The two designated co-skippers of FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET ; Morgan Lagravière with Thomas Ruyant, Antoine Koch with Sam Goodchild
Trust and continuity colour the formation of the double-handed crews for the two FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET IMOCAs set to compete in this season’s races, namely the Bermudes 1000 Race which starts on 7 May in Brest and the Transat Jacques Vabre this October.
Thomas Ruyant’s brand-new Koch-Finot Conq design FOR PEOPLE will be sailing with Morgan Lagravière, who partnered the sailor from Dunkirk in their victorious Transat Jacques Vabre in 2021. FOR THE PLANET (Ex LinkedOut), helmed by Sam Goodchild, will see the return of Antoine Koch, who originally partnered Thomas in 2019 aboard this same boat.
The wind brothers! Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière on FOR PEOPLE
Thomas and Morgan secured victory in 2021. Since then, the two sailors have maintained a friendship, a complicity and a complementarity, which is begging to be expressed once more at the highest possible level, aboard the new foiler FOR PEOPLE. Though the duo appears to be more formidable than ever, realising the true potential of this new design will be one of the primary goals of this latest transatlantic race. Winner of the last edition of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, will Thomas Ruyant be able to pull off an unprecedented and highly extraordinary hat-trick? Response in Fort de France this November.
A story of complicity
“I’m part of Thomas’ ongoing sports and entrepreneurial project” confirms Morgan Lagravière straight out. One of sailing’s all-rounders, he ranks as one of today’s most sought-after sailors. His eclectic nature, his instinctiveness, his feel for both the breeze and performance make him the dream crew, who performs extraordinarily well and is capable of unlocking even the most complex tactical and strategic situations. Added to that, he shares more than a passion for the waves and the salt sea spray with Thomas. Indeed, the quest for the absolute and for achievement beyond the competitive framework resonates with both men. “I’m totally in tune with what Thomas is undertaking here,” explains the sailor from Réunion. “The project created with LinkedOut, developed and fleshed out today with For People and Planet, and further enriched by the arrival of Sam, who I’m also familiar with, is something that’s really close to my heart. Despite my commitments to Gitana Team, I’ve remained very much on top of the developments within TR Racing and the construction of the boat. TR Racing is a structure that is at the pinnacle of professionalism with true human values. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Bigger and better than in 2021!
With a new boat, an experienced duo and true complementarity, we immediately understand where the potential for improvement lies. “We need to learn about the machine, get to grips with her and get a feel for her. It’s an approach Thomas and I are familiar with since it’s the exact same route we took in 2021. That said, we want to be even better than in 2021. Thomas has evolved and I like to think that I have raised my game too. Both of us know how to tap into the skills around us. The competition is denser and stronger than ever. That increases tenfold our shared desire to take things even further and to push the performance aspect even higher. The races in the run-up to the Jacques Vabre will help us do that.”
I’m hungry for it!
Back from a long family holiday in the Pacific, Morgan Lagravière makes no secret of his desire to throw himself body and soul into the FOR PEOPLE adventure. “I’ve recharged my batteries in a natural environment that really suits me. As such, I’m rejoining TR Racing with a tremendous desire to move onwards and upwards, to pull off this massive challenge that awaits us with the fine tuning of this boat. We’re going to launch headlong into the sporting challenge, driven by this fine societal project. I don’t think I could have invested so much of my energy into a sports campaign if the human aspect wasn’t as strong as it is at TR Racing. We’re being carried along by a quite extraordinary wave of positivity.”
Fire and Ice! Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch on FOR THE PLANET
Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch; two experts in their field, two approaches to clocking up the miles, equating to the necessary skill set for modern-day offshore racing. Today, TR Racing, FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET and Thomas Ruyant are facilitating access for the two men to strive for the same goal, to tame the fantastic Verdier design and offer skipper Sam the keys to success. Within the project, Antoine is rediscovering the approach and the full-scale deciphering process required for one of the world’s most sophisticated racing machines, as he did in 2019 with Thomas. Pragmatic, rational and methodical, he’s the perfect springboard for the gifted and multi-talented Briton. Antoine is the ice, Sam the fire. Fire and Ice for the apotheosis?
Sam Goodchild: “I heard about Antoine in 2010 through Jonny Malbon, who raved about him during a Figaro season with Artémis. Since then, I’ve followed his career on all manner of craft that he’s sailed. He’s got a crazy amount of experience and he’s a very nice and very funny guy. He’s the perfect co-skipper for me as he knows FOR THE PLANET inside out. I’m expecting great things from him and what he has to tell and teach me about the boat’s secrets. The key to a good pairing at sea is communication. You have to know how to exchange ideas about everything, constantly, and adapt and motivate one another. I’ve done a fair amount of double-handed sailing and every experience is different. I’m looking forward to experiencing that with Antoine.”
Antoine Koch: “I’m not worried about whether Sam will be able to put all of this year’s experience to good use in getting to grips with the boat! He’s coming into this from The Ocean Race, which he contested on a similar foiler to FOR THE PLANET. The boat’s certainly complicated, but I’ll be on hand to take him straight to where he needs to get. I’ll teach him the key principles behind the boat. We have the whole season to raise our game, starting with the Bermudes 1000 in May. Our schedule is nicely staggered and layered so we can gently take control of her. We’re setting sail on the Transat Jacques Vabre without any pressure on our shoulders because Sam’s objectives are mainly geared around solo sailing, with the Vendée Globe his ultimate target. As such, he needs to qualify for that. I think we’ll be ‘in the action’ for the Jacques Vabre. I love this boat. She’s demanding and very full-on downwind and in the breeze. I’m thrilled to get a chance to add my modest contribution to the ambitious and visionary FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET project.”
Sport calendar :
- Bermuda 1000 Race Brest - Brest : start on May 7
- Rolex Fastnet Race Cowes - Cherbourg : start on July 22
- Défi Azimut Lorient Agglomération : start on September 19
- Transat Jacques Vabre Le Havre - Martinique : departure on November 29
- Return to the Base Fort-de-France / Lorient: departure on November 22,
- The Transat CIC
- May : New York - Vendée
- June : Challenge Azimut Lorient Agglomeration
- September : Vendée Globe: departure on November 10, 2024
From : For People and Planet
British skipper Sam Goodchild takes third and wins 2023 IMOCA Globe Series title.
British skipper Sam Goodchild (FOR THE PLANET) maintained his remarkably consistent form when he completed his first ever solo IMOCA race, the 3,500 nautical miles inaugural Retour à La Base from Martinique to Lorient in…•••
Yoann Richomme takes the win!
Yoann Richomme crossed the finish line of the first edition of Retour à La Base in first place this Saturday, December 9, at 17:03.•••