Month: February 2015

French Super Yacht Captain Romain Mouchel goes Offshore Solo!

This winter Palma’s STP has seen plenty of prodigious tents hiding boats as big as the 74m M/Y Ilona, and while these oversized super yachts had their hulls painted or their teak replaced, an equally impressive amount of work took place inside STP’s smallest tent, where SY AEGIR Captain Roman Mouchel and his sailing sidekick Eric Santene spent 3 months grinding, laminating, melting, welding and weighing (lead!). Two weeks ago we saw the result: Romain’s 6.5 meter mini proto went back in the water, albeit now with a bigger rig and overall being a better boat than she was before.. and at the start of October Romain is going to cross the Atlantic on her!!

Back in the water!

Back in the water!

Romain got a taste for the wind and the water as a young whippersnapper when he spent all his summer holidays in Brittany but he never thought that sailing would be for him what it is today. Not only is Romain captain of S/Y AEGIR (twice winner of the Maxi Rolex World’s in Porto Cervo) he’s also scheduled to take part in this years Mini Transat: A transatlantic race starting in Brittany’s Douarnenez and 4020 nautical miles later finishing in sunny Guadeloupe, which means Romain will be spending 30 days alone at sea on a boat the size of a cramped crew cabin. No wifi, no chart plotter, no bunk and no snack cupboard 😉 as it’s back to basics with a simple GPS, VHF, paper charts, packets of freeze dried food and a jetboil kettle.

There will be no one else on board with him to stand watch and nothing else around him but 106,400,000 square k’s of Atlantic Ocean, so we’re sure you can understand why we had to meet Romain in STP’s DockBar to hit him with a few questions about this fascinating project..

When did you start offshore racing? I’ve wanted to sail on the mini 650 circuit since I was 16 years old and sailed my first big offshore singlehanded race, Les Sables-Les Açores, in 2012. Les Sables runs on alternate years to the Mini Transat and consists of two legs, France to the Azores and back again, covering a total distance of 2540 nm. Apart from Les Sables I’ve taken part in numerous mini races but this will be my first Mini Transat, the big one..

Ready to race!

Ready to race!

What can you tell us about the Mini Transat? And why do you want to compete? It’s the longest of the Transats on the most extreme of boats. It’s the breeding ground for the worlds’ top short handed sailors, including Michel Desjoyeaux and Dame Ellen McArthur. (Ellen MacArthur said in1997: “It is the Mini-transat which gave me the taste for Ocean racing. I will never forget”) The Mini is the most accessible offshore class for single-handed racing as compared to the other races it’s reasonably ‘affordable’ to run a campaign and sailing in the Mini will enable me to get together with 84 (other) crazy Frenchmen equally as passionate about sailing Mini’s and single-handed offshore racing. I know all these guys by now, we’re like a big family and although it’s war on the water, ashore we have a lot of fun!

And your boat? It’s a Prepreg carbon, super light boat. It’s a French design and well built by the boats’ previous owner. It’s a good boat, one of the ten best..

A bigger rig and even better boat than she was before..

A bigger rig and an even better boat than she was before..

How are you going to prepare for the race? I’ll be training here in Palma until the end of March then we’ll bring the boat back to France where I’ll be competing in 5 races prior to the Transat. I’ll be spending lots of time on the water and in the gym, getting fit and also gearing up for 20 min naps instead of my usual 8 hours!

What are your expectations? The boat’s capable of being at the front of the fleet. But ‘just’ crossing the Atlantic solo is no mean feat and I reckon 30 sunsets and 57 degrees of longitude later that first sip of rum in Pointe-à-Pitre is going to taste pretty sweet

How are you funding the project? I’ve paid for a lot myself but I’ve also had a lot of support from STP, Rolling Stock, RSB Rigging, TechnoCraft, Trabajos en Cabos, Wavelength electronics and Armare who donated ropes, paint and plenty of other racing essentials..

How can people get involved? Everybody that wants to get involved can get involved! (Please have a look at Romain’s website to see what you or your company can do and how you could help.) Amounts as little as 20€ really make a massive difference as with 100 20€ donations I would be able to get a new sail! But at least as valuable as the financial backing is the inherent moral support. I will be seeing the names of those assisting me written down in the cockpit which will continue to give me strength during those solitary days at sea!

At the age of 25 Romain has clocked up an impressive 50.000 miles and without a doubt will be one of the youngest competitors on the start line in October. We’ll definitely be keeping you posted on his progress!

Romain: Good luck!

©Jesús Renedo

©Jesús Renedo

Check out Romain’s website to find out more about him and his adventure here and/or follow him on Facebook.

Palma’s best place to buy fresh fish even better for boozy brunches!

We’re slurping down French oysters and holding a sizzling glass of Laurent Perrier, which might make you think we’re seated in a swanky seafront restaurant but actually, nothing could be further from the truth! We’re at the ‘Mercat de l’Olivar’, Palma’s prime spot for fresh foods where you can find anything from sobrasada sausages to the Mallorquin Ramallet tomatoes but where you can also get the best of bubbles and a sumptuous seafood lunch for roughly the price of a glass of water and a salad in most upmarket, sit down seafood restaurants on La Isla!


Spanish ‘mercados’ have always been the go-to places for great, local food and Palma’s Mercat de l’Olivar is no exception. Here in the fish section visitors arrive early morning to peruse the 35 stalls, selling everything from small sharks to skinny sardines but this particular part of the market is as much about snacking and sipping as it is about buying fish.

For example there are four sushi stalls which sell sushi from fish so fresh it talks back and serve chilled glasses of good quality vino blanco.. Savvy stall holder Tolo however got the idea to sell oysters and glasses of the extra classy stuff (pink cava, champagne and blow-the-budget bottles of Cristal!) after he saw something similar at Madrid’s ‘Mercat de San Miquel’.

Before setting up shop he secured his permission to sell champers first because as Tolo told us: “Eating oysters just doesn’t go with drinking water”. We couldn’t put it better ourselves. And seeing as Mallorquins are fans of all things fish and are big on small portions Tolo’s stall serving cava and oysters per-piece was soon a great success. Now, aside from oyster and sushi stalls there are prawn, cod, fried fish and shellfish bars which serve stylish snack style portions and feature big buckets of bottled bubbly just itching to give you a cheeky mid-morning buzz.


Daniel Sorlut Oysters..

Saturdays are packed! Vivacious high noise levels and using your elbows are part of the game as you balance your plate and wave your glass over the heads of others to not have it knocked out of your hands. We love the paradox here of people dressed for meeting their friends and sipping sparkles while their heeled feet are stood between fish tails and the guy next to them is loudly negotiating the price of a whole plaice.

Palma, Mercat de l'Olivar

Palma, Mercat de l’Olivar

Sure, you can spend Saturday morning sleeping in or sipping cappuccinos but when there’s also a place which is all about spirited snacking and where more bottles are being popped per minute than you can shake a swizzle stick at -well, there’s no guessing where we would rather be..

Adress: Plaça de l´Olivar 4, 07002, Palma de Mallorca

Phone: 971 72 03 14


Monday – Saturday 7:00h – 14:30h and Friday 14:30h – 20:00h.