Ten IMOCA 60’ monohulls will be at the start of this Transat Jacques Vabre 2013. We present the crews, their talents and their objectives.
Bureau Vallée: Louis Burton – Guillaume Le Brec
Here we have the youngest competitor to take part in the Vendée Globe, accompanied by Guillaume Le Brec, a former Mini-Transat sailor who has gone on to become one of the members of Jean-Pierre Dick’s shore crew. Louis Burton, teamed up with his brother Nelson, made a truly remarkable entry into the IMOCA world during the Transat Jacques Vabre 2011, where he was among the top trio for a long while before fading slightly towards the end. The major assets of this duo: boldness and a certain freshness.
Cheminées Poujoulat: Bernard Stamm – Philippe Legros
Bernard Stamm is approaching this Transat Jacques Vabre with high hopes. He’s all too aware of the potential of his Kouyoumdjian design and has had the time to polish up his deck layout and carry out the necessary technical improvements. The incident he suffered in the Jacques Vabre 2011 (collision with a UFO leading to his retirement from the race) mortgaged his preparation for the Vendée Globe. This time, the man and the machine are ready for action. He and Philippe Legros have had a lot of time training and we’ll certainly be able to count on them to put up a sterling performance.
Gutek is continuing on his way within the IMOCA Class. Since the Vendée Globe, the Polish sailor has spared no effort as he took on the Solo North Atlantic record, improving on the previous time held by Alex Thomson. His performance was eclipsed by Safran’s new outright record gleaned over the same period, but it demonstrates that Gutek is now at one with his machine. He’s sailing with Maciej Marczewski, who was his boat captain during the Vendée Globe campaign 2012-2013.
Initiatives Cœur: Tanguy de Lamotte – François Damiens
It’s a race against the clock for Tanguy de Lamotte, who tore his Achilles’ heel in early September during a game of squash. Since that time, the sailor has been following an accelerated rehabilitation programme to make the start line on 3 November. Despite the very short healing period, Tanguy remains confident: “we’re OK for time…” he admitted a few days ago. He’s setting sail with the comedy actor François Damiens, who’s a sailing enthusiast. Despite his lack of experience of offshore racing, he impressed Tanguy during their qualifier for the Transat Jacques Vabre through his ability to adapt.
MACIF: François Gabart – Michel Desjoyeaux
Three victories in the Vendée Globe, an unquestionable complicity, a high performance boat… it’d be hard not to consider the Gabart – Desjoyeaux duo among the firm favourites of this Transat Jacques Vabre. This is particularly true given that the two men have dominated the races running up to this major meeting, including the Fastnet and the Challenge Azimut. The two men know each other inside out as they see one another nearly everyday in Port-la-Forêt within the Mer Agitée team. They also raced together in a truncated version of the Barcelona World Race. They will doubtless be battling to go all the way this time, with a win to boot if at all possible.
Maître CoQ: Jérémie Beyou – Christopher Pratt
Here we have two candidates for the next Vendée Globe. Though Jérémie has already secured sponsorship for his project, Christopher hopes that a good result in the Transat Jacques Vabre will give him the necessary boost to be at the start in 2016. In addition to Jérémie’s qualities as a fighter, the duo also benefits from the fact that Christopher regularly sailed on the boat when it was still in the hands of Armel le Cléac’h. Jérémie is also the reigning champion of the 2011 edition. As such they’re sure to be aiming for the double if the opportunity presents itself. Christopher bagged a podium position in the last edition so moving up a step or two certainly wouldn’t go against his wishes.
PRB: Vincent Riou – Jean Le Cam
There is more than complicity between this pair. Adversaries in the Vendée Globe 2004-2005, they have got to know and appreciate each other over the years. Jean’s capsize and his rescue by Vincent during the Vendée Globe 2008-2009 ended up binding their relationship. With Vincent Riou’s renowned expertise in weather and strategy and his thorough understanding of his boat combined with the searing intensity of Jean Le Cam’s talent, this duo has all the means at its disposal to score well in Itajai.
Safran: Marc Guillemot – Pascal Bidegorry
After being forced to retire from the Vendée Globe much too early, Marc Guillemot has set the record straight by shattering the Solo North Atlantic record between New York and The Lizard. Besides the obvious confidence that such a performance gives you, it was also an opportunity for Marc Guillemot to show his rivals that he is very much a force to be reckoned with and that Safran remains a formidable machine. Marc is accompanied by Pascal Bidegorry who is famed for his fighting spirit and his tenacity. With Marc’s victory in 2011 (with Charles Caudrelier) and that of Pascal back in 2005 (with Lionel Lemonchois), this 2013 edition will give them both an opportunity to pull off a double.
Team Plastique: Alessandro Di Benedetto – Alberto Monaco
Alessandro Di Benedetto will be joining forces with his préparateur during the Vendée Globe 2012-2013, Alberto Monaco. It’s a way of paying tribute to the work carried out by Alberto last winter and perhaps preparing for the future. Indeed Alessandro makes no secret of the fact that he’d like to continue in the IMOCA circuit at the helm of a more high performance boat than his current steed. This Transat Jacques Vabre will be an opportunity for him to have his plans aired and enhance the image of Team Plastique, which is continuing to support him.
Votre Nom autour du Monde: Bertrand de Broc – Arnaud Boissières
They finished the Vendée Globe in ninth and eighth place respectively. In so doing Bertrand de Broc and Arnaud Boissières got to know and appreciate each other through a string of short messages sent when sailing side by side. With Arnaud temporarily without a ride, Bertrand has offered him the chance to climb aboard with him for this Transat Jacques Vabre, where the aim is to continue developing the loyalty of all those who have been following him in the Votre Nom autour du Monde project. They know it will be tough to compete with the leading boats, but in a transatlantic race anything is possible.