Safran setting sail tomorrow on the Transat Ecover B to B…

Wednesday 28th November 2007

It is already time for Marc Guillemot to take to sea again on board Safran, but this time he will be sailing single-handed. Tomorrow, Thursday 29th November, the runner-up from the Jacques Vabre will be setting sail on the Transat Ecover B to B to go from Bahia to Port -la- Forêt in Brittany. His first goal is to finish at all cost in order to qualify for the 2008/2009 Vendée Globe.

Back across the Atlantic

What a pace! Just nine days after finishing in Salvador da Bahia, at the end of the Transat Jacques Vabre, which saw the crew of Safran grab second place, the large monohull and her skipper, Marc Guillemot – sailing alone this time – are going back the other way… They will set off to Brittany on Thursday 29th November, in the Ecover B to B race, which is a vital crossing, as it is this 4200-mile long race will count for most of the fifteen skippers taking part as their qualification for the 2008 Vendée Globe. An opportunity too for the skipper of Safran, who has to fulfil this obligation, to carry out his first solo race aboard his new boat.

Finishing at any cost

A completely different exercise, explained Marc Guillemot : «Nothing at all like the Jacques Vabre. This time it involves single-handed sailing with no routing… and the goals are very different. The first one is vital, as we need to finish the race. That means finishing at any cost, as this is THE entry ticket for the Vendée Globe. The second goal is to do well and to confirm the boat's potential that we identified during the Jacques Vabre.»

We should not however imagine that the race is going to be a relaxing one. A competitive leopard like Marc Guillemot never changes his spots! «What I can say is that if the conditions allow me to sail quickly, without endangering the boat, thus enabling us to get a good result, I'm certainly not going to hold back. However, it is of course out of the question for us to take any risks and compromise our qualification for the Vendée Globe just to climb one place up the rankings. It will all depend on the circumstances.»

Wisdom

When questioned about whether the loss of the spinnaker would affect him a lot, he uttered some words of wisdom with a touch of humour: «I'm not worried about that, as we'll be doing a lot of upwind sailing, perhaps even 3000 miles leaning over, so I don't think I'll really need it anyway.»
For the first few hours of sailing, the forecast is for moderate northerly winds gradually veering easterly. The fifteen single-handed yachtsmen are expected to take around a fortnight to cover the 4,200 miles in this new transatlantic race.

Marc Guillemot : "Winning the entry ticket for the Vendée Globe"