For the crewed round-the-world race with stopovers, Kevin Escoffier, the reigning winner of the Volvo Ocean Race (2017-18), has chosen to be accompanied by experienced sailors, but also by younger talents. A crew with varied and very complementary skills will set off on 15th January for seven intense months of confrontation around the world.

Kevin Escoffier, skipper of Holcim-PRB « The selection of the sailing crew members is a very important moment. Three criteria have guided my choice : experience, humanity and determination of each. Depending on the legs of the race, the sailing crew will vary. I will do a few rotations because my role as skipper is also to allow everyone to have a progression curve throughout this race. »
The Ocean Race spans 32 000 nautical miles, 4 oceans, 4 continents and 8 stopovers. This edition The Ocean Race spans 32 000 nautical miles, 4 oceans, 4 continents and 8 stopovers. This edition marks the 50th anniversary of sailing's greatest round-the-world challenge.

The Holcim-PRB Team

Sam Goodchild from Great Britain is an expert in offshore racing on monohull and multihull, and current skipper of Leyton Sailing Team. Sam has been performing over the past 4 years on great sailing races such as the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2019 and 2021, on Class40 and Ocean Fifty. He also twice joined Ultims crews on Sodebo Maxi and Spindrift Maxi. His leadership, determination and expertise will make him a trump card for the world’s toughest seas the crew will sail on.

The same is true for Abby Ehler, from the United Kingdom, who already has a great deal of experience in this race, having previously competed in three editions. From her first participation in 2001 with Amer Sports Too, Abby went on to win many offshore races, and sailed in another two editions of The Ocean Race in 2015 and 2018, both as a sailor and boat captain for Team SCA and Team Brunel. Ashore, Abby has worked for renowned international races like the America’s Cup and SailGP, and has been a strong advocate for promoting diversity on racing yachts. She is a key part of Team Holcim-PRBthanks to her technical skills and her mastery of the course.

© Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / Holcim-PRB

With many years of experience in renowned races alongside experienced sailors in offshore racing, Fabien Delahaye has a strong expertise on monohulls, ranging from IMOCA, Class40 toFigaro. His experience in solo-sailing and crew-racing and his knowledge of the boat will be particularly valuable for the team. He will be in charge of performance and will be a spare team member.

Two young up and comers will complete the team : Tom Laperche and Susann Beucke. Very early identified as a talent within the Bretagne CMB sector of excellence, Tom became the partner of François Gabart aboard the Ultim SVR Lazartigue on the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021. In 2022, at only 25 years old, he won one of the most difficult solo races, Solitaire du Figaro.

Susann Beucke, also known as Sanni, is one of the rare Olympic talents to have taken up ocean racing after an exemplary international career. Double European champion on a 49er FX dinghy in 2017 and then 2020, she particularly distinguished herself at the Tokyo Olympic Games by winning a silver medal in 2020. She is now racing in the Figaro class sponsored by DB Schenker. 

On each boat, an Onboard Reporter (OBR) will be in charge of creating multimedia content each day at sea. Julien Champolion, from France, and Georgia Schofield from New-Zealand will take turns aboard the IMOCA Holcim-PRB. They both have technical experience in filming in the world of offshore racing and will provide a keen eye from ashore.

The sailing team will officially get together on December 27 in Alicante. For two weeks, they will have sport sessions, resting times and briefings. A precise program in order to allow them to take the start in the best conditions.

Team Holcim-PRB will carry the message GO CIRCULAR throughout the race all around the world to accelerate the shift to circular living and to inspire action to preserve nature’s ecosystems from ocean to land. With circularity at the core of its business, Holcim continually innovates to build better with less following the principles of reduce, recycle and regenerate. Holcim is at the forefront of reducing the footprint of building across its entire lifecycle, from low carbon construction to more energy-efficient buildings in use, all the way to green retrofitting. As a world-leader in recycling Holcim recycles over 50 million tons of materials across its business today on its way to doubling this to reach 100 million tons by 2030, with applications ranging from the world’s first cement with 20% construction & demolition waste inside, to roofing shingles with upcycled plastic inside. 

© Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / Holcim-PRB

Interview of Kevin Escoffier

How did you choose your sailing team? 

« I made the choice to optimize the crew with different profiles, complementary skills, and great human qualities. The human side is particularly important in an intense race like this. It's a fine balance to find with performance. The motivation is crucial. The crew must remain motivated and determined regardless of the outcome and despite the rough physical conditions. »

What role will each have?

« For the start, Tom and I will take care of  navigation, Sam will manage the electronic part and Abby the technical aspects and spare equipment. Fabien will be in charge of the performance ashore.
For this world tour, I also picked Susann Beucke, who is new to offshore sailing, talented and motivated. She is particularly familiar with sailing with a reduced crew or single-handed, which will also be an advantage for our crew because we are often alone on deck while sailing. »