Transat Jacques Vabre - Safran prepares to race

After smashing the solo North Atlantic record on a monohull in early July (in eight days and five hours), Marc Guillemot will be setting out in August to tackle two events from Cowes, the Mecca of British sailing. Firstly, the skipper of Safran will be competing in the Artemis Challenge raced with a crew on 8th August and then three days later will set off on the famous Rolex Fastnet Race.

Marc Guillemot is not going to be lazing around this summer. On Thursday 8th August, the skipper will be lining up for the start of the Artemis Challenge, a race around the Isle of Wight. 'This is a great event on a complicated race course with lots of difficulties: currents, calms etc... It’s a fantastic opportunity to sail with a crew of eight or nine people... ,' explained Marc Guillemot. This fifty-mile race will also offer Marco the opportunity to come up against the British sailor, Alex Thomson, who previously held the North Atlantic record.

On 11th August, Marc will be lining up for the start of the famous Rolex Fastnet Race, sailing double-handed with Alex Marmorat, Safran Sailing Team, replacing Pascal Bidégorry which unfortunately injured his foot during the route to Cowes. The skipper of Safran will be enjoying the experience of this legendary race for the third time, after competing in 2009 and 2011. He will be facing 605 miles of sailing between Cowes and Plymouth via the famous Fastnet Lighthouse, south of the County of Cork, that is often referred to as simply 'The Rock'. This race course is also full of hurdles. 'The Rolex Fastnet Race is an all-round event with coastal sailing, but also offshore racing. The weather can often be complicated and tough and we need to watch out for the currents, shipping and crab pots…among other things,' explained Marc Guillemot. As in each race, there will be a huge fleet lining up and it looks like being particularly tough in the IMOCA category: the final practice run before the Jacques Vabre.

With three months to go to the start of the famous Transat Jacques Vabre, these two events will be a great way before the major event on the 2013 calendar. 'We need to grasp every opportunity like this, as we can learn so much for the races that come later. My Atlantic record will be useful for the Fastnet, and the Fastnet will be of use when we compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre, and the Jacques Vabre represents a great way to prepare for the Route du Rhum, and so on… ' stressed the skipper of Safran. 'The difference between solo sailing and double-handed racing is that you can wake up the other person instead of plugging in the autopilot,' he jokes. 'More seriously, when there is more than one of you, you can push the boat that much harder and improve her performance. That is bound to be a very interesting experience for a competitive sportsman.'
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