With less than 24 hours to go before the start of the second leg of the Mini Transat, the Edenred skipper, the youngest competitor in the event, is determined to draw a line under the first leg, which “started off great, then hit some setbacks and finished frustratingly,” says Basile Bourgnon. “I’m trying to get over it but I’ll admit it’s hard. I’m raring to go! I can’t wait to get back on the water and focus on what really matters: the race, the competition. That’s why I’m here.”
“A new race is about to begin”
Tomorrow, the 87 participants still in the running will tackle the longest section of the race: the 2,700-mile transatlantic stretch between La Palma and Saint-François in Guadeloupe. This second leg already looks tough, with virtually no trade winds at the moment. That means calm weather to start with – conditions that Basile Bourgnon is particularly dreading, as the scow bow of his Maxi-series Edenred Mini is more suited to strong winds. “For me, a new race is about to begin, and it looks like it’s going to be slow and long. Mentally, I’m preparing myself for very little sleep. The trade winds aren’t blowing, it’s going to be unpredictable. We’ll need to head south and lengthen the route to Saint-François to try to get some wind. I’m looking at two weeks of racing at least, maybe more,” says the Edenred skipper.
“At the other side of the ocean, there’s a win!”
Sailing solo for two weeks on the Atlantic would be the adventure of a lifetime for some. But not for Basile, who already made the journey double-handed in 2019 on the Transat Jacques Vabre with Emmanuel Le Roch in the Edenred Class40. “I’m not nervous about anything in particular. I didn’t feel too lonely on the first leg because even though I was physically cut off from the world, I had the support of my team, my family and friends, and Edenred’s 10,000 employees. And I can talk to the other competitors on the radio, which is different from the qualifying round, for example, where I felt a bit lonely. I’m in my element at sea. That’s where I’m happy and, after everything that’s happened in the last few weeks, it’ll be liberating. I’m setting off telling myself that at the other side of the ocean, there’s a win! And for me, that means fast, controlled sailing, the feeling of a job well done and a leg completed with no regrets.”
Frustration and regret will be left on the pontoons of La Palma tomorrow and Basile, more determined than ever, will set off at 4:00 pm to write the last chapter of his story on the Edenred Mini. The young skipper is already signed up for the Figaro circuit at the beginning of next year.