Limosa -The Famous Project | Empowering Women in the RORC Transatlantic Race

Alexia Barrier’s MOD70 Limosa - The Famous Project (FRA) crossed the finish line of the RORC Transatlantic Race outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Grenada on January 15th 2024. The 3,000-mile race, completed in under eight days, was a big step towards The Famous Project’s ultimate ambition – An all-women team Jules Verne Record Attempt in the 31.5m trimaran IDEC Sport. 

Limosa’s Skipper Alexia Barrier completed the 2021 Vendée Globe, racing the oldest boat in the fleet and taking 111 days to race solo around the world. Racing a MOD70 as skipper, Alexia has won the last two editions of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Alexia Barrier has set a new benchmark in the 2024 RORC Transatlantic Race as the first MOD70 woman skipper to finish the race. 

Limosa Crew: Skipper Alexia Barrier, Co-Skipper Dee Caffari, Arianne Van de Loosdrecht, Elodie-Jane Mettraux, Jeff Mearing, Marie Riou, Sidney Gavignet, Tom Dawson.

For the RORC Transatlantic Race, Limosa’s crew of eight included three male MOD70 experts: Sidney Gavignet, Jeff Mearing and Tom Dawson. While all of the female members have competed in previous round the world races, these ‘player-coach’ MOD70 veterans reveal the advanced tips and tricks to the team.

Alexia Barrier © Arthur Daniel/RORC

“This is the first time this team has raced 3,000 miles, so that in itself is an achievement,” commented Alexia Barrier. “It really was a super-good experience, having the input from sailors like Sidney, Jeff and Tom is great, plus they also understand that we need to adapt those ideas to the way that we want to sail. We learnt a lot this race and I know that we're going to become better and stronger for the next race, the RORC Caribbean 600.”

MOD70 Limosa © Arthur Daniel/RORC

The 15th edition of the RORC Caribbean 6000 will start on 19th February and Limosa’s competition will include the MOD70s Argo and Zoulou, but the 600-mile course around 11 Caribbean Islands is very different to the RORC Transatlantic Race.

“The RORC Caribbean 600 is a really different game; it's a shorter race and more technical,” continued Barrier “There are many more maneuvers, so we did think a lot about this during the RORC Transatlantic Race. We will have nearly the same team and we hope to develop and increase our performance.”

Dee Caffari © Athur Daniel/RORC

MOD70 Limosa’s Co-Skipper is Dee Caffari who has completed six circumnavigations and has skippered a MOD70 in the past. Dee’s incredible knowledge, vast experience and enthusiasm knows no bounds.

“Every Atlantic crossing is different and for this one the tradewinds weren't established, so it was really tricky navigation,” commented Caffari. “For The Famous Project’s Limosa this race was about building the team, the communication, the confidence and experience. We had a whole range of downwind conditions and you could actually see the building blocks coming together. Having Sidney, Tom and Jeff was really valuable because they've done a lot of multihull miles, plus they are super-relaxed, and they just gave us the confidence to try new ideas and feel free to ask the questions. I feel that now we've got confidence and trust in each other, which is really good to build the big picture for what we aim to do in the future.”

MOD70 Limosa was in original configuration for the race, unlike Jason Carroll’s Argo and Erik Maris’ Zoulou which are super-charged with lifting foils. However, the physique of the crew on all three boats was very similar. Dee Caffari dispels the myth that you need big muscular sailors to race 70ft trimarans.

MOD70 Limosa © James Mitchell/RORC

“You don't have to be a big strong strapping lad full of muscles to sail a boat like this,” explained Caffari. “Just look at the size of Alexia, she's like half the size of an average sailor, she's a mini-me and she's steering better than everyone because she's had more experience and she's confident. What is important is having a feel for where the balance is, where the tipping points are, and where the power comes from. So, understanding the effects of the daggerboards against the power of the mainsail and having confidence to literally steer in the middle of the night, when it’s pitch black, at 30 knots and be consistent. You don't have to be strong for that, you have to be sensitive.

The Famous Project Team © Robert Hajduk/RORC

“The Limosa team had great fun in this race and now we have arrived in somewhere as beautiful as Grenada. It is just perfect that we get to spend a couple of days here before we disappear off. Soon we will put the boat to bed, ready for the next action, which is going to be the RORC Caribbean 600. So, there's no rest for the wicked, but time to recover and enjoy this beautiful island,” concludes Caffari.

To learn more about The Famous Project watch the RORC Talk held at The Royal Ocean Racing Club in London in October 2023.


Pure Grenada
Port Louis Marina
Calero Marinas