Mini Transat - Interview with Benoît Marie

Benoit Marie approaches the finish line of the Mini Transat 2013
Mini Transat 2013 winner Benoît Marie sets foot on the dock. He is still amazed by his performance, deeply moved to see his family ... He only learned of his victory in the Bay of Pointe à Pitre, when a spectator boat told him that no one else had crossed the line. He goes to Denis Hugues, the Race Director and laughingly said to him: 'There were not many bet on me at first, but I knew I had my chances, I really thought ...' Some excerpts from his first words:

The race
'This year has been really tough. The wait could be highly demotivating and the more we waited, the harder it was to get into race mode. I really took care never to let it unsettle me. From Sada, we knew we would face strong winds, it was on us almost immediately.'

The descent along the coast of Portugal
'It was really an equipment breaking sea. The first night, I really reduced sail and applied myself to stay at an average speed of twelve knots, it was more than enough. I elected to sail in a seamanlike manner to avoid having to stop in Lanzarote for repairs. That didn't not stop me having my worries about equipment: my mainsail blew out several times at the third reef. I had to sew it. I also had rudder damage. I was forced to fix it with retaining lashings regularly ... '

His match with Giancarlo Pedote
'For three days I had no positions, my BLU was inaudible. I knew I was well placed, my boat was fast these in these conditions. I especially tried to sail the cleanest trajectory, not to ease off ... I did not know my position, but he should have nothing to regret. '

The overall picture of this Mini Transat
'Of the 3,700 miles of the Mini Transat, I think I had was close hauled for just 3 miles out of the Bay of Sada. Everything else I did downwind ... and that is truly magical. '

Benoit Marie on the finish line of the Mini Transat 2013

Benoit Marie sprays the victor’s champaign as he arrives on the dock at the finish of the Mini Transat 2013

Benoit Marie on the finish line of the Mini Transat 2013