Passion for experience

“I don’t have much sailing experience,” admits Oren Nataf. “I started ten years ago by buying my first sailing yacht and became interested in offshore racing as an amateur”. After sailing on that classic wooden yacht, the sailor turned to the trimaran Olmix which “had won the Route du Rhum three times. Unfortunately in 2020, I capsized in the middle of the English Channel in the middle of the night”. There was no question of giving up. He very quickly bought Rayon Vert on which he lined up on the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race then the RORC Transatlantic Race which he won alongside Alex Pella.


Rayon Vert a reliable mount

A Pulsar 50 designed by Erik Lerouge, Rayon Vert was built for a couple who wanted to go round the world. It wasn’t long before she was in the hands of Alain Delhumeau, a sailor-fisherman from Royan who converted her into a race boat. Rayon Vert is one of those Multis that combine speed and safety, “In the Fastnet for example we had very difficult conditions and about 50 boats retired. She held the sea well and we finished second. She is ideal for my level as beginner-owner”.


Victory of the Drheam Cup

It took just 2 days 2 hours 47 minutes for Rayon Vert helmed by Oren Nataf from the YCM to devour the 600 nautical miles from Cherbourg-en-Cotentin to Trinité-sur-Mer of the 4th Drheam Cup race. “It was champagne sailing, always with wind and not too much sea! It was absolutely magical”.

The emotion was palpable in the skipper’s voice after their recent double victory in this event, which he won alongside French sailor Sidney Gavignet. First in the Multi 2000 category but also the Scratch ahead of 111 competitors, the two sailors have reason to be proud of the results.

“We had quite a challenging last night with violent storms, including a 35-knot squall in the middle of a gybe, but everything went perfectly,” explains Oren Nataf. “This Drheam Cup has been a great training session. It’s a lovely course and we were able to push the boat to her limits”.





Rhum and sea spray

Oren Nataf may be an amateur but is diligent and invested, preparing for the Route de Rhum alongside Sidney Gavignet who is helping him prepare physically and mentally. “We met thanks to a friend and immediately had a connection.  I was with him when I capsized in the Channel, an experience that bonds us”. The Drheam Cup was the last training phase. Tactics, routing, analysing weather charts, etc. the event was ideal preparation for the Route du Rhum that the sailor will tackle in November. After a first solo experience in the Figaro last December, Oren Nataf sailed Rayon Vert solo from Trinité-sur-Mer back to La Rochelle “even though solo can be scary at first, it’s very pleasant, you have a real sense of freedom”.





Home straight

The next step for the YCM member is the GR20 in Corsica, a physical test before heading offshore again to rack up more miles to qualify for the Route du Rhum: “If I make it, so much the better, if not then too bad,” he concedes. “I’m not a professional sailor, I love competition, but until I’ve qualified, I can’t see too far ahead”. If he can participate officially, the boat will need some adjustments to the electronics and satellite link: “I’m lucky to have great support between François Séruzier who is managing the whole project, Jean Saucet in charge of preparing the boat, Sidney Gavignet and Yacht Club de Monaco who support me enormously”.

Is all lights are on green, we will see Oren Nataf aboard his Pulsar 50 on the start of the legendary transatlantic race that is the 12th Route du Rhum on 6th November in Saint-Malo. Also competing is Boris Herrmann, another Yacht Club de Monaco member on the Malizia Team’s brand new IMOCA Malizia-Seaexplorer.