Follow Simon on his Offhore Sailing Projects


The Frog on the Front

Habt Ihr auch schon den diesjährigen Bucher + Walt Katalog bei euch?

Ich möchte mich bei dieser Gelegenheit bei Bucher + Walt für ihre langjährige Unterstützunng in Sachen Ausrüstung bedanken.




Simon Koster: looking back at a memorable achievement

Two day after his arrival in Le Marin, in a beautiful 3rd position in the Mini Transat, Simon tells us about his race, his feelings, his physical state and much more.

« It’s been an amazing journey and I am thrilled to finish on the podium of the Mini Transat. The beginning of the leg was tough: we all knew that there would be a nice shift alongside the African coats, by Morocco; but there are also many fishermen there, with no lights, fishing nets and all sorts of dangers in the water, especially at night. It was quite scary, because we could hear on VHF radio what was going on with the others… Some guys had to dive at night, or get out of fishing nets somehow, it wasn’t reassuring!

Then as I was approaching the Cape Verde Islands, the leash that holds the daggerboard up broke so the board went suddenly down and broke immediately, due to the effort. I had to take out my saw and get rid of it; it was quite a lot of work but I didn’t loose much time, and I haven’t missed it during the crossing, so it wasn’t too much of a big deal.

I knew I was second when we rounded the Cape Verde islands; at this stage I still had radio contact with the others, but I lost my BLU soon after; probably chafe on the cable inside the mast, I don’t know yet.

From then on I followed the routing plan we set, which meant sailing slightly North of the direct route. It was going well, but I was sailing in blind mode; I didn’t have a clew where my opponents were… It became more and more difficult, and nerve wracking, especially when the weather deteriorated after the middle of the crossing. Every time I was stuck under a cloud I was imagining the others going at full speed… It was getting harder and harder mentally.

Finally, when I arrived in Le Marin; I got relieved, because I had no idea if there were already ten boats in the harbor… When the photographers boat arrived alongside me, they told me there were only two boats in the harbor… I was super-happy.

I’ve had a great time since I have arrived in Le Marin. I slept a lot during the first night, but then I also wanted to be on the pontoon to welcome all the others sailors when they arrived.  When I look back at my race I have only great memories. I even packed enough food this time, so I didn’t starve! The conditions were just ideal; not too much wind, not too light either; very often 18-20 knots from behind, and big surfs! It was fabulous.

Der Schweizer Segler Simon Koster, glänzender Dritter der Mini Transat

Der Schweizer Segler Simon Koster erzielte den dritten Platz in der Mini-Transat (Atlantiküberquerung in zwei Etappen zwischen La Rochelle und Le Marin (Martinique).

Der Skipper von Eight Cube war Sechster in der ersten Etappe zwischen La Rochelle und Las Palmas und profitierte in der zweiten Etappe von günstigeren Wetterbedingungen für sein Segelboot, das eine Vorliebe für starken Gegenwind hat. Am Mittwoch um 13 Uhr, 4 Minuten (Schweizer Zeit) fuhr er in Hochform durch die Ziellinie der 2. Etappe. Er brauchte 13 Tage, 22 Stunden, 56 Minuten und 10 Sekunden, um Le Marin mit einer Durchschnittsgeschwindigkeit von 8,78 Knoten zu erreichen.

„Ich bin überglücklich, dass ich in Le Marin angekommen bin und freue mich sehr, dass ich auf dem dritten Platz gelandet bin”, erklärte er. „Seit zehn Tagen habe ich keinerlei Informationen mehr erhalten, weil ich die Antenne meines BLU-Radios abgebrochen habe. So erfuhr ich erst am Ziel meine Platzierung. Ich bin froh, denn ich habe hart gearbeitet, um dieses Ziel zu erreichen.»

Simon schließt sein Mini-Transat als Dritter in der Etappe bei der Prototypenkategorie mit einer Gesamtregattazeit von 24 Tagen, 6 Stunden, 5 Minuten, 40 Sekunden ab, die es ihm – vorbehaltlich der Zustimmung der Jury – ermöglichen sollte, in der Gesamtwertung den dritten Platz zu belegen.

