The Transat Jacques Vabre is one of the foremost goals of the season for Safran. Marc Guillemot’s crewman will be the Atlantic record-holder, Pascal Bidégorry.
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Marc Guillemot will be joined by Pascal Bidégorry on Safran for the Transat Jacques Vabre, which will see them setting off from Le Havre on 3rd November to head for Itajai (Brazil). Marc and Pascal already worked together last year, in particular during the Round Britain and Ireland record attempt. This will be an exciting challenge for the two sailors, who have already both won the Transat Jacques Vabre: Marc Guillemot in 2009 aboard Safran and Pascal Bidégorry in 2005 aboard the Banque Populaire multihull.
Marc Guillemot tells us about his choice: 'Pascal is a top performer. The various trips we have had together have shown us to be complementary, both at sea and ashore. Pascal helped me work on the weather for the Vendée Globe. His long list of successes and huge experience speak for themselves. He is always very precise and clear and will without any doubt bring a lot to this project. He will in fact be competing with us in all the double-handed or crewed races this year before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Our goal is clear. We’re in it to win and to try to overcome the new boats. We have what it takes. On top of that, we get on well together and that’s important when you are crossing the Atlantic.'
A leading multihull champion, Pascal Bidégorry is among others, the man, who built up the giant trimaran project, Banque Populaire V aboard which Loïck Peyron and his crew smashed the Jules Verne Trophy record. Pascal was himself the skipper for two major races against the clock: the North Atlantic record with a time of 3 days and 15 hours at an average speed of almost 33 knots and the 24-hour distance record, when they clocked up 908 miles in just one day sailing at an average speed of 37.8 knots. His career since winning the Solitaire du Figaro in 2000 has been exceptional.
Today, Pascal is a member of Yann Guichard’s team Spindrift Racing, and he will be probably be giving the Jules Verne Trophy another go aboard the former Banque Populaire V. Marc Guillemot and Yann Guichard’s teams are both based in La Trinité-sur-Mer and Pascal Bidégorry can therefore work for both.
'It’s very practical, as we are neighbours on the pontoon. I’m pleased to be setting off with Marc in the Transat. We have got to know and like each other and have a lot of things in common. For example, we have both raced multihulls and are interested in all the technical developments. We complement each other well: he tends to look after the boat, while I focus more on performance. It’s really fascinating to find solutions together to keep up there with the new boats. The rankings are certainly not decided beforehand and that’s what makes it so interesting.'
Marc Guillemot and Pascal Bidégorry will be working together a lot in the lead up to the Transat Jacques Vabre. That will already be the case next weekend at the Spi Ouest-France - Intermarché on the Open 7.50 and then they plan to relaunch the Safran monohull on 25th April.