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Trois prétendants au Vendée Globe embarquent sur la Volvo Ocean Race

by Agence Mer et Media on 2 Jul 2014
Pascal Bidegorry, Charles Caudrelier et Eric Peron a bord de Dongfeng Dongfeng Race Team
Charles Caudrelier, Pascal Bidégorry et Eric Péron, tous les trois candidats au prochain Vendée Globe, embarqueront à bord du bateau chinois Dongfeng pour la Volvo Ocean Race. Ces trois là pourraient donc bien enchainer un tour du monde en équipage dès l'automne, puis et un tour du monde en solitaire en 2016. Un sacré défi que de réaliser un tour du monde en équipage, en guise de préparation pour le Vendée Globe.

On savait déjà que Charles Caudrelier serait le skipper du bateau chinois Dongfeng Race Team engagé dans la prochaine Volvo Ocean Race. Le tour du monde en équipage avec escales (l’ex ‘Whitbread’) s’élancera d’Alicante le 4 octobre prochain. On savait aussi qu’un autre Français, Bruno Dubois, est le directeur de cette équipe avec pour but de former et faire naviguer des marins chinois.

Mais ce qui est devenu officiel jeudi à Lorient, c’est la composition complète de l’équipage. Dans celui-ci, on retrouve effectivement quatre Chinois issus d’une sélection drastique : Jin Hao Chen (dit « Horace »), Jiru Yang (dit « Wolf »), Ying Kit Cheng (dit « Kit ») et Liu Ming (dit « Léo »). Côté « Européens », Dongfeng s’offre le Suédois Martin Stromberg (qui était de la campagne victorieuse de Groupama) et quatre Français en plus du skipper Charles Caudrelier : Pascal Bidégorry, Eric Péron, Thomas Rouxel et Kévin Escoffier.

Charles Caudrelier : « je reste candidat au Vendée Globe 2016 »
« Il est évident qu’être skipper de Dongfeng Race Team est une aventure extraordinaire à laquelle je consacre toute mon énergie, au sein de notre équipe composée d’Européens et de Chinois. Mais je ne renonce pas pour autant à mon envie d’être au départ du Vendée Globe 2016 ! Je ne mets pas ce grand projet en sommeil. J’ai toujours dit que je voulais participer à ce Vendée Globe et cela reste d’actualité. Ce n’est pas incompatible du tout, au contraire ! »

Pascal Bidégorry : « après une Volvo, je serai prêt comme jamais ! »
« Participer et bien naviguer sur une Volvo Ocean Race est déjà un très bel objectif en soi ! Je vais faire beaucoup de bateau en monocoque, je vais faire un tour du monde, naviguer sur tous les océans de la planète, me confronter un peu à tous les systèmes météo, faire de la stratégie, travailler la navigation en binôme avec Charles … autant de points communs avec le Vendée Globe ! Ce sera dense, riche, avec beaucoup de travail profitable, y compris au niveau de la préparation physique. Alors s’il y a de la navigation en solitaire et un Vendée Globe après cette Volvo Ocean Race, je serai prêt comme jamais ! »

Eric Péron : « mon premier tour du monde… »
« La Volvo Ocean Race sera mon premier tour du monde, sur des bateaux quasiment de la même taille que les IMOCA du Vendée Globe, avec une puissance comparable. Je vais apprendre beaucoup au niveau technique… et je vais découvrir les joies de la vie en équipage moi qui ne fait quasiment que du solitaire ou de l’équipage réduit. Je vais apprendre beaucoup aussi sur le parcours et les mers qu'on va traverser, moi qui n'ai jamais passé l'équateur à la voile, jamais navigué dans l'Indien ou le Pacifique ni doublé le cap Horn. A tous points de vue cette participation à la Volvo est bénéfique pour mon projet Vendée Globe.'

L’équipage de Dongfeng Race Team
Charles Caudrelier, Skipper (FRA)
Pascal Bidégorry, Navigateur (FRA)
Liu Ming (Leo), Régleur (CHN)
Thomas Rouxel, Régleur (FRA)
Martin Stromberg, Piano & Régleur (SWE)
Jiru Yang (Wolf), Piano (CHN)
Kevin Escoffier, Numéro 1 (FRA)
Jin Hao Chen (Horace), Numéro 1 (CHN)
Eric Péron, Régleur (FRA)
Cheng Ying Kit (Kit), Régleur (CHN)
Directeur de Dongfeng Race Team : Bruno Dubois
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