Nachdem Simon die meiste Zeit der Regatta über dicht hinter dem großen Leader und Favoriten Ian Lipinski lag, blieb er in der zweiten Hälfte der Atlantiküberquerung etwas zurück. Da er etwas nördlich vom direkten Kurs segelte, profitierte er weniger von den starken Winden als sein direkter Gegner, der Deutsche Jörg Richers, der dann auf dem Siegerpodest Zweiter wurde.

Simon erzielte jedoch eines der besten Ergebnisse der Schweizer Regattasegler, die an der Mini Transat beteiligt waren. Zur Erinnerung: Yvan Bourgnon war 1995 Sieger, sein Bruder, der verstorbene Laurent, wurde 1987 Zweiter, Justine Mettraux war im Jahr 2013 auf dem zweiten Platz in der Serien-Kategorie, während Bernard Stamm 1995 ebenfalls Dritter wurde. Dabei sollten wir nicht vergessen, dass Simon Koster bereits im Jahr 2013 Dritter in der Serien-Kategorie war und heute ein neues Kapitel in der sehr reichen Geschichte des Schweizer Hochsee-Segelns beginnt.

Simon hat sich seit über zwei Jahren sehr gewissenhaft auf diese Regatta vorbereitet. Bei der Mini Transat 2015 landete Simon auf Platz sieben, obwohl sein Boot gerade erst drei Monate vor Regattabeginn vom Stapel lief. Er startete die Regatta an Bord desselben Prototyps SUI 888 mit abgerundetem Bug, den er mithilfe der Schiffswerft Mer Forte von Michel Desjoyeaux entwickelt hatte.

Simon Koster will diesen Mini Transat nutzen, um weitere Projekte zu planen, unter anderem die Teilnahme an der Route du Rhum 2018.

Swiss sailor Simon Koster, splendid third of the Mini Transat

Swiss sailor Simon Koster Koster has just achieved one of the best  recent performances of Swiss offshore sailing, finishing third of the Mini Transat La Boulangère (Atlantic crossing between La Rochelle and Le Marin (Martinique), in two legs.

Sixth of leg one, between La Rochelle and Las Palmas, the skipper of Eight Cube met conditions that were more favorable to his boat during leg two, with stronger winds. He crossed the arrival line in great shape and spirits on Wednesday, at 1:13 04’’ PM (CET), after 13  days, 56 minutes and 10 seconds at sea, at an average speed of 8,78 knots.

« I am very happy to touch land in Le Marin, and also to finish third », he said. « I haven’t had any information for the past ten days because I broke the radio antenna (the cable, I guess), so I didn’t know if there would be ten boats in the harbor when I arrive… I am super happy because I have been working very hard to get there. A podium is fantastic! »

Third of the second leg in the prototypes category, Simon’s aggregated time over both legs is 24 days, 6 hours, 5 minutes and 40 secondes. He should, after the jurys’ approval, end up third overall.

Simon sailed at the front of the fleet during the entire regatta, in the wake of race leader and favorite Simon Lipinski. He lost some ground during the second half of the Atlantic crossing, letting his direct opponent, German Jörg Richers grab the second place thanks to an efficient southerly route.

Simon worked very hard towards his objective, over the past two years. Seventh in 2015 with the same boat SUI 888 (fresh out of the yard), with its distinctive scow bow, developed with the support of Michel Desjoyeaux’s yard, Mer Agitée, he now ambitions to benefit from this Mini Transat to develop new and more ambitious projects, including a participation in the Route du Rhum 2018.


Suspense on the Atlantic!

North, South or Centre? Very wise who who knows! Fact is, the Atlantic is not as it should, with lovely and regular tradewinds. It is instead very unsettled, with brutal squalls and calms, and seems very unpredictable. In this context, everything is possible, the better like the worse, and it is a nerve wracking situation for all the competitors!

Simon made a big gain in the past hours and is back in second place, sailing slightly North of the direct route (and heading back North again). Jörg Riechers, his direct opponent, is the furthest South amongst the race leaders and he is currently fast. It is however impossible to properly analyse the weather and the position of the sailors: one cloud can mean strong winds – or no wind… And those clouds are very local.

One thing is sure: Simon is doing a fantastic race and giving it all. There are now approximately 500 milles left to Le Marin and the last days of racing will be more intense – and interesting to follow – than ever.

Fantastic Simon consolidates his second place overall!

