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2019 Transat Jacques Vabre

The birth of a dynamic duo

#TrueDream: a look back on 2019

Emmanuel's 2019 logbook

Saturday, November 16

"Here at last! We arrived in Bahia after 20 days and 41 seconds of sailing, an intense final stretch and with a very nice 12th place. We're proud of our race, of our team and of our beautiful Edenred, which me manage to keep in good shape throughout the adventure. Now, we will take some time to get back to our family and friends, rediscover dry land and all the comfort that comes with it... We'll get back real soon to give you more news! Meanwhile, you can have a look at our arrival interview at the pier on Facebook (in french). And thanks again for your support throughout the adventure!"

Friday, November 15

"Hello! We're almost there! It's going to be a rough final sprint, we have Earendil in sight... And Vogue avec un Crohn as well! This will end like a Solitaire du Figaro round after 4,500 nautical miles!
We're sailing Edenred at 120% of its potential until the end, it's getting tough for the crew but we'll sleep later! Now it's time for fighting! See you real soon!"

Thursday, November 14

"Hello everyone! Last night, on our beloved red and white boat, we could verify the Breton saying: 'when the seagulls' feet touch the ground, it's time to bear' at the point of the coasts of Brazil... The wind was blowing towards the coastline so the decision proved fruitful, moreover it was the only card we had in our deck after sailing westward after the doldrums. Since Sunday, we're hoping for the wind to turn East, all routings gave a direction of 20 degrees South... So we've been seething with impatience for the last four days! There are a lot of fishing boats in the area so we remain on the watch. They only bear a little white light which is not very helpful to know which way they're heading... With the maneuvers, the waking and the settings, we haven't a lot of time left for sleeping. The final stretch is going to be thrilling... We stay focused onboard the Edenred!"

Wednesday, November 13

"Hello, hello, and welcome onboard the Edenred! We wanted to take a moment to thank you all for all your cheering until now, through the social networks, the website and all kinds of messages! It's the final stretch to Salvador!

The conditions are nice, it's sunny and hot, we're getting sunburnt and it's almost three days before our arrival, so the both of us can't wait to take a shower, that's for sure! 

See you really soon and thank you for your messages, lots of love!"

Tuesday, November 12

"At 1:00 AM last night, we passed the equator, with our feet in the air and our head on the ground... the night was starry and the moon was full, which made it possible to manage the sails without a headlamp: it was almost daylight. Speaking of managing, it's mostly all that we do onboard our faithful Edenred! The wind intensity changes all the time, we have to regulate! When the ballast is full, we have to empty it… and of course, once it's empty, we must fill it again! This being said, these trade winds have too much South for our taste. It's like the caipirinha was badly proportioned – which is a terrible faux pas! So we're sailing upwind, it's rough and tough and we're anxious to open the sails a bit to speed up…"

Monday, November 11

"Howdy! We finally went out the doldrums: we see the sky changing gradually, we see beyond the next squall... The sun is back again, but it takes time to recover, all night long it was squall after squall, and unstable winds (10 to 23 knots), we need to control the Edenred constantly to adjust our route. The wind is more in the axis than on the meteo data, which is bad news since a lot of competitors bearing away more and going faster than us. So we're extra careful! Today, we're passing the equator! We're going to be head down! No ceremony onboard, Basile and I having already passed it in the past… Too bad, it would have been the chance to celebrate! All the arrivals in Salvador!! We're currently using the high mainsail and the J2 sail, now, let's get back to it, go go go!"

Saturday, November 9

"A big hello from the map table! It is such a joy to be here: heat, wind, surfing, shorts... We try to get the most of the experience, making use of the boat's full potential, we stay at the helm as much as we can because taking the surfs is very helpuf! Incidentally, I almost went blind with all the flying fishes (and the squid) I took in the face! Believe me, you can easily find something nicer to experiment ;) I also got a stiff neck from staying at the helm with my head turned on the left; luckily, we're sailing port side! As I'm writing this, Manu is fast asleep, in his boxer shorts, right next to me... Otherwise we're prerry satisfied with our ranking, we're still in the race, using all our sails so we can continue to attack! We're approaching the doldrums, and we must not miss this bit! Cheers,


Friday, November 8

"Temperature's rising! The sun is heavy and you'd better use sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat! It's also quite hard to let go of the helm! We're becoming surf addicts! So... one last for me and it's your turn... Our current playlist: 40 Thieves - Don't Turn It Off and Paul Kalkbrenner - Aaron! Loud music in our ears, Edenred at full throttle. The wind lowers gradually, we use the high mainsail and the maximum spinnaker, we take turns to have some rest. We have more than 1,700 nautical miles to go, the game is not over yet. And we still have the doldrums to pass, which is no walk in the park!"

