The “Performance” of Yves Gélinas

As Yves Gélinas was sailing around the world, people were talking of a new art form called “Performance” which combined disciplines in various fields of expression.

In attempting to sail non–stop  between Saint-Malo and Gaspé through the Roaring Forties and around Cape Horn alone aboard his boat Jean-du-Sud, Yves Gélinas would add his personal share to the art of sailing a small boat around the world. But this performance in the field of sport would comprise accomplishments  in three other domains of creation : the design of a gear to self-steer his boat, the writing of a book to narrate the voyage, the shooting of a 16 mm film while sailing.

While the circumnavigation was not accomplished non-stop, Jean-du-Sud was the smallest boat to sail that route and Yves Gélinas was granted the Golden Circle Award by the Joshua Slocum Society International.  In 28,200 miles, Yves Gélinas never had to steer his boat; under the brand name CapeHorn, his self-steering gear  was introduced on the market in 1989, and now makes many fellow sailors happy worldwide while providing its designer with a comfortable living.

The book Jean-du-Sud et l’Oizo-Magick  (in French, 200 pages) was first published in Québec in 1988, was out of print 2 years later and was re-edited in France in 1997.  Thirty years later, Jean-du-Sud and the Magick-Byrd is translated in English and published by Annapolis-based 59ºNorth Sailing.

The 100 minute film With Jean-du-Sud Around the World  was broadcast in 15 countries, won 9 awards (5 Gold, 1 Silver) in 7 Festivals and is considered by many the best sailing film ever made. It was reproduced in more  than four thousand video-cassettes, DVD and downloads. It was recently re-mastered in HD thanks to the generosity of a New York film and sailing enthusiast.

In 1984, to mark the importance of the accomplishment in seamanship and the high artistic quality of the audio-visual documents produced, Laval University of Québec granted an Honorary Doctorate  to Yves Gélinas "For outstanding seamanship  and artistic achievements"