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Roger Montandon (Switzerland)

From the book by Laurent Antonoff

Un petit bateau dans la tête

Roger Montandon

 Le Courage au bout des rames
Mer Rouge, Atlantique, Amazone

Éditions Favre SA, April 1997

Roger Montandon was born in Switzerland in September 1946. Though not under the sign of Fish, and yet, what a passion for the sea and what an outstanding destiny!
Roger has spent three years in the merchant navy and has sailed all the oceans of the globe.
He worked on more than thousand boats in various shipyards and has released and conceived various personal inventions (sometimes revolutionary), such as a boat ideal for fishing and promenade, named "Northern Wind”.
And the last feats made him a kind of hems and an accomplished adventurer: rowing his ocean rowboat "Exodus" across the Atlantic in sixty days in 1996 and then, in the same breath!, he descended the Amazon River – onboard a pirogue! And it is not the reefs with gaps on the road that drove the “galley slave” to accomplish his child's dreams. Epic - often, tragic - sometimes. But Roger Montandon always followed his stars, against winds and tides and in spite of sarcasms of some part of public opinion. He obviously did not want to disavow the value which is represented on his family’s coat-of-arms: an anchor under three stars: ”I believe firm in this ocean and I am obviously longing for the sky”
In this title, the destiny of Roger Montandon is exemplary and gives us a lesson on tremendous tenacity, courage and especially modesty, because he remains unassuming and vulnerable



Below is an online (Altavista) translation from French. Click here to read in original >>>

The oarsman of the hope

Is Roger Montandon a man out of the common run?
Some say that he is insane, others that he is brilliant.
Or is the truth? Objectif Réussir met for you.

Who doesn't know Roger Montandon? This single-handed sailor who does not fear to traverse seas and oceans, as a recluse, on board an oar boat which it built itself. Before that, Roger Montandon had learned the builder's trade from boats, then it sailed at sea within the merchant navy. From there to decide to build boats only provided with oars and to decide to cross seas and oceans as a recluse, there is a step that many people do not include/understand. Some say that it is insane, others which it is quite simply brilliant.
With our opinion, Roger Montandon is neither one nor the other. For us who met it, he is quite simply a man who understood that to discover the true values of the life; it was necessary to dare to go until the end of its dreams.
That who does not know Roger Montandon, thinks that this exceptional man must have a stature of athlete, with muscles that make Schwarzenegger jealous. And well not, I want even to say that Roger Montandon is a man like the others. Then, how does he make to be able to row twelve hours per day during weeks and weeks, only in the medium of the seas or oceans? To simplify, I would say that it is in the head that that occurs. Hours of drives certainly it made some and it continues to make some, as a mother or on the Neuchâtel Lake. But it is all the same in its head that it finds all its forces and its will.

Roger Montandon forms part of these men who had one day to face the disease and who decided not to let themselves cut down. He understood that in the life, to know true happiness, it is necessary to go to the end of his dreams.

By entitling this article, "the oarsman of the hope", I would like to transmit the message to all the young people who, in these difficult times take refuge in drug, that they make a very great error. Even if times that we live are difficult, it is always possible, when it is wanted it really, to carry out its dreams. Even most insane

When had the idea just made to you crossings, as a recluse and with the oar?
That goes up at 27 years behind. I had made at that time Construire a boat for two people. But at the last minute, my friend desisted, then I gave up it. Then, I promised to my wife that I would not leave as a recluse before our children are high.
Which are your immediate projects?
To cross the Atlantic in Canaries, November in the Antilles. That represents approximately 5200 km which I hope to traverse into two or three months. Then to make once the turn of the world.
So it is my greater dream

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