Thursday, November 7

"We decided to take it easy yesterday because it was quite challenging, and we still have a long way to go: we used the small spinnaker, in spite of that we managed to go quite fast and it's more stable! Let's put it this way: more than ever, the Edenred boat does as we tell her. After the great slides of the previous night, we had the time for an Italian dinner prepared by me: pasta with ham, comté cheese and olive oil: a treat! We can thank Caroline, Basile's mum, for all the supplies: we should be set until the end of the trip – with even enough left to go a bit further! Last night, we gybed to pass west of the Cape Verde islands. The wind has calmed down a bit, and we stay alert about the traffic."

Wednesday, November 6

"Hello! We had a bit of a rock’n’roll night onboard the Edenred! The wind has strengthened (up to 30 knots) at the beginning of the night, so we had to lower our great red spinnaker to use a smaller one, then 1 reef, then 2 reefs... Impossible to let go of the helm, Basile and I are taking turns and, in the meantime, we're also trying to get some sleep, the important word being trying... The boat is like a roller coaster! Now I'm going to try to rest for a few minutes..."

Tuesday, November 5

"Hello everyone! Splendid day yesterday onboard the Edenred! We finally met the trade winds, it's a real pleasure! We gained a lot of miles and a good gybing maneuver allowed us to pass Pierre-Louis and Calliste (Vogue avec un Crohn), and a gybing maneuver can be pretty long! You need time to fill and empty the ballast, the bags, it's important to make no mistake because you can really lose a lot of time. By the way, Basile and I just crossed the way of Pierre-Louis and Calliste... We even spotted their masthead light! That's fun, it almost feels like a regatta around three buoys... The night is beautiful and starry, but we must remain alert, the wind can be full of surprises.. Edenred is still at 100% of its potential, it's great for the upcoming days! As for us, we're in terrific shape, we are full of beans!"

Monday, November 4

"After a night packed with action, the wind fell down, the expected ridge is here and with the great spinnaker, the rhythm gets cooler. We took the opportunity to give the Edenred a complete check-up. We brought out the toolbox and we fixed and improved everything we could! The sun begins to shine, it's nice to finally get to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and shorts! We mostly had to live inside until then, it's a bit of rest when we can chat without the boat getting up and down. It's also nice that it's finally getting quieter, without cracking sounds or ambient noise which is eventually tiring: it almost felt like a Sunday! The night is clear and the moon is rising, it's really the first enjoyeable night on the deck, the wind is back and it slides well. We're good in the rankings t and it feels great! We rather have much more pressure than our friends on the west! This morning, it's back-to-school day, but Basile is excused... He went to Brazil to get some coffee..."

Saturday, November 2

"Hello all of you on dry land! That's the thing! We had a few tough moments on the boat but globally the Edenred goes fast! The cockpit has turned into a bathtub and wearing waterproof jackets is mandatory. Basile and I quite like that, so we stay focused! Our game right now is to watch carefully the rankings to find out who goes faster, and why! We had a luxury lunch: pasta, ham and cheese; a treat! But anyway, this is the weekend; we need a good time now and then... We manage to get some rest and after one week, we're not overly tired. Last night, the sky was beautiful, very starry. Edenred is still at 100% of its potential and we intend to use it!"

Thursday, October 31

"Outside, it's a true Halloween weather: foggy, misty and scary! So we stay inside the Edenred Class40 to eat our candy… More seriously: we can't see a thing. Luckily, there are no fishing boats who'd have the 'good idea' to turn down their AIS (automatic identification system) in order not to disclose their fishing area! We went larboard at the beginning of the night and it's the right side to be right now. There is quite a struggle going on with our friends around, and we must admit we like the competition very much! Visibility is pretty bad, so at least there is time for excitement!"

Wednesday, October 30

"Hello folks! Life is a bit tilted here and slightly wet but we can't complain! We took turns to sleep, and we realized the week before the start was so intense that it took a bit of time to get into the rhythm of the race. We're pleased that Edenred is at full potential; all our sails are intact and we know that others haven't been so lucky. We just changed tack, still upwind, but it might get quieter soon. The boat is quite bouncy for the moment but we expect it to go better in a few hours: we can't wait to be able to slide again like we did during the first night, with the headphones and music at loud volume, with 25 knots of wind under the great spinnaker! The new rudders make things much easier for us in these conditions: before, it was like we were driving a car in the dark on a frozen road, with worn tyres! With our new rudders, it's like we put the studded tyres!"

