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Basile Bourgnon ready to take the challenge of the Mini Transat

Basile Bourgnon, 19 and skipper of the Mini Edenred, is the youngest competitor among the 90 sailors entered in the 23rd Mini Transat: a solo Atlantic crossing, without assistance and without means of communication. Follow his adventure from September 26!

Follow Basile Bourgnon on the 2021 Mini Transat

 

Basile Bourgnon, ranked 38th at La Palma: “Putting things into perspective and focusing on the next step”

 

On Saturday, October 9, the Mini Edenred skipper Basile Bourgnon crossed the finish line of the first leg in the 23rd Mini Transat EuroChef boat race, taking 38th position in the production boat category at 18:28:50 (Paris time). 19-year-old Basile, the youngest competitor in the event, took 12 days, 2 hours, 58 minutes and 50 seconds to complete the 1,350-mile course between Les Sables d’Olonne and Santa Cruz de La Palma. Among the leaders in the production boat category, up until the famous stopover in Spain, the Edenred skipper looks back on an eventful first leg, full of the excitement and poignant moments that we have come to expect from this truly exceptional race.

 

 

Three days at the forefront

“I have a pit in my stomach” admitted the strapping 6 foot 4 athlete as he left the Sables d’Olonne dock on Monday, September 27. “We prepare for all eventualities in the run-up to the Mini Transat, but managing emotions is another story. I’ll remember this for a long time.” While waiting to set sail in the swell of the Les Sables d’Olonne bay, Basile, aged just 19, quickly got a hold on his nerves. “Speed makes you clever!” he said, with a determined look in his eyes, as he left his team and set off on the first major event in his life as a solo sailor. “I was sick the first night,” admitted Basile, after a few hours of sailing. The Edenred skipper raced ahead among the production boats in the middle of the Bay of Biscay and was in the top three until Cap Finistère. “When I heard through the radio in the early hours of the morning that I was in second place, the sea sickness quickly disappeared! I took a bite of my grandmother’s chocolate cake and really went for it. It was great, a lot of fun, gybing in all directions. It was like being in a Figaro!” said Basile, who almost collided with a whale and also crossed paths with a very playful orca. 

 

Friday, October 1: a turning point. 

The Mini Transat organization sent a special weather report to the competitors. A very active front was threatening the fleet with winds of over 40 knots and waves of over 4 meters. The race director strongly encouraged solo racers to take cover. “We received information that conditions were going to be tough but that it could potentially pass over us in the leading group, but nobody was sure. We discussed it and decided to stop all together so as not to encourage the group that was further north to continue, because it was clear it would be too dangerous for them to keep going. In the leading group, we decided to start again with the gaps we had when we stopped. On a human level, we experienced something really special in Baiona – it was a collective decision in a solo race,” said Basile.

 

Damage to the spreaders, a hard blow.

A few hours after setting sail in Baiona, where the fleet had experienced a few violent squalls, the Edenred skipper noticed that one of his spreaders had broken in half and informed the race directors of his intention to stop and carry out repairs. “At 10 miles from Cascais, I found myself stuck in still waters. I was so disheartened. Luckily, I was right next to Loïc Blin, a skipper from La Trinité-sur-Mer, who reminded me that the most important thing, even if the leg was over, was to get to La Palma. He really picked my spirits up! I realized that I would be proud of myself if I managed to fix it at sea. I climbed the mast, dismantled the rigging and with three screws and a bit of composite, I managed to put something together.”

 

“It’s not over, there’s still a long way to go”

His spreader fixed, Basile resumed the race in 52nd position off the coast of Portugal and climbed day-by-day up through the fleet. “I really gave it my all to close the gaps and have no regrets at the start of the second leg. This boat has a lot of potential!” Regularly ranked among the fastest boats, he finally crossed the finish line in Santa Cruz de La Palma in 38th place after just over 12 days of racing. “I’m really happy to be here. Obviously, I would have liked some things to go differently, but the journey could have ended in Cascais for me. I'm going to put things into perspective and focus on the second leg,” concluded the Edenred skipper. 

The Edenred Dream Team
Three men and a boat

Knowing smiles, shared desire, mutual respect: just a few minutes spent in the company of Emmanuel, Basile and Peyo is enough to see the strong bond they enjoy. They share a passion for competitive sport, travel, meeting people, offshore sailing and, most importantly, speed!

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The Edenred Classe Mini
6.50 meters of pure energy

The Classe Mini brings together racing monohulls (prototypes or standard) whose length does not exceed 6.50 meters. Since the summer 2020, Basile Bourgnon is at the helm of a Classe Mini sailboat flying the Edenred colors, 'little brother' of the Class40 category in which he had completed the Transat Jacques Vabre alongside Emmanuel Le Roch. The aim of the young and ambitious skipper: a busy racing program to gain as much experience as possible.

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Edenred DreamTeam - A new adventure begins

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