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Taking it easy in a deckchair


The deckchair is a piece of historic social heritage.
Thanks are due to Léon B. and his party the Front P. which, in 1936, were thoughtful enough to introduce paid holidays and, at the same time, the deckchair trend. Beaches were filled with a vast sea of brightly coloured canvas stretched over reclining wood frames, replacing the rattan chairs of yesteryear.


deckchair off-season

Besides being part of our social heritage, the deckchair is also an apocope in France. The French term for deckchair, “transat”, is in fact a phonetic modification of “transatlantique”, as these chairs were first used on the liners that crossed the Atlantic.

Make no mistake, that is what it’s all about: the solo Atlantic crossing by Armand de Jacquelot in Mini 6,50, the world’s smallest offshore racing yacht. And the vast expanse of stretched canvas becomes a large blue spinnaker. Abracadabra.

SPI We - Van

Transat canvas (© Thierry Sourbier 2015 / We – Van)

Armand, skipper of n°755 We-Van, was present on Saturday 19 September 2015 at the start of the famous Minitransat race from Douarnenez to Pointe- à-Pitre. He started designing boats as a boy and is still at it today – now it’s his profession – and is ready to live out his childhood dream: crossing the Atlantic in a dinghy that is barely any bigger than his van!

Armand, his van and his partner

The man, his van, and his partner (© Thierry Sourbier 2015 / We – Van)

Armand, the entire We-Van team wishes you all the best for your crossing. Because if ever there was something that should take it easy, it’s surely you, in your deckchair at your destination, under the coconut trees with a glass of aged rum in one hand.

Armand Jacquelot, to Drive Your Adventure, September 15, 2015

Which wandering adventure are you living at the moment?
Since late 2012, I have been working on achieving this year the dream I had as a boy who was passionate about yachts and the freedom of independent travel! In September I will be ready to cross the Atlantic solo, in a yacht. The race is the Mini Transat – Guadeloupe Islands, which every two years brings together 84 fearless adventurers!

What is your favourite kind of transport to live on?
A small 6.5-m-long racing yacht equipped with just the bare essentials for sailing at speed! No room for comfort! I’ll have a simple camping stove to reheat freeze-dried meals thought the day, which will consist of quick 20-minute naps on a microbead pillow!

What does travelling like a nomad bring you?
Everything that I can’t gain from an organised tour! That is to say: the element of surprise!
From unexpected friendships to the discovery of stunning landscapes, independent travel is a way to seek out that little corner of paradise that no-one else knows about!

Have you ever travelled in a campervan?
For meaningful travel in August in Europe, a campervan is my secret weapon! From the Scottish Highlands to the cliffs of Galicia, with a van you can get off the beaten track and be at one with nature. What could be better for a classic road trip?

What might be your next adventure by van?
I dream of driving through the small roads on the west coast of Ireland, in search of breathtaking scenery and waves that the summer crowds have left behind. Corsica and Montenegro are other destinations that inspire me to get my van ready to go!

To follow the race:

To watch a video about Armand:


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