I grew up as a kid sailing in the shallow waters of the Bassin d’Arcachon, a protected sandy cove surrounded by big sand dunes and pine forest near Bordeaux. The Bassin is a former lake alongside the sea that eventually connected to the Bay of Biscay a few thousand years ago. Outside of the narrow passes you are in the open ocean with the big swell of the Basque Country, but inside it’s flat like a lake. I was sailing on various dinghies, hobie cats and windsurfers and the sentence “one day we’ll sail to Tahiti” always came to the conversation after our days of exploration on the water. Little did I imagine I would actually be sailing in the Islands of Tahiti on Corsair’s legendary trimarans 40 years later.
The Corsair are probably the best boats for fun sailing in French Polynesia. They are fast, they are easy to maintain, they can sail in very shallow waters yet they are seaworthy enough to go from one atoll to the next in the tradewinds that blow pretty much every day across our part of the South Pacific. Or you can tow them behind your car and send them on an inter-island transport ship.
French Polynesia is a huge area, the size of western Europe and comprises 118 atolls and islands for a population of under 300 000 inhabitants. We are right in the middle of the Pacific, a long string of atolls and islands distributed in 5 different archipelagoes: The Society Islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Huahine, Raiatea, Maupitu…), the Tuamotus atolls, the Austral Islands, the Marquesas and the Gambiers. There are 3 different types of islands: high mountain islands like the Marquesas, with big jungle covered cliffs falling into the wild ocean. Atolls like in the Tuamotus made of a ring of coral. All around the ring you find tiny sand islets. Inside the atoll the waters are usually calm and shallow. They are like an oasis in the middle of the ocean, with incredible amount of sea life, colorful fish and coral heads. They usually connect to the ocean through a pass but some are completely closed. The Society islands and Gambier islands are a mix of the two: high mountain islands surrounded by a lagoon separated from the ocean by a coral ring.
This makes for very exhilarating multihull sailing: you can glide on the flat waters of the atolls and lagoons in 15+ knots, or sail offshore in the big rolling swells that cross the Pacific.
I have raced 4 times in the Tahiti Pearl Regatta on a Corsair Pulse 600. The TPR takes place each year in May in the Leeward islands of the Society group: Huahine, Taha’s, Raiatea and the world famous Bora Bora. Each morning there is a round the mark race inside one of the lagoons, followed by an offshore race to the next island: https://youtu.be/xI16Y0rYQr8 .The Corsair Pulse 600 have been incredible to race: super-fast and nimble in the protected and shallow lagoons, and completely safe in the open seas. In fact, we have taken line honours in almost all of the legs. In 2018 world famous multihull sailor Loic Peyron participated and we did some match racing with him on the Pulse 600 ( https://youtu.be/OaIoL6vb6O0 )
In January 2020 we delivered a brand new Corsair 37 from Tahiti to the atoll of Tikehau, 180 miles away (https://youtu.be/fkSzUAUmePo ). The Corsair 37 is now operated for day trips or longer sailing adventures by the Ninamu Resort. Contact them if you want to experience the holiday of a lifetime in one of the most remote private islands.
Contact us to learn more and share the pleasures of Corsair sailing in the Islands of Tahiti: https://www.sailtahiti.com/en/portfolio-items/corsair-marine/ .