The previous header photo is of the Yoles Rondes de la Martinique, a sailing canoe, a wild and wacky, far-removed cousin of our Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe. There are various classes; the large Yoles can have two sails (two sails for offwind courses?), the one in the photo just one, and they sport low slung. very square, boom-less sprit sails. Their hiking aids can't technically be called planks, since they aren't shaped, just round poles. They are steered with a long oar, leveraged off the stern.
I've mentioned the premier event of the Yoles Rondes season before in Earwigoagin, a round-the-island tour which takes place in late summer and is the sporting event of the year for the island of Martinique.
The Yoles de la Martinique belong to that genre of large crewed, over-rigged, unballasted sailing beasts, along with the Australian Classic skiff (here and here), the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy, the Bahamian workboats, the Log Canoes, the Coco Island Canoe, and the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe.
A photo, gleaned from the Internet, of a Yole Ronde struggling under full press:
A drone video set to a soothing score which belies the chaos below:
A series of on-board videos put together by "Yoles Martinique", with much shouting onboard (in French). Some things to note:
- It takes two strong men on the oar to steer when the wind comes up.
- Offwind, they will put some of the crew on their poles to leeward to reduce roll momentum (where they seem to spend most of the time underwater).
- Every once in a while, a crew is jettisoned into the briny deep, the assumption being to reduce weight for offwind legs.
- The crews are all smartly kitted out in matching team gear.
My2Fish has done a better job in researching the Yoles and wrote this informative post over on his blog.
What a glorious, photogenic sailing class!