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November 04, 2019

Basile Bourgnon: I'm on cloud nine!

After a week's racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandy-Le Havre, at 16:00 on Monday the Edenred Class40 skippered by Emmanuel Le Roch and Basil Bourgnon was in 9th position, 198 nautical miles behind the leader Crédit Mutuel (Ian Lipinski - Adrien Hardy) but, most impressively, first among old generation Class40s. A superb start to the race for Emmanuel Le Roch and Basile Bourgnon, the youngest participant in the event.

Life's a breeze when you're sailing downwind!

At some 2,750 nautical miles from Salvador de Bahia, whereas the first Multi50 has already covered more than half of the course, the Edenred Class40 continues to advance in optimum conditions, reaching speeds of over 11 knots in the trade winds. Choosing to change course slightly eastwards, Emmanuel Le Roch and Basile Bourgnon crossed the Canary Islands archipelago in the early afternoon and are going all out to secure 8th position being less than a nautical mile behind in the 16:00 rankings!

School's still out for Basile with an original excuse for his teachers

For 17-year-old Basile Bourgnon, this transatlantic race is turning out to be an amazing first. Although the young skipper lived on a catamaran for part of his childhood, this is the first time he has spent so much time out racing at sea. This Monday, unlike his fellow students, he didn't make it to high school. "I wrote an excuse for his teacher saying he was on his way to pick up coffee in Brazil," joked Emmanuel Le Roch in his message posted overnight. A young man of few words until now, the youngest participant in the Transat Jacques Vabre could barely conceal his delight when reached by his team this afternoon. He enthused…

"It's better than anything I could have imagined! As expected, crossing the Bay of Biscay proved challenging with 5 boats dropping out but we stuck in there and, most importantly, avoided damage to the boat. Before we set off, I used to think I loved it when the boat smashed through the waves, but that was before [laughs]. Now I'm discovering the sheer thrill of sailing in the trade winds! Right now, we are sailing downwind under a full mainsail and big spinnaker. The boat is surfing the waves and I've got my shirt off with a 15 to 18-knot wind at my back. I feel so lucky! But I'm not here for the ride and here again, I'm so fortunate... The whole strategy thing is fascinating! Our minor change of course eastwards was the right move. For 48 hours, we really closed the gap on our competitors and our aim now is to catch our friends on Vogue avec un Crohn (ed: less than a nautical mile). If someone had predicted 9th position before the start with us leading the old boats, we would have gladly taken that immediately! We're not slacking off and are checking the rankings all the time. We are focusing on the smallest adjustment, the merest detail and it's paying off! It should be said that we're looking out for each other too. We're sleeping really well by doing three-hour shifts, in short, everything's going great! We're having fun and laughing a lot which is making us stronger I reckon! This morning, I spared a thought for my friends who returned to their studies at the IUT after the fall break. I was focused on my race but I now realize just how lucky I am to be part of such an adventure."

The adventure goes on at

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