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Nicolas Lunven has just crossed the finish line of The Transat CIC

by Team HOLCIM - PRB 8 May 15:38 PDT 8 May 2024
Team HOLCIM - PRB - The Transat CIC © Julien Champolion | polaRYSE

It was at 22:25 French time, 16:25 New York time when Holcim-PRB pointed its bow in front of Liberty Island in the United States. It took Nicolas Lunven 10 days, 08 hours, and 55 minutes to cross the finish line of The Transat CIC. Despite the damage that occurred on the IMOCA's bowsprit on the 5th day of The Transat CIC, the skipper made every effort to reach New York in the race. For his second solo race at the helm of Holcim-PRB, the skipper took 14th place and ensured, above all, his qualification for the Vendée Globe!

This solo transatlantic race left no respite for the sailors as they faced extreme weather conditions. Right from the start, Nicolas Lunven was aware of these challenges and was eager to return to the helm of Holcim-PRB.

In the leading group from the beginning, the skipper quickly found his rhythm in the leading group, as he explained after crossing the line. "I had a pretty promising start to the race. I was in the game. I took a little time to find the right settings, but I was well in the pace of the race from the beginning, rather in the right package until the moment of the damage. It's rather positive because we had committed conditions. There was wind, sea. It was more near or reaching. I was in contact with Paul Meilhat, Sam Davies,... Moving further north, there was MACIF and Paprec Arkea. I felt good on the boat." Unfortunately, damage on the outside came to destroy all hopes of continuing this exciting match at the head of the race. "There was the discovery of this damage on the outside end. That's the stupid thing. There is one of the two end-out sail wrapper pads that broke off in the bad weather and came banging on the end-out tube for several hours. The system we put in place to prevent this is not infallible when I was confident. From there, the race took another turn, we must not hide, almost in delivery mode because I was deprived of all the sails of the front. I discovered the damage when the wind was softening and indulging, and I was going to need the J0. But I'm happy to arrive in New York. It's a great adventure to arrive here on the north face of the North Atlantic!" says the skipper.

While Nicolas admits a little frustration, he insisted on continuing the race until the end to continue to learn a little more about the boat he will take around the world in a few months. And this learning in tonic conditions was rather positive! "We had committed conditions with strong winds at the gate, from the short sea. It was interesting to sail with the boat in these conditions over several days. The big plus is that we didn't have any major issues. There are inevitably many small points of improvement that can only be seen while sailing long offshore. So it's good to know them now."

Now qualified for the Vendée Globe (Nicolas had to start this race to validate his qualification), the skipper of Holcim-PRB will take a few days off before turning to the next challenge: the Transat New York-Vendée, which will start on May 29. A race that he will approach with even more enthusiasm! "We set things up with the team to give ourselves the means to leave with a boat in very good condition in New York. I will have the knife between my teeth to do better to get to Les Sables d'Olonne."

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