Tuesday, October 29

"A quick update from the front! Since a few hours, we're sailing upwind... It's a change from the nice slides we enjoyed near Le Havre. The atmosphere is quite wet and the night is very, very dark. You can hardly tell the difference between the sea and the sky. The good news is that we preserved our equipment: everything is OK, Edenred is 100% operational. We took advantage of last night to rest a bit as we haven't sleep much since the departure. In spite of the cold weather, the spirits are pretty high!"

Monday, October 28

"We set sail on Sunday, in the middle of an impressive popular enthusiasm! The first hours of the race were a bit complicated, but we stay focused on our route. Basile and I are happy to enter the competition… Salvador, here we come!"

Thursday, October 24

"Only three days left before the race begins! The final stretch before beginning the adventure, which actually started for us months ago. We feel the passion here in Le Havre. Final preparations, inspections by the referees, meetings with the press... Basile and I made it to the front page of the local edition of Paris Normandie, with a nice article inside. Stay connected to follow the last hours before the departure. On this page, you will be able to follow our progress in real time, and even send us a short encouragement message with the form just below. Don't hesitate!"

Thursday, October 17

"Here we are in Le Havre! We're so glad to finally be there after the final stretch. We had the chance to test the new rudders and the new sails in real conditions! The boat slides pretty well and she is much more powerful than ever. Only ten days left before the race departure... Until then, we hope you will enjoy the second episode of our webserie!"

Tuesday, October 8

3, 2, 1... Action! It's the D-day, the first episode of the webserie is online. Basile and I are very proud to present this pilot episode. We tell you more about our story, our project for the Transat and many other secrets about us and the race.”

Thursday, October 3

"It’s time to get wet! Today is a great day as The Edenred Class40 reconnects with the ocean. After its latest improvements, the boat is finally ready to be set sail from the harbor at La Trinité. As the days pass by, Basile and I are getting increasingly impatient: the departure is getting closer and closer!"

Thursday, September 19

Let’s start the countdown! Less than 40 days before the Transat Jacques Vabre’s departure day! Basile and I participated in the official presentation of the 14th edition, during a press conference earlier this week. We are looking forward to hoisting the mainsail and to give the best of ourselves on this Transat, mind your backs!"

Friday, September 13

Lights, camera, action! Yesterday, Basile and I had the chance to shoot the first episode of our little saga about the Transat Jacques Vabre. What an experience… we are looking forward to showing you the result. Just wait for it!”

Saturday, July 27

"What a great day shared with youngsters from the 'Sport dans la Ville' association! After visiting them last May in the Paris region, I had the pleasure to welcome them in La Trinité-sur-Mer for one day, during which I had the chance to present my business Nautic Sport, then introduce them to sport sailing, along with my team mate Basile, onboard the Edenred Class40."

Monday, July 22

The adventure is starting now! After 5 days of race and 1,050 miles, Basile and I are so happy to be officially qualified to participate in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which is an amazing race. After this intense stage, we are back in La Trinité in order to start all the preparations for the next step and to enjoy some well-deserved rest. See you soon!”

Wednesday, July 17

"24 hours ago, we set sail from La Trinité-sur-Mer: after passing the bay and the islands, we rapidly took the offshore rythm. The sailing conditions are fantastic, with lots of wind and sun, and a surprisingly calm sea for the Bay of Biscay, not even the tiniest swell! We're taking this opportunity to establish the boat's "job list". Today, we'll be heading northward to the mythical lighthouse at Fastnet Rock... See you soon!  

Emmanuel & Basile"

Monday, July 15

"That’s it! We set forth from La Trinité-sur-Mer to start the official qualifying rounds for the Transat Jacques Vabre. The three of us (Basile, the Class40 boat and I!) are all ready to tackle the challenge. 
Off we go for a 5-day, 1,000-nautical miles loop starting from La Trinité-sur-mer, passing by the Bay of Biscay and Fastnet Rock in Ireland, to finally sail back to La Trinité…
Don't hesitate to watch regularly the tracker above in order to check our positioning in (almost) real time."

Thursday, July 11

"Only 100 days left until the Transat Jacques Vabre! Basile, who just got his bachelor's degree, and myself can't wait to enter the final countdown to our departure toward Salvador da Bahia. And the next days will be pretty busy. Stay tuned!"

Monday, June 3

"First double handed race and first victory with Basile Bourgnon, on the 2019 ArMen Race! We are proud to have won, furthermore at home, it's so nice. We built our race plan and followed our objective to the victory from the first night during which we set up our strategy. We are getting along famously with Basile, as much on the performance that on the life onboard: cant' wait for the next departure!"

