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Crew Members Announced For Jules Verne Trophy Attempt On SVR Lazartigue

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  • Crew Members Announced For Jules Verne Trophy Attempt On SVR Lazartigue

    Six sailors on the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy

    The SVR-LAZARTIGUE Trimaran will tackle the Jules Verne Trophy, the round-the-world sailing record, at the end of the year. To win this “Grail” of ocean racing, there will be six on board. Francois Gabart, captain of the boat, will be surrounded by a highly complementary crew with multiple associated skills and experiences.

    The Jules Verne Trophy is undoubtedly the most legendary sailing record. It is that of the absolute, that of a crewed round-the-world trip, non-stop and without assistance. Obtaining it means becoming the fastest boat around the planet and writing one of the most beautiful pages in the history of ocean racing.

    Since January 2017, and the crossing of the finish line of the IDEC trimaran led by Francis Joyon, in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds, several crews have attempted the feat. In vain. Next winter, the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE will in turn take on this challenge and cut this line linking the Cleac'h lighthouse on the island of Ouessant and the Cap Lizard lighthouse. With the ambition to return there faster than the current record . On board, there will be six of them sharing this unique adventure where each emotion is heightened and pushed to its extreme. Five men and a woman sharing the same ultimate dream.

    Francois Gabart (captain): “A human adventure”

    Francois Gabart, what does the Jules Verne Trophy inspire you?

    "The exercise of going around the world remains extraordinary so doing it as quickly as possible is what is best done. This is the ultimate dimension. I have the same speech about the Saint-Exupery Trophy for the solo record. In Jules Verne, there is also this notion of a team which brings something quite incredible."

    How did you put together your crew?

    We need complementary of skills but also temperaments and characters. I am already faced with these optimisations on land with a lot of people to manage. On the water, it's the same principle. For this project, we especially need people who have the spark. Jules Verne is a spark. Everyone must have this tremendous desire. You then need to bring experiences and skills with a varied palette. The team seems complete to me. We have experience with Pascal (Bidegorry ) who knows these attempts by Jules Verne and who has extraordinary knowledge offshore on many different boats. Sailors with exceptional technical skills like Antoine (Gautier) and Emilien (Lavigne) . Amelie (Grassi) has already sailed on an Ultim (Actual), she has the enthusiasm and the spark for such a project. It also brings youth and a different energy. Tom (Laperche) is a pillar of the boat. He is the youngest but already has great experience and exceptional maturity. This adventure will also enrich him and that is important for the longer term. It will continue to make him even stronger. It makes a nice cocktail that seems well balanced to me. It's up to us to ensure that this team matures. We have the potential, the desire, the skills and a great dynamic. I am very proud to leave with this crew."

    The crew is made up almost entirely of people who know each other very well. Is it essential?

    We are going to be for quite a long time and in a restricted space, on a boat launched at full speed, with all the unforeseen events that this implies. There will be good times but also more delicate periods and things that will break. We will be under pressure and stress. We know it. In these moments, humans are pushed to their limits. It's good to know where we can help people, where we shouldn't worry or pay more attention. Such a project is above all a human adventure.

    The crew

    Francois Gabart

    41 years. Francois is one of the most talented sailors of his generation. His track record is most impressive. A graduate in mechanical engineering and development at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon, the skipper began his career in IMOCA with multiple successes and records. After winning the Vend?e Globe in 2013 and then the Route du Rhum in 2014, he set off on the adventure of giant boats in the Ultim category in 2015 with many successes once again. On Sunday December 17, 2017, at the end of an adventure lasting 42 days, 16 hours 40 minutes and 35 seconds, he completed his solo world tour and established a new world record, a record that still stands today.

    Within his company MerConcept, he imagined and built the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE with which he has already posted several records (crossing the Mediterranean in particular) and several great performances in major races such as the Route du Rhum (2nd in 2022) or the Transat Jacques Vabre (2nd in 2021 and 2023, associated with Tom Laperche).

    Tom Laperche

    26 years. Tom is the rising star of ocean racing. World champion on a small dinghy at the age of 11, Tom made his first Atlantic crossing at… 13, with his father Philippe. A graduate of the engineering school of the University of Technology of Compiegne, Tom joined the SVR-LAZARTIGUE Trimaran program almost from the start. He has since participated in two Transat Jacques Vabre associated with Francois Gabart and took the start of the Arkea Ultim Challenge last January, the first solo round-the-world race for Ultim boats. Damage following a collision unfortunately put an end to the adventure, off the coast of Cape Town (South Africa).

    “The Jules Verne Trophy is historic. It definitely makes you want to go there. Managing a boat as a team is very different. There is already a big step between the solitaire and the double. You know you can count on a team. It's attractive to share and experience such an adventure. Knowledge between us is important. A crew should not be a sum of individuals but a group that must get along well. There may be disagreements but there should be no blockage. Since we all know each other, things will go well. We are the five who have covered the most miles on the boat and we have every confidence in Amelie who is joining the team. It is an asset to know this boat well, particularly technically, with Antoine and Emilien who have been part of the technical teams since the boat was designed. We will be able to manage everything at sea without going on land. That's a complete crew. To succeed, there are many sectors in which you must excel. And I believe that we are quite complete and complementary. "

    Pascal Bidegorry

    56 years old. Already ORMA multihull world champion in 2005, Pascal has one of the finest records in sailing with victories in numerous races, such as the Solitaire du Figaro (2000), the Volvo Ocean Race (crewed round-the-world trip in stages) in 2018, or even on the Transat Jacques Vabre, a first time in 2005, with Lionel Lemonchois, then in 2015, with Francois Gabart. 2nd in the Route du Rhum in 2006 in an ORMA multihull. He is also a man of records. Among all those he has beaten, since 2009 he still holds the one for the crewed crossing of the North Atlantic, in 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds, at an average of 32.94 knots and the record of the world under sail in 24 hours. In 2011, he tackled the Jules Verne Trophy but had to give up on the 13th day at sea after a collision with an UFO. He has been part of the SVR-LAZARTIGUE Trimaran team since the start of the adventure and participated as a sailor in the Mediterranean record and victory in the Drheam Cup in 2022.

