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A day of tribute to mark the 60th anniversary of Tabarly's victory

The legendary skipper's victory in 1964 in the Transat, the successor to The Transat CIC, gave ocean racing a new dimension: more popular, more media coverage, more recognition. Once again crowned winner in 1976, Éric Tabarly paved the way for generations of sailors. On Saturday 27 April, the day before the start of the 15th edition of The Transat CIC, a tribute day will be organised in Lorient in the presence of his daughter Marie Tabarly and some of the best sailors of the moment. Here are the details.


It was a morning in the mist that made history: a boat breaking through the waves, approaching the American coast and preparing to win a legendary race. It's Pen Duick II, the iconic boat with Éric Tabarly on board. A monohull launched 10 days before the start, a 27-day Atlantic crossing and an outcome as happy as it was legendary. The sailor realised from the excitement around him that he had just won the most prestigious race of the day. The French were discovering that one of their own was capable of winning in a discipline and a competition where the English had the upper hand. He was congratulated by General de Gaulle at the boat show in January 1965, and entered the hearts of his compatriots forever.


 

A day of celebration to mark an anniversary

Sixty years on, in the wake of Éric Tabarly - who also won in 1976 - France has become the world epicentre of ocean racing. The Transat Anglaise, now The Transat CIC, is a perfect illustration of this: since 1964, nine of the twelve winners have been French. Alain Colas (1972), Yvon Fauconnier (1984), Philippe Poupon (1988), Loïck Peyron on three occasions (1992, 1996, 2008), Francis Joyon (2000), Michel Desjoyeaux (2004) and François Gabart (2016) have all added their names to the list of winners.


As a symbol, it is near the Cité de la Voile Éric Tabarly in Lorient that the skippers of the next edition will set off on 28 April, just 60 years after the victory of this exceptional sailor.


To celebrate this anniversary and pay tribute to him, a day of festivities will be held on Saturday 27 April. Throughout the day, a mediator from the Cité de la Voile and skippers from the Éric Tabarly association will be offering visitors the chance to climb aboard Pen Duick 2 - the yachtsman's boat - moored in the port of Lorient La Base. At the same time, an etching artist will be creating a fresco depicting the face of France's most famous sailor.

Marie Tabarly, his daughter, will be taking part.

At the same time, there will be a number of screenings in the Cité de la Voile auditorium. Visitors will be able to watch "Rendez-vous à New Port", a documentary recounting Tabarly's victory in the 1964 Transat, and the film "Tabarly", released in 2008. The film's director, Pierre Marcel, will be in attendance, as will Marie Tabarly.


The sailor has just returned from the Ocean Globe Race, a circumnavigation aboard Pen Duick VI, built 50 years earlier by her father and with which he won the Transat in 1976. Marie Tabarly will be taking part in a discussion with Jean-Pierre Couteleau and Gérard Petipas, who accompanied Tabarly on his sailing adventures for so long, between 3pm and 3.30pm. After this afternoon in the auditorium, Marie Tabarly and Gérard Petipas will continue their discussions on the village stage from 4.30pm. A fitting tribute to a legend and a link between the past and the future, on the eve of the start of The Transat CIC.

 

Events in brief :

All day: Visits organised by the Éric Tabarly Association

2.15pm: Screening of "Rendez-vous à New Port" in the Cité de la Voile auditorium

15:00: Discussion with Marie Tabarly, Jean-Pierre Couteleau and Gérard Petipas

3:30pm: Screening of "Tabarly

16:30: Discussion with Marie Tabarly and Gérard Petipas on the village stage

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