in the galley in the process of cooking something tasty and edible. “Once, though,” says his close friend and racing partner Yves Parlier, “Tabarly wanted to surprise me with his culinary skills. He gave me the steering wheel and went down to the galley with the words "I will surprise you and prepare your food." Tabarly opened a can of sardines with his own hand and heated them in a skillet. It was cute and brilliant. I called this dish "Tabarli recipe". Sardines in warm oil. " This was the end of the culinary talents of the outstanding racer, but his genius as a father, husband and yachtsman was wide and immense, and the memory of her lives and will always live in the hearts of all people who knew him personally and those who were not personally acquainted with him. , but heard a lot, in the hearts of his family, friends, colleagues and in the history of not only French, but also world yachting.
The French racing driver achieved his first significant sailing success in 1964 at the age of 33, when he won the Transatlantic Race as a young French naval officer. At the same time, Tabarly managed to bypass the most famous and experienced British yachtsmen at that time, for which he received the Order of the Legion of Honor from the hands of the President of France Charles de Gaulle himself. The racer was so inspired by his achievements that he realized once and for all that from now on he would conquer the sea and win outstanding races, no matter what it cost him. Having once felt the adrenaline from such an exciting sea battle and the sweet taste of victory, Tabarli could no longer do without this drug.
Tabarly won all his brilliant victories on legendary sailing yachts, each of which was called Pen Duick (from Breton: "little black head", so they called little birds from the tit family) and had a serial number next to the name, with the exception of the first boat that went without a number. The first wooden boat Pen Duick was built back in 1898 and became a family heirloom of the Tabarli family, when in 1938 it went to the father of the future famous yachtsman - Guy Tabarly. It was on this boat that the father taught his son to navigate, then not yet realizing that he was raising and teaching the basics of yachting to the future legend.
In 1983, this boat was completely renovated at the Saint Malo shipyard, and in May 1998 it celebrated its centenary. And, sadly, it was on this family yacht that the legendary Eric Tabarly disappeared in the Irish Sea in the same 1998.
During her farewell speech, the widow of Eric Tabarly, a native of Martinique, Jacqueline Tabarly, who came from her offspring and finally settled in France when she was only 15 years old, said: “You shouldn't blame the sea for Eric Tabarly's death. The sea is not cruel. You say the sea took him, but Eric loved the sea. The sea for him was an extension of himself, as for us a hand or fingers. "
On his family and very first yacht, Eric Tabarly last set sail at the age of 66 when he was thrown overboard by a boom. It happened on June 14, 1998, shortly before his 67th birthday. In addition to Tabarly, there were four of his friends on board the yacht, who in vain and to the last tried to find and save their captain, but the dark stormy night did not allow them to do it. Numerous attempts to find Tabarli were unsuccessful. He merged forever with the object of his passion, with the sea, which he loved more than life.
You can endlessly list the merits of the legendary yachtsman Tabarli. He has become a record holder in numerous races more than once, leaving eminent yachtsmen from all over the world far behind. In 1968, Eric set a record for the distance from the Canary Islands to the Antilles. In 1969, he won the San Francisco-Tokyo Trans-Pacific Race, and a year later won the Plymouth-Newport Transatlantic Race. Eric was a two-time OSTAR champion, won the first stage of the Volvo Ocean Race, and became the leader of numerous transatlantic crossings. He became the record holder in the Rum Race and the Whitbrad. In 1992, the already popular Tabarli won the Fastnet Race.
The daughter of a famous yachtsman, Marie Tabarly says that despite his frequent absence from home due to all kinds of races and regattas, Eric Tabarly was a wonderful father and friend. “When he was around, he was there for the entire 100%. He never said something just to say. For him, loyalty and respect for others and for his family were the main qualities. " Eric Tabarli was a good father and a genius. Everyone who knew him considered it a great privilege to have the chance and the opportunity to know him personally. "
Eric Tabarli: legends don't die, they merge with dreams
In 2008, a museum dedicated to the memory of Eric Tabarly was founded in the French city of Loriana. This is a museum dedicated to sailing and yachting. It is here that Eric Tabarli seems to come to life and whisper to us about his eternal passion for the sea and sailing.
Today the five legendary Pen Duick yachts that belonged to Eric Tabarly are known to every Frenchman.
Built between 1898 and 1973, they represent a century of French yachting history.
And the name of the captain of these sailing yachts passes from mouth to mouth, like a kind fairy tale that every child in France knows.
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