Official target: Top ten. Unofficial target: Even better!
It all started with a phone call one spring morning in 2019. That phone call would spark the beginning of a special relationship between Basile Bourgnon, now aged 19, and the Edenred Group. Basile was excited at the prospect of discovering the world of offshore sailing, while Edenred was charmed by the young sailor, wise beyond his years. With competitive sailing in his blood, he teamed up with Emmanuel Le Roch for the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2019. But family ties only explain part of the journey: the Transat Jacques Vabre whet Basile’s appetite to make the sport his own, taking on challenge after challenge. Sponsored by Edenred, he began competing in his Mini 6.50 in 2020, ranking among the top ten and even top three in the Classe Mini races.
With the Mini Transat race just five days away, Basile, true to form, is ready and raring to go. He’s focusing on the final details of his preparation, and on his goal to finish among the top ten and try his hardest to “do even better than that.” “I feel calm and I really trust my boat – she’s reliable, efficient and fast,” says Basile. “Mentally, I could go tomorrow. I can't wait, because I know I'm going to learn so much. I’m apprehensive about two things – keeping my emotions in check as I leave the dock, and the weather conditions once I'm out at sea. I feel much more confident when it’s windy!”
The Mini Transat, a Bourgnon family tradition
When he sets sail on September 26, Basile will be the third Bourgnon to take on the famous solo transatlantic race, which was created in 1977 by British sailor Bob Salmon. His father, Laurent Bourgnon, finished the Mini Transat in second place in 1987 at the age of 21, and his uncle, Yvan Bourgnon, won the race aged 24 in 1995. And now, it’s Basile’s turn to try his hand at the challenge that has inspired so many sailors.
A Figaro 3 Edenred for Basile in 2022
Basile can look ahead to his first solo transatlantic crossing with precious peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that his sailing adventure with Edenred is far from over. Following on from the Mini 6.50, the natural next step is the Figaro 3 circuit, aboard a challenging boat that Basile tested out in the summer for the Tour de Bretagne à la Voile.
“I’m so lucky! Having the prospect of competing for three years on the Figaro 3 circuit is pretty rare at age 19. Edenred is attentive to my personal goals but, more than that, I really feel that we are a team. Whether it’s with me or with Emmanuel Le Roch in the new Class40, their commitment to sailing is very well thought out, and keeps getting stronger. We’re learning a lot from each other, we share the same performance goals and we work together every day like a family. It’s so important for me,” says Basile, who, as Edenred’s young skipper, will take the helm of Charles Caudrelier’s Figaro 3 once he’s back from the Mini Transat.
Bertrand Dumazy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edenred, said: “In the Mini 6.50 this year, Basile has shown himself quick to learn and determined to succeed. He’s very ambitious for his age and knows where he’s heading, which fits in well with our values at Edenred. We are delighted to support him on the very challenging, professional Figaro 3 circuit, and we wanted to reaffirm our confidence in him before he leaves for the Mini Transat.
We’ve also welcomed some other members to our dream team lately. Peyo Cremades, a promising young kitesurfer from Brittany, joined us in the summer, and Pierre Quiroga will be taking on the Transat Jacques Vabre with Emmanuel. We already knew that Pierre had great potential, and are excited to have him on board after his victorious win at La Solitaire du Figaro 2021. The Edenred colors are worn by talented sailors who share our values. I'm very proud of the Edenred Dream Team.”