Like the Three Musketeers, there will in fact be four at the start of the Record SNSM in Saint Nazaire on 23 June 2013.
This will be the first confrontation since the Vendée Globe for Cheminées Poujoulat, MACIF and Votre Nom Autour du Monde. Three monohulls attempting to beat Arnaud Boissières’ record then, but there will be four Imoca sailors taking part as François Gabart has invited Alessandro Di Benedetto to join him.
A total of four skippers then and as many good reasons to take part in the Record SNSM (French lifeboat institution). For Bernard Stamm it’s a question of loyalty, as the Swiss sailor will be participating in the event for the fifth time. It will also be an opportunity for Bernard to measure himself against the winner of the Vendée Globe. Bertrand de Broc will effectively be playing on home waters, as the fleet is due to round the Le Coq mark at the entrance to the Sainte Marine channel, where the sailor has set up home. Being part of the record attempt is an obvious step for François Gabart who, along with his partner, is frequently involved in a cooperative relationship with the SNSM. For Alessandro Di Benedetto, Christmas has come early. To sail alongside François Gabart aboard the machine that exploded the Vendée Globe reference time… you can’t refuse an opportunity like that.