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October 29, 2019

Edenred Class40: out on the water at last!

Three days after the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie-Le Havre kicked off at 1:15pm last Sunday in Le Havre, the Edenred Class40, piloted by Emmanuel Le Roch and Basile Bourgnon, is currently in 16th place, 60 miles behind the leading Class40, Leyton (Sam Goodchild and Fabien Delahaye). The red and white monohull is now sailing across the 4,114 miles that separate France and Brazil, Edenred’s two largest markets, promising the two sailors an unforgettable experience together.

Before they set sail, Basile said: “I love being in the thick of it”. He certainly won’t have been disappointed with their choppy, rapid exit from the English Channel. Wind speeds reached up to 35 knots that night, and just over 24 hours after setting sail, Emmanuel and Basile were already beginning to cross the Bay of Biscay.

First impressions on board

After following the coast yesterday, we hoisted the spinnaker and then steered the whole time. We haven’t used the autopilot at all yet. The first few hours of a race are important – it’s no time to relax! We slept in small bouts of between 45 minutes and an hour. It was a short, wet night on board Edenred but we played it safe. In wind speeds of 35 knots, we had trouble hoisting the small spinnaker, so we decided to keep going with the genoa. The goal is to make it to Brazil, after all! We’ve just gone past Ushant with the spinnaker, and the weather is typical of Brittany: low clouds, gray skies and rainstorms. We’ve been wearing our big oilskins but haven't had to get the drysuits out yet. And, most importantly, we’ve been tucking into the saucisson and the chocolate cake!” said Emmanuel, speaking with his team this afternoon.

An emotional debut

Basile, the youngest competitor in the race at only 17 years and 5 months old, has had trouble finding the words to describe how he’s feeling so far. “Seeing my family and friends moved to tears was both touching and strange. I tried to stay strong but my stomach was in knots,” said Edenred’s young co-skipper. Summing up, Emmanuel said, “The Transat Jacques Vabre is a first for both of us. But, unlike Basile, I’d already been through those feelings at the starting line of the Route du Rhum, so I knew what to expect. It’s a really emotional time, but once the mooring lines are let go, you get straight into racing mode.

Despite the three decades separating Emmanuel and Basile, the duo have an undeniable bond, which is where their strength lies. Both passionate and competitive, the pair still have a lot of excitement ahead of them as they continue their long journey to Salvador da Bahia in Brazil over the next 20 days or so.


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