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Safran sets sights on 2016 Vendée Globe, with Morgan Lagravière and a new boat

Photo credits: Mark Lloyd - DPPI
Photo credits: Mark Lloyd - DPPI

Safran announced today that it will continue its commitment to ocean racing, with the aim of participating in the 2016 Vendée Globe round-the-world solo race. Safran has chosen Morgan Lagravière to skipper a brand-new IMOCA class monohull ocean racer. Construction of this boat will start shortly, for launch in late 2014 or early 2015.

For Safran, this latest challenge carries on the Group’s achievements with Marc Guillemot since 2005. Marc will pass the helm to Morgan Lagravière after the 2014 Route du Rhum race.

A 27 year old navigator with a passion for both sailing and aviation, Morgan Lagravière has already won several world championships and the title of junior champion of France, all since 2002. Because of these results, he was selected for the French Olympic sailing team in 2008. In 2012, he was chosen from among 50 competitors to represent the Vendée region in the Figaro Bénéteau category. As early as his second season, Morgan became the French solo ocean racing champion. So it was only natural that he has now shifted his focus to the IMOCA class of 60-foot monohull racing boats.

On the agenda for the young skipper this year are several major races, namely the Grand Prix de Douarnenez in May and the Transat New York-Barcelona in June, both two-handed races he will enter with Marc Guillemot. He will then monitor the design and construction of the new Safran boat, designed by the naval architects VPLP/Verdier, and developed in partnership with Banque Populaire. The two sponsors will share development and production costs for a single hull mold.

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