    “ Having the chance once in your life to sail for just one day in an Ultim is already nice, so going around the world is great. We must take it as a chance to experience something extraordinary maritimely and humanly. Most of us have known each other for a long time. We have a beautiful relationship of friendship, respect and perhaps even brotherhood. It's one of the team's strong points. We know that it won't be fun every day and that it's something committed. Everyone in their sector of activity has a lot of know-how and experience. It’s still a world tour and a lot of things are happening. It’s a great human adventure that requires a lot of commitment and determination. "

    Amelie Grassi

    30 years. Amelie already has a great experience. At the helm of La Boulangere Bio, she has just finished The Transat in 7th place in Class 40. In 2021 and 2023, on the same boat, she participated in the Transat Jacques Vabre, associated for the first time with Marie Riou (9 e ) then to Anne-Claire Le Berre (13th ) . In IMOCA, Amelie, based in Lorient, also sailed the first two stages of the last edition of The Ocean Race, in the Biotherm team led by Paul Meilhat. Experience in crewed navigation which will be an asset in this adventure. She also took part in 4 Ultim races with Actual.

    “ When the project was offered to me, I was initially surprised because I wasn’t expecting it. Then I was honored. It didn't take me long to accept. The Jules Verne Trophy is a monument to ocean racing. First through the journey. Going around the world is never trivial and for me it will be a great first. Above all, it is a prestigious sporting challenge and a difficult record to break. Demand, excellence and endurance are required throughout the tour. I'm super excited to take on this legendary challenge. Sailing with such sailors over a long period of time on a boat like the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE which is truly at the cutting edge of technology and optimization of performance is extremely pleasing. It's dizzying and super exciting for me to imagine flying all around the world at unimaginable speeds. The crew always pulls you higher and further. You have to give the best for your teammates and if there is a slack, you cling to the energy of others to get going again. It's going to be an exceptional experience. I feel very lucky to be a part of this story. "

    Antoine Gautier

    43 years. Technical director of the Trimaran SVR-Lazartigue project within MerConcept, Antoine has extensive sailing experience. Nephew of Alain Gautier (winner of the 1992 Vend?e Globe among other great successes), he was immediately immersed in the world of ocean racing. In 2011, he was already working on the winning boat of the Vendee Globe, skippered by… Francois Gabart. Recently, aboard the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE , he participated as a sailor in the Mediterranean record (13h55' between Marseille and Carthage, in May 2022), and in the victories in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2023 (record in the works) and on the Drheam Cup 2022. His perfect knowledge of the Trimaran in all its aspects will be a valuable asset.

    “The Jules Verne is the absolute Grail, the mythical test, foreigners included. Whatever the class, we design boats with the desire to make them as fast as possible. There's nothing better than picking up a Jules Verne. It's the most emblematic record because you know that there is no boat faster than yours. There is excitement but also a little apprehension because it is not trivial. The South Seas are fascinating. We want to go see what's going on there. We will be very well looked after on board. Between Francois, Pascal and Tom, there are legends of French sailing and quite a track record. We will also have a lot of complementary skills. It's hard to dream of better. I feel privileged, lucky. "

    Emilien Lavigne

    30 years. Now an engineer in the MerConcept design office and mainly responsible for electronics, Emilien joined MerConcept in 2015, as an intern, during the construction of the Trimaran Macif. While he had only practiced light sailing as a sporting hobby, Francois Gabart quickly gave him the opportunity to sail, first on training or delivery trips, then in races or on attempts to sail. record. Recently, aboard the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE , he was part of the Mediterranean record crew (13h55' between Marseille and Carthage, in May 2022), and during the victories in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2023 (record in the works). ) and on the Drheam Cup 2022. His skills in electronics are praised by all.

    “It’s the accomplishment of several years of project and work around a great boat and a great team. Being part of the crew makes me happy and excited. It's legendary to go to the southern seas and cross all these capes. It's a route that has made me dream since I was little when I followed the Vend?e Globe. For me, they were legends who did these races. I was far from imagining doing such an adventure, especially accompanied by these sailors. When you compile everything we have on board, it's crazy. I am very aware of how lucky I am to embark on this journey, with
    these people and on this boat which is a marvel."

    Record to beat: 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds

    This is the time achieved in 2017, by Francis Joyon on IDEC Sport. The crew, made up of Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Gwenole Gahinet, Clement Surtel and Sebastien Audigane, crossed the starting line in Ouessant on December 16 at 9:19 a.m. He will cross it again, on January 26, 2017, at 8:49 a.m., after 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds spent at sea, for an average of 22.84 knots.

    Return to the water this summer

    Currently under construction in the MerConcept workshops in Concarneau, following the damage suffered during the Arkea Ultim Challenge last January, the Trimaran SVR-LAZARTIGUE will be put back into the water this summer.

    “We have a large technical part on the boat with the current site where we have to rebuild part of the boat ,” explains Francois Gabart. Afterwards, everything will happen quite quickly. We should have a fairly crucial eight-week period between mid-August and mid-October where we will be sailing a lot. There will be training of course but also the 24h Ultim, a race between Concarneau and Antibes and public relations operations. We will use all these outings to continue to progress on the boat and perfect the functioning of the crew. "

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