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Kiteboater Aborts TransPacific Attempt

Anne and her unique vessel in better times.

© Adrien Challenge

When French adventurer Anne Quéméré set out from San Francisco on November 4 bound for Tahiti, getting stuck in the equatorial doldrums (ITCZ) was undoubtedly one of her greatest fears. She was, after all, traveling aboard a 16-ft one-person craft propelled only by a special kite, similar to those used by kitesurfers.

Although full details have yet to emerge, an initial report indicates that Quéméré made the difficult decision to give up yesterday, after idling with no wind for 10 days. During the past month she had completed roughly half of the 4,000-mile voyage. Making matters worse, about a week ago, the kite was damaged by what we assume was a sudden squall (our French translation skills are a bit rusty).

Although the Tahiti attempt failed, this same boat has already successfully conquered the Atlantic.

© 2008 Adrien Challenge

A cargo ship has been diverted to rescue Quéméré, but the rendezvous may be a challenge as her tiny craft, named Oceankite, no longer has power to activate its lights and nav gear. Luckily, the courageous French sailor was able to relay her abandonment message via a satellite phone.

In 2006 Quéméré successfully sailed this vessel across the Atlantic from New York to Ouessant, France. She previously rowed, singlehanded and unassisted, across the Atlantic — in both directions. Look for further details in the January edition of Latitude 38.

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