Best of arrivées 21 November 2023 - 08h51

First daggerboard finishers: 13th placed Benjamin Ferré and Pierre Le Roy: a Duo For the “good” Job

Thirteenth on the finish line aboard the IMOCA Monnoyeur Duo For a Job, Benjamin Ferré - known as “Benjamin envoi le pepin” and Pierre Le Roy took first place among the older generation daggerboard boats. They were one of the first to break north – as almost all the daggerboard boats did and did well. Ferre was an adventurer who only took to ocean racing in 2017 when he took on the MiniTransat as more of an adventure challenge, and is now regularly finishing top  or near the top of the daggerboard IMOCAs. On this race he partnered with Le Roy who won the 2021 Mini Transat who is a professional meteorologist

Their boat has a long, successful track record as Gabart’s Vendée Globe winning Macif, Paul Meilhat’s Route du Rhum winning SMA and more recently was Clarisse Crémer’s Banque Populaire on the last Vendée Globe. They were pushed hard in the end by the redoubtable Luis Duc and Rémi Aubrun on FIVES Groupe Lantana Environnement who finished 3 hours and 40 minutes behind. 

Benjamin Ferré: “I am extremely proud of the boat, the result, the team, my co-skipper. I'm new to IMOCA and at the start of the year I asked was asking myself the question of how to manage these double-handed races moving forwards to the Vendée Globe. One of the options was to go with Pierrot (Le Roy) who I know from the Mini-Transat. The last time we arrived in Martinique, we were seven hours apartvand now we cross the line together. I wanted to work on the weather-strategy aspect. And when we look at the trace we made when Pierrot is at work, it is really pretty. It’s like the image of the skier leaving a long trail in the powder.

We are all newbies to this project, me, the sponsors and the team that has been formed over the past year. And it is because the boat was extremely well prepared, because we had confidence in this boat, that we were able to take the northern option with confidence. I take my hat off to the team, it gives me confidence and it allows me to pull on the boat. The pace was really intense. We wanted to get to the other side. We went 60 miles too late. We take the start and had to go back to fix the mainsail battens, and after two days we had already caught up with the peloton and then we felt that we could finish first daggerboard boats and put a few foilers behind. We pushed like crazy. »

The northern course

Pierre Le Roy: “The northern route? Well we said to ourselves that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. We continued at the pace we had set during the season and it happened quite naturally. We did not take the theoretical optimal route for video games. We put the cursor on the level of risks we wanted to take. We gave up on a position that other boats had taken. We were caught back a little at that moment, because we measured the risk we took.”


Benjamin: “We did a lot of upwind work but we still had a problem! We held it up to 25-26 knots. We had set limits not to be exceeded. At the start, it was 20 knots, then 22, then 24… We deserved the downwind angles. Upwind, the conditions were not as dire as one might think on land. We gauged the risk. We positioned ourselves sufficiently south.”

Their race

Benjamin: “I had a blast, because we were never really in the red. We have always been in conrol. Apart from the 60 mile deficit at the start, the whole scenario was going as planned. We never lost control or got a big surprise. Even when there was sea, wind, up to 35-40 knots, it was as planned. We were happy. I always say that the happier you are, the faster you go, but that is confirmed. I almost never do double handed stuff but with Pierre, it was incredible. We didn't do watches everything happened naturally. In the end, for the maneuvers, we no longer even needed to talk to each other."

“Hollywood Loulou (Louis Duc) was right up our chuffs. We couldn't get rid of it. Pierrot was getting a bit crazy. He was doing calculations every two seconds to find out how many knots more speed he would make to catch up with us. He wanted us to be 40 miles ahead upon arrival in Martinique. We had 31, so he was stressed! »

Pierre: “It’s cool to have people to play with. It adds a little something extra. To cross the line first after being caught two days ago, it adds spice to the competition. Loulou (Louis Duc) made it harder but thanks to him and Rémi for setting the bar high.”