Among the 79 teams entered in the 15th Transat Jacques Vabre, 45 duos will compete in Class40 sailboats, including nine new-generation models built in 2021. It is shaping up to be an exciting event, and the sailors will have to give it their all just to stay in the race.
“We’re aiming to be in the top 5. We think that’s an attainable goal, even though the competition promises to be fierce this year. Obviously, if it looks like we can do better, we’ll try our luck,” said Edenred skipper Emmanuel Le Roch.
“The Edenred project is taking on a new dimension”
After taking part in the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre on a previous-generation Class40, Emmanuel Le Roch, now at the helm of a new monohull, is approaching this Atlantic crossing differently.
“The Class40 has changed a lot and become extremely competitive. Our new boat can accelerate incredibly quickly, reaching speeds close to Imoca levels. I’ve mentally prepared myself for a demanding race. At 30 knots, the boat really pounds the water, making life onboard much tougher,” said the Edenred skipper, who has done everything to start this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre in the best possible conditions.
“We launched the Edenred Class40 last June. We were looking for a top-performing co-skipper so we could quickly begin preparations for the Transat Jacques Vabre. I had someone young and with experience on Figaros in mind from the get-go. Pierre is an excellent sailor and, on a personal level, we get along great. He brings a new dimension to the Edenred project, which will help me for the Route du Rhum next year,” said Emmanuel Le Roch.
Demanding requirements boosting performance
The winner of the most recent Solitaire du Figaro race, Pierre Quiroga will be competing in a Class40 event for the first time. After six years on the very demanding Figaro circuit, the first-in-class young sailor from Marseille has a holistic view of performance.
“I’m really happy to be learning the ropes on the Class40 with Emmanuel. It’s different from a Figaro, and we’ve learned a lot these last few weeks. I bring my good knowledge of computers, data analysis and the weather to the table. I’m concentrating on small adjustments to improve life onboard, always with the aim of saving time so that we’re fully focused on speed and performance in the race,” said Edenred co-skipper Pierre Quiroga.
“We’ve practiced maneuvering a lot. Each of us has a very specific task so nothing is left to chance. Double-handed sailing lets you be more demanding and push the boat’s limits. When racing, I feel a healthy level of stress that drives me to perform well. It’s a natural boost that’s hard to recreate in training. We have a goal and we’re going to do everything we can to achieve it. We’re ready, and we can’t wait to go head-to-head against the other competitors in the race!” said Emmanuel Le Roch.
The 15th Transat Jacque Vabre is set to start at 1:27 pm this Sunday. It will see the Class40s head for Martinique via the Cape Verde archipelago, a 4,600-mile journey that the first teams should complete in around 20 days.
Emmanuel Le Roch and Pierre Quiroga will be in the thoughts of all Edenred employees this weekend. Some of them will be in Le Havre to cheer the pair on before they set sail, alongside Bertrand Dumazy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Group.
“With Emmanuel, Pierre and a new Class40 boat, Edenred is giving itself the means to achieve its sporting ambitions. Our two skippers form a dynamic duo whose ambition and values are aligned with those of the Edenred Group. Emmanuel and Pierre can count on the wholehearted support of our 10,000 employees throughout their great adventure,” said Bertrand Dumazy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edenred.
Download the "Mini Transat 2021" Press kit [in French]