Monday, May 27

"We are there!! After 6 days of intense fight, always with at least one boat in our sight, day and night on an extremely demanding and tactical path! Happy to have fought and to finish with this ranking, even if the 9th rank was so close! We are now going back to Caen for the village and we will be leaving again tomorrow afternoon for La Trinité, the ArMen Race is starting on thursday morning but we have to be there on wednesday for the security check... In the meantime we will have a relaxing shower and a good beer : after effort comes comfort! See you soon onboard Edenred!"

Thursday, May 23

"Uncommon and nice episode during the race: yesterday evening, in the middle of the Irish Sea, the boats were so close and still that we were able to chat by voice with BEIJAFLORE and COLOMBRE for several minutes! We even considered having dinner all together, but the competitive spirits was eventually stronger among all crews. 
The wind is still nowhere to be seen, and Tuskar Rock is firmly expected... We are wondering whether we would be on time for our next event, on next week-end: the Armen Race at La Trinité-sur-Mer! Edenred is very impatient to move on, and so is the crew!

Edit at noon: the wind is finally back!

Emmanuel & Laurent onboard Edenred"

Wednesday, May 22

"What a day! The wind played with us: it's the least we could say! Mainly where we were not expecting it. Fortunately, the sun boosted our morale and it allowed us to come back in the match when the game was harder! Lizard point, the English peak is behind us now and we have to sail toward Ireland in this erratic wind. The night will be intense if we want to move upwards in the ranking: Edenred and its crew are ready! Go go go!

Emmanuel and Laurent onboard Edenred"

Tuesday, May 21

"The Solent is really a magical place! Its currents and its steepy coast are always surprising, and sailing around the Isle of Wight is never a given scenario! We weren’t disappointed! All day long, the ranking kept being disrupted and we kept playing on tack changing in order to foil the flow. Luckily, the atmosphere onboard Edenred is very positive. We spent the night board to board with RÊVE and BEIJAFLORE, the wind alternated between 0 and 12 knots. This race is really tactical and mental, and that's fine with us: we love that! The landscape is wonderful and the weather is nice! How lucky are we to be right here!
Emmanuel et Laurent onboard Edenred"

Monday, May 20

"Dawn is breaking! The Isle of Wight is only 20 milles away from us, we are through contact with the leading boats : we are well! We reached a good speed in this little period of time, Edenred is at its best! We took advantage of some success being at the wind of the fleet and we passed Marcouf beacon in the lead... The night shift work was good, we are on the right track!! See you soon! Emmanuel and Laurent onboard Edenred"

Sunday, May 19

"It's departure time! Moored in Caen's harbour, this morning Edenred was all good and ready to leave. We left the harbour today at 3:30pm, we are off for a sailing trip in the Manche and in the Celtic sea before coming back to Caen to end this race. The race is taking in some complex navigation zones, calling for tactical game-playing and what is always a very high race pace. It also boasts a fabulous course, from Normandy to Ireland, via the south-west coast of England and the Channel Islands: an amazing race to come!"

Friday, May 17

"Here is the Edenred Class40 docked in the Caen harbor! Conveying went on smoothly. Yesterday, we met the children from the city and carried on with the preparation; today we will perform the safety visit. We can't wait to embark on the Normandy Channel Race on Sunday!"

Tuesday, May 14

"Hello everyone! It is time for the conveying to Caen in Normandy: we left La Trinité in Brittany without any problem. We will be arriving on time for the start of the Normandy Channel Race, on May 19th! Weather is great, we are sailing before the wind until now, it should change after Brest to close-hauled sailing. Atmosphere is nice onboard with Bertrand and Yann, my travel mates. See you soon in Normandy!"

Friday, April 26

"I had a terrific time with the young boys and girls from Sarcelles (in the Paris region), thanks to the partnership between Edenred and the Sport dans la Ville NGO. A great day of sharing through solidarity and sport. Looking forward to welcome them in La Trinité in a few weeks."

Monday, April 15

Hello everybody! We have arrived in la Rochelle Sunday afternoon! A small feedback on the crossing: a good harmony with Basile, he is a very nice lad, very professional ! He is tough and willing, steers pretty well and has a very positive mindset. We are getting along fine despite the lack of sleep... During the last 48 hours, we barely slept to stay in the race, and in spite of this the atmosphere onboard is still excellent; upon arrival, we were really exhausted, but we held on tight! The 7th boat arrived 20 minutes before us et and the 9th one 15 minutes after... Proof that after 6 days of race, it was better not to fall asleep. The level was very homogeneous and the whole fleet arrived within less than 10 hours, this is almost nothing after 1.300 miles. Now it's time to take some rest before sailing back to La Trinité tomorrow. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 10

"A wonderful day with excellent times : more than 350 miles in 24 hours! It is beautiful to see Edenred launched at more than 20 knots hurtling down the waves. In response we have to wear dry suits because of the waves rolling on the deck with the strenght of a water hose! The atmosphere onboard is excellent, fun facts: Cyril dropped his phone in the water while he was filming, Basile put his hood... while it was filles with water! As for me hard waking up, my mates had to shake me, I though it was the boat pitching hard... The tactics to gain some minutes of sleep did not last very long!"

