Bernard Stamm has hardly stopped over the past few months, busily putting his new project into place. The determined Swiss sailor won his bet today as he prepares for a new round-the-world race – double-handed this time.
So the double winner of the Around Alone will be on the startline at the next edition of the Barcelona World race at the helm of an IMOCA 60 – former Jörg Riechers’ boat Mare – which will be dressed up in the colours of Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard’s loyal partner since 2003 who will side with him again on this new adventure. Jean Le Cam will accompany him on this “four-handed” adventure.
Since last December, Bernard Stamm has done everything in his power to bounce back and build up a new project. “Everything kind of fell apart with I lost my boat, especially since no other IMOCA 60 seemed to be available. Which is why I tried working on other projects simultaneously, and some of them nearly worked. Then I found out through the class that an IMOCA boat was on the market, so I went for it.” Bernard Stamm has signed a lease contract with an option to buy Jörg Riecher’s Farr-design boat that was launched in 2007 and aboard which Michel Desjoyeaux won the 2008-09 Vendée Globe. It then came second in the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race with Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, and was back at the 2012-13 Vendée Globe with Jérémie Beyou.
“It has been regularly re-fitted to follow the IMOCA rule and all work carried out has been done well. It’s still a big step down for me, since my team and I had developed our previous boat to a really high level,” explains Bernard, who will be sailing his new boat from Lorient to Brest this week. “We will work on the 60-foot boat at our home-base, completing the work that the old owner began then adapting it to our way of working. And of course we’ll dress it up with our sponsors colours,” he added, happy to announce that Cheminées Poujoulat, world leader in fireplaces and chimneys, will be continuing to support him as he heads towards the third edition of the Barcelona World race, the only round-the-world double-handed non-stop and without assistance race, which starts in Barcelona in Spain on 31 December 2014. “Cheminées Poujoulat has been active in sailing with Bernard Stamm for aver 10 years. Participating in a round-the-world with such an experienced and competitive team is a great opportunity for our brand,” declared Frédéric Coirier, CEO of the Poujoulat Group.
Quite a tandem!
“Between us, we have accumulated a huge amount of miles, that’s for sure. Racing together will be an enriching experience – things kind of happened by chance, but it’s great,” said Jean Le Cam. Together the two men will form one of the most experienced teams in the race.”
Between them they accumulate no less than six Vendée Globe participations, nine round-the-worlds and sixty or so Transats! Suffice to say that the two men aren’t just here to take part – they’re here to win. Over the next few months they will be doing everything they can to get there, although they are aware they’ll have to move and adapt fast. “The race start is tomorrow! The boat should be back in the water by the end of August and then we have to learn to tame it. We’ll multiply our training sessions, tests, calibrations as much as we can in order to be at the top as quickly as possible,” continues the Swiss sailor who will be fully supported by his loyal team. “I’ve done everything I can to maintain my team and base in Brest over the past months. It wasn’t easy but today these efforts are paying off and that’s good news,” he stated, adding that he will continue to sail on the Diam 24 One Design circuit in parallel. “We’re already committed and it allows us to maintain a continuity in our preparation. We’ll be taking part in the next races even if we missed the Trinité-sur-Mer race last weekend. And I’ll have to step up my physical preparation to be 100% up to speed by September because I still have a few cervical problems from my accident in December that I’m treating with my physiotherapist. All the thorax injuries have healed”, concluded Bernard who should soon be announcing the arrival of new partners very shorty. Watch this space.