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THE WINNER'S WORDS

" I feel in better shape than the boat! I'm going to have to find a good shipyard and a good sailmaker... And a good physio for me. I had a good boat, a bit of success and I was well taken care of: I'm super happy."



victoire thibaut vauchel camus

20.05.2016


It's my first victory in a solo transatlantic race, after coming second in the Route du Rhum...

Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (Solidaires en peloton-ARSEP) impose on The Transat bakerly in la catégorie Class40 après 17 jours 12 heures 42 minutes et 56 secondes de mer moyenne de 9,04 nœuds sur les 3 804 milles parcourus entre Plymouth et New York. The next solo sailor is expected to be Louis Duc at around 2 p.m. (French time)...


"At night, it's really impressive, and you can't go far. I went all the way down to the companionway! I nearly broke my back when I went forward on the winches."


"The English transatlantic race lived up to its reputation: you had to see it to believe it... and I did! It was hellish at times. As much as the beginning was nice because it was slipping, it was riding, it was easy sailing, leaving England on a reach to finish downwind in the Bay of Biscay, in contact. But the first low off the Azores put us back on track! It was strong: I saw 58 knots on the anemometer... And I surfed at over 27 knots: I don't know if that wouldn't have been better against the wind. Because at those speeds, you don't really know what's going to happen! At night, it's really impressive, and you can't get very far. I went right up to the hood! I nearly broke my back when I went forward on the winches. And I broke some teeth...


In this first low-pressure area, I lost my windvane and then, at the second blow on the edge of the ice zone, where Isabelle (Joschke) had to abandon, I lost all the aerials. And of course, I lost control because the boat was under pilot at the time... And so the mainsail de-rigged, the solent jib tore, the boat fell off a wave suddenly and a bulkhead broke and two came loose... With the Gulf Stream current, there are sometimes crazy swells and waves! Real canyons. So at night, with no real moon and heavy cloud cover, we close our eyes in stress. But if the boat has suffered, you can see that it's pretty damn strong.

Without a windvane, it wasn't easy, and I had to steer a lot over the final 1,200 miles. And my genoa unfurled in a pilot's mess... The sail shredded. I've got a lot of work to do before heading up to Canada for the Québec-Saint Malo transatlantic race!


It's my first victory in a single-handed transatlantic race, after coming second in the Route du Rhum. It's an exceptional boat, but we're going to have to part with it at the end of the season to move on to another support. I was very happy to lead it, because I always felt safe enough to be on the attack. I had a good boat, a bit of success and I was well surrounded: I'm really happy. Because I didn't feel victory until it was too late. There was a great battle with Isabelle (Joschke) throughout the phase along the ice exclusion zone. I was feeling good about Phil (Sharp), but technical worries put a damper on things. And this afternoon, I had a 70-mile lead and all of a sudden, I've only done six miles in two hours. And then Louis (Duc) impressed me: his southerly option was daring and he's as smart as a monkey. He could have won! I take my hat off to him.

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