Monday, April 8

"Sailing towards the second stage of the Défi Atlantique (Atlantic Race)! After our stopover in the Azores and a few refurbishments on the boat, here we go again: we are heading to la Rochelle, with a great addition to the crew: Basile Bourgnon. After the nice experience during the first stage, we are really motivated to resume the race with our friends! The weather forecast is nice and the morale is optimal. See you soon!"

Friday, April 5

"After a last agitated night we finally arrived in Horta! By the end of the day (Thursday) we reached the coast of the Azores archipelago. We look forward to sleeping in a real bed, having a meal on a table and taking a proper shower! A first pre-assessment: we are arriving in quite a good shape, between 4 and 6 hours of sleep every 24 hours. The idea of the Défi Atlantique (Atlantic Race) is to get ready for the Jacques Vabre race in November, sailing in pairs for this first leg of the transatlantic. Regarding the events of this stage, a few technical issues especially on the tiller, but everything has been fixed despite several hours lost."

Watch the interview we made right after our arrival in Horta

Tuesday, April 2

"Last night, we attended an amazing show! A couple of dolphins escorted us for a long while, very playful, they were illuminated by the plankton, quite a magical moment… We realize how lucky we are to be here! Regarding the wind, let’s say the magic (an our luck) are a little less obvious. The morale of the crew is still very high, we stay focused on our duel with Last Boys (XL Colombre) and we are getting ready for our last full night aboard Edenred before reaching the Azores."

Monday, April 1

"Last Sunday was a day off for the wind! We hunted every small breeze to get out of this dead-calm area as soon as possible, but there is no rule to know the direction and intensity of the wind blast... Regarding the race, we are neck and neck with Lost Boys (Colombre XL), I think that the duel will last until the very end! Everything is going well onboard Edenred, we are in a great shape for the last round until the Azores!"

Friday, March 29

"Each day is different: until today, nights were clear and starry, but this night was the complete opposite: pitch-black and we have lost at least 5 degrees on the centigrad scale! Oh, I forgot... we are heading North! Regarding the race, everything is going well, motivation remains intact and morale is still high!"

Thursday, March 28

"Today, Edenred is sailing at high speed on the ocean, the wind force and angle are favorable and allow us to slide on the waves. A few technical issues made us lose some of our speed yesterday but we managed to successfully fix everything early last night. Edenred is now 100% operational, morale is high and we’re holding on tight: the race is not over and we are now ranked at 7th position!"

Saturday, March 23

"Time has come to start the Défi Atlantique [Atlantic Challenge] race: Cyril and I left at last after several days of intense preparation. Everything went fine under the Antilles sun, we rapidly reached a good sailing speed after we raised anchor. While we were sailing along the coast side, we encountered two minor issues that we solved quickly but we lost our lead on the race. Now it's time to set the course for the Azores Islands and to win back the advantage on our friends who are now a few nautical miles ahead of us. Have a nice day everyone!

PS: you can track our race here"

Thursday, March 21

"True Dream is officially back again. A quick message for all those who have supported me, and who, I hope, will continue to support me in the coming months, too. The dream is not over!"

Wednesday, March 20

"3 days left. This Saturday, March 23, my team mate and I will set sail for the first stage of the Défi Atlantique [Atlantic Challenge]: from Pointe-à-Pitre, we will set the course to Horta, in the Azores archipelago. Excitement is rising and we can't wait to get back in the race – after enjoying the Guadeloupe palm trees a little longer."

Monday, March 4

"Here at last! I can't tell you how pleased I am to cast anchor in Guadeloupe, at the helm of the Edenred boat (which has been fully repaired in Madeira), and more than prepared to tackle the Défi Atlantique [Atlantic Challenge]. This transatlantic race, less known from the general public than the Route du Rhum, is reserved for sailboats of the Class40 category: it's designed as a "return" crossing between Pointe-à-Pitre and La Rochelle. Another major difference with the Route du Rhum: it's not single-handed. I will therefore participate with my team mate and friend Cyril."

Relive the race of the Edenred Class40

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