Simon is still second overall, and consolidating his position. Ian Lipinski extended his lead overnight (now 91 milles over Simon) whilst the Swiss skipper is now 17 milles ahead of Jörg Richers. Unfortunately, Romain Bollinger, one of Simon’s direct opponents for the overall ranking, seems to have a problem and was stopped this morning; a supporting boat is sailing towards him.

The « Atlantic gamble » has started, with some sailors – including Jörg – gibing towards the South overnight. Simon and Ian carry on towards the North, at approximately 9 kts.

Simon solid second after the Cape Verde islands

Simon KOSTER / Proto 888 / Copyright Christophe Breschi

Simon Koster and all the Mini Transat participants are now heading west towards the Caribbean; they have 2’000 milles in front of their bows; roughly ten days of relentless sailing.

Simon is a brilliant second, 75 milles behind race favorite Ian Lipinski but 15 miles ahead of Jörg Richers and 50 milles in front of fourth placed Andrea Fornaro and the rest of the pack. In other words: he is doing great.

Unfortunately for them, some of his direct competitors have had serious technical problems. Both Arthur Léopold-Léger and Erwan Le Mene, respectively 2nd and 3rd of the first leg, have had to stop in order to repair rudder problems, in the Cape Verde Islands for Léopold-Léger and Dakar for Le Mene.

Romain Bolzinger and Aurelien Poisson are therefore Simon’s direct opponents, and the race will be tight all the way to Le Marin.

Bereit zum großen Sprung über den Atlantik!

Simon KOSTER / Proto 888

Simon hat während seines Aufenthalts auf den Kanarischen Inseln nicht viel Freizeit gehabt! Er erzählt uns, wie er seine Zeit seit seiner Ankunft nach der ersten Etappe auf der Insel verbrachte.

„Ich musste die schräge Kielplatte reparieren, so das Boot war die meiste Zeit nicht im Wasser. Ich nahm den Kiel ab, um die Reparaturen durchzuführen. Dann bekam ich einen kleinen Schreck, denn als alles fertig war, war der Kran in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria kaputt… Aber nun ist alles geregelt, und das Boot ist wieder im Wasser.

Während des Zwischenstopps habe ich 2-3 Stunden pro Tag auf dem Boot gearbeitet und mich auch etwas ausgeruht. Die Stimmung zwischen allen Wettbewerbern ist bestens und jeder hilft jedem, es ist fantastisch.

Viel Unterstützung erhielt ich auch von meinem Schweizer Freund Lukas Erni, der mit seiner OVNI 43 über den Atlantik segelt. Ich blieb mit ihm an Bord und genoss eine sehr willkommene „Schweizer Solidarität“.

Jetzt kann ich es gar nicht erwarten, wieder an den Start zu gehen. Die Wetterprognose für den Start sieht mit Passatwinden mit einer Stärke von 20 Knoten sehr gut aus. Das ist perfekt für mich, und so sind endlich die Bedingungen erfüllt, die ich mir für mein Boot erhofft habe!

Noch ist nichts entschieden, das Siegerpodium ist noch frei. Die Top 2 werden schwer aufzuholen sein, aber der 3. Platz liegt in nur 1h40 vor mir. Also ist noch alles möglich!“

Ready for the big jump across the Atlantic!

Simon KOSTER / Proto 888

Simon hasn’t much time off during his stay in the Canaries islands! He tells us how he spent his time on the Island since the arrival of the first leg.

« I had to repair the canting keel plate, so the boat has been out of the water for most of the time and I have taken the keel off in order to do the repairs. Then I got a little scare because once everything was ready the crane in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was broken… But everything  is sorted now and the boat is back in the water.

During the stopover, I worked 2-3 hours / day on the boat and also took some time off in order to rest. The spirit between all the competitors is great and everybody helps around, its fantastic.

I also got a lot of support from my Swiss friend Lucas Erni, who is sailing across the Atlantic on his OVNI 43. I stayed onboard with him and benefited from a very welcome « Swiss solidarity ».

Now I can’t wait to get going again. The forecast for the start looks very good, with 20 knots trade winds. This is perfect for me, and finally the conditions that I am expecting for my boat!

The game is still open for the podium. The top 2 will be difficult to catch up, but the 3rd is only 1h40 ahead of me. So everything is possible! »

Video – Leg 1 – Mini Transat / Eight Cube Sersa

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