The difficult conditions challenged the MACSF crew nicely, rewarding them with a strong 12th place in this 2021 edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre and some key learnings to take on. Isabelle and Fabien give us an insight to their race below.

Isabelle Joschke:"In short, the start was complicated for us. We had a hard time getting out of the Channel and Brittany. We were confronted with conditions that were not easy for our boat and a few little mishaps came up. We had a good understanding, a good strategy and we fought hard. We did what we could and I'm very happy.

I also remember the length of this Transat Jacques Vabre, the monumental squalls that made us suffer and a lot of learning. It was also the pleasure of sailing together again after a year of solo sailing that was physically difficult. It was a comfortable transatlantic race with little heavy weather and all the manoeuvres were shared so I came out of it much less tired!"

Fabien Delahaye:"We lost our spinnaker after the Canaries. It was a hard moment to manage, technically as we had to bring back 400 square metres of canvas on the boat, then mentally as we knew it was going to eat us up a lot for the rest of the race. It was an atypical transatlantic race with a lot of downwind VMG in little wind, which required this sail. We never gave up until the end and we are happy to have finished.

It was a long transatlantic race. It's true that when we set off with a fast boat like an IMOCA, we expect a fast race, but in the end, it was longer than the Figaro races.

We expected it to be tough and the conditions didn't spare us. It was a great experience for me, a great understanding with Isa, we only got good things out of it!

I've never had as many stormy squalls as on this race. It was the road of squalls! Passing the Doldrums twice was complicated, especially as they were not very kind to us. We thought it would be easier to get through on the way back, the satellite images showed us nothing during the day, but at night it became apocalyptic, with lightning and storms everywhere. So, it was a new way of sailing, of anticipating things with boats that are not very forgiving of mistakes. It was a great experience to learn how to deal with all that and with two people it was even more fun."