Transat Jacques Vabre winners recall their past glories

Arrival of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2009 : Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier victory on Safran
@ AFP
There is only two weeks left for all of the Transat Jacques Vabre duos to finalise their work and get themselves and their boats to the Paul Vatine Basin in Le Havre. Some have still been sailing, some still in boat refitting and finishing mode, others complete their last working days in the office, but for all the co-skippers hours are precious and not to be wasted.

A new crew joined the fleet of fourteen Class40s in the form of American Nicholas Halmos and his Kiwi co-skipper Hugh Piggin who aim to help publicise the race and the class in their respective countries. Two crews have announced changes. On Avis Immobilier, François Scheek replaced Olivier Grassi for personal reasons, and Christophe Coatnoan (Partouche) sails with Etienne Laforgue who was with him on the 2008 Quebec St Malo Race.

In the Multi 50 class Anne Caseneuve (Naviguez Anne Caseneuve) has been building miles with her son Aubin Houdet, as have the Mabit brothers (Monopticien.com), while Yves Le Blévec and Sam Manuard have repaired their mast of Actual at the JMV yard in Cherbourg.

In the IMOCA Class after a classroom session with Jean-Yves Bernot, the majority of the fleet will take part in training at Port-la-Forêt, while Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret (Mirabaud) complete testing with their new rig off La Rochelle and Kito de Pavant et Yann Régniau who deliver Groupe Bel at a slow pace from their Mediterranean base. In England Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois have completed three good days of sailing with Gamesa, testing their new ‘classic’ format rig.

There are five former winners of the Transat Jacques Vabre who will take to the start of the 2011 edition: Jean-Pierre Dick, Franck-Yves Escoffier, Erwan Leroux, Lionel Lemonchois and Marc Guillemot.

All vividly recall the highlights as does Franck Cammas who is preparing an adventure of a different caliber. He will soon be starting the Volvo Ocean Race.

Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), winner in 2003 and 2005 with Nicolas Abiven, Loïck Peyron:
'The arrival in Bahia really moved me. On the one hand because there was victory at the end, but for tropical scents, and the warm reception of the Brazilians, the feeling of arriving somewhere different. In 2005 with Loïck (Peyron) I remember it so much more because the battle was stronger all the way to the finish with Bilou and Ellen MacArthur. Otherwise, I also have a particular affection for Le Havre. It is a city that has always brought me luck, even at the time of the Tour de France a Voile. Each time I ended with a victory. It is important to keep up that tradition ... '

Marc Guillemot (Safran), winner in 2009 with Charles Caudrelier:
'I still feel the win, obviously. But I also keep a great memory of having got through the big depression that had blown in before the Azores. With Charles, when we saw we were well placed and the boat was in perfect condition, we thought it was starting to feel good. And generally to sail with Charles was a treat, we were really in tune. '

Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crêpes Whaou!), Winner in 2005 with Kevin Escoffier, with Karine Fauconnier 2007 and 2009 with Erwan Le Roux:
'For me, the victory of 2005 is the most beautiful. We had to build the boat, we knew we could do something and it was the first boat to cross the line in Salvador de Bahia. And for a father, sharing this kind of moment with his son, it's still something very special '

Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne), winner in 2005 with Pascal Bidégorry:
'Beyond the win itself I also remember the early hours of the race that had been really tough. Everything was jumping, slamming and shaking but managed to keep the boat intact. There was a lot of breakages in the early days of racing, so we were really happy to know that we kept all our chances for victory intact ... '

Erwan Le Roux (FenetreA-Cardinal), winner in 2009 with Franck-Yves Escoffier:
'The arrival in Puerto Limon was magical. We sailed in a very dark night, we saw nothing. And then a boat came first, then another and suddenly everything was bustling around us and just when we crossed the line, fireworks went off, it was really moving. I also recall that Transat’st few hours in the eastern Azores, buffeted by strong winds, before reaching the trade winds. And then, Franck-Yves is quite a character, unusual in the world of racing. With him, I had a great partner. '

Franck Cammas (Groupama VOR), winner in 2001 and 2007 with Steve Ravussin, 2003 with Franck Proffit:
'Ironically, my strongest memory is of the Transat 1999, where we did not won. But we had a huge depression and our only goal was to get out of it. After that I enjoyed the is a party in Brazil. Between the weather systems of the North Atlantic trade winds of both hemispheres, the doldrums, it made a lot of weather to negotiate these transitions. And the format of the duo was much richer in our 60-foot multihull ... It's really a race I liked taking part. '

October 22, 11:00: Inauguration of the Transat Jacques Vabre race village
22 and 23 October: Exhibition Regatta 'Regatta Virtual Inshore'
October 30, 10:45: Dock out of the race fleet
October 30, 1:02 p.m.: Start of the 10th Transat Jacques Vabre
First arrivals IMOCA Multi50 and Costa Rica from November 14, Class40 from November 22

The defending champions 2009 (20 registered) -
Imoca:
Safran, Marc Guillemot - Charles Caudrelier Benac
Finished on 24/11/2009 in 15 days, 19 hours, 22 minutes and 10 seconds
at 12.46 knots average

Multi 50:
Winner: Crepes Whaou! Franck Yves Escoffier - Erwan Le Roux
Finished on 24/11/2009 in 15 days, 15 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds
at 13.41 knots average

Alongside the sporting challenge and the human adventure the Transat Jacques Vabre is also an eco-friendly event that since 2007has taken, effective measures to reduce and offset its carbon footprint. The reduction of CO2 emissions was a major objective for all teams and stakeholders in the race. A comprehensive sustainable development was established by the organization. Concrete actions have been carried out on transport, energy and water, waste management (384 kg of coffee have been recycled!) The use of recycled or recyclable materials is paramount. CO2 emissions have also been offset (2200 tonnes of offset and -65% emission in 2009 vs 2007) through reforestation operations in tropical forests. Thus, the Transat Jacques Vabre received for this year again, the support of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transportation and Housing. In 2011, this action in favor of environmental progress continues in the same vein and with equal fervor.

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com