22 November 2023 - 20h04

IMOCA finishers highlights Wednesday

Wednesday was another big day for IMOCA finishers, here is the best of what the duos had to say on the dock. Thursday should beloing to the Class40 podium...

20th Guirec Soudee and Roland Jourdain took 20th place on at 16:02.55hrs local time Tuesday (20:02.55hrs UTC). Their elapsed time in 14d 11h 32m 55s, finishing 2d14h24s behind the IMOCA winners 

Guirec: “We’re pleased to be here and to have arrived during the day. We thought it would be during the night. Three days ago, we had a nasty surprise with a squall. The boat came to a standstill and we lost a lot of ground at that point to the other boats with daggerboards. It was a bit depressing, as they got away ahead of us and those behind caught us. We gave it our all throughout the race. We chose the option to the North, even if we weren’t too sure about it. It was the right choice, but we would have liked to have a bit more warmth and for the boat to be flatter. We were able to take the northern option, because we trusted the boat. The team did a remarkable job on her.”
Bilou: “We spent a lot of time heeled over. I will always blame Guirec for that (laughs). It wasn’t cold. I can see with each transatlantic race that we need fewer and fewer fleeces. Winter in the North is not as cold as previously. It’s all down to climate change.”
Guirec: “It’s true. We were in T-shirts and barefoot all the time. Bilou has just changed his underwear for the first time. He has a personal hygiene problem (laughs). Seriously it was great fun. Who wouldn’t have fun spending time with Bilou? This was by far my most enjoyable double-handed transatlantic race.


21st Violette Dorange and Damien Guillou (Devenir) finished at 01:57.46 local time (05:57.46hrs UTC) to take 21st place in the IMOCA fleet, for an elapsed time of 14d 21h 46s, 2d 55m 15s after the IMOCA winners. At 22 she is the youngest skipper in the IMOCA fleet and sails the Farr design which was most recently Jean Le Cam’s Yes We Cam! 

 Dorange,“The end was a bit long, as we got into an area with hardly any wind, so we were close to the finish for a while. We sailed well and had a good trajectory.  We’re proud of what we did, proud of our strategy. We went for the route in the South to look after the boat to be able to qualify for the Vendée Globe. The early part coming out of the Channel went well and then there was the deep low-pressure system. We managed to get across the ridge of high pressure. It was full on throughout and we were fighting it out with boats with foils. I’m starting to get to grips with the manoeuvres on an IMOCA. It went well with Damien (Guillou). We got on well and communicated well.” 

Damien Guillou: “The project only got underway three or four months ago and now we’re here in Martinique 21st out of forty boats. Anyone would have been pleased to accept that result before setting off. We pushed the boat hard, but she is in good condition. Maybe we took a wrong turning off Portugal, when some went to the right and we went straight on. But our route was not as bumpy and so that meant the boat was preserved.



When they crossed the finish line of the 16th Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre off Fort de France, Martinique at 04:22.12hrs local time (08:22.12 UTC) Japan’s Kojiro Shiraishi and French co-skipper Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent (DMG MORI GLOBAL ONE ) secured 22nd place in the IMOCA class.
Their elapsed time for the course is 14d23h52m12s and they finish 3d2h after the IMOCA winners

Shiraishi and Duprey Du Vorsent achieved their primary objective which was to finish the race with the boat in good shape and so enhance the Japanese skipper’s Vendée Globe qualifying process. 
After a collision hours after the start of last year’s Route du Rhum, Shiraishi had to retire from the solo race from France to Guadeloupe because of damage to his IMOCA. This has made finishing this race – actually his first two handed major race – more important, as was taking care of the boat to be ready for the solo race back to France which start in eight days. 
DMG MORI GLOBAL ONE was 21st on the exit out of the Channel and was up to 15th at one point after Cape Finisterre but the Japanese-French duo got stuck in lighter airs as they went late to the west and dropped a few places which they pulled back again in the Trade Winds. 

Koji said. “I am very, very happy to have been able to enjoy the southerly route. It was faster to go on the north route, but the southerly route was better for us if a little slower. The trade winds were a little light, it was hard to make the boat go fast. We were trying to make the boat go faster but the northerly route was the right one. It was strange to come across the Atlantic with no rain at all. And I think we sailed the most miles of the fleet so we had the most fun. We worked hard and were good together. Now the boat is ready to have two or three days of small jobs then I will be ready to go again, but these boats are hard work for an old man!”


23rd Arnaud Boissières and Gerald Veniard (La Mie Caline) crossed the finish line at 07:50.45 hrs local time (11:50.45hrs UTC) to take 23rd place in the IMOCA race. They race the VPLP/Verdier design which was most recently Sam Davies’ Initiatives Coeur. Their elapsed time is 15d 3h 20m 45s, 3d 5h 48m 14s after the IMOCA race winners. 

Arnaud Boissières: “Apart from our spinnaker which blew out, we only had some minor problems. What we were missing was some luck. We’ll talk things over with the team to see what worked well and what didn’t. 2/3 of the race went well and we were fighting it out for 12th place. But in the final third of the race, we saw we weren’t doing well. Prysmian and Guyot got away from us. There is plenty of room for improvement. Last time, we dismasted after three days, so finishing is already a good thing. I’ve known Gérald for twenty years, so we’re almost an old couple. Gérald took care of the weather and strategy, while I focused on the boat, seeing I know her well. We could have done with some more training and lining up against the opposition beforehand.”

 Gérald Veniard: “It would have been nice to have finished in a fight against some other competitors. I’m a bit disappointed about the result, because we had ambitions we didn’t manage to achieve. We set off well, but the weather turned things around. It’s a game of chance and this time the weather didn’t smile at us. We were lacking inspiration and courage when we chose the southern route, and that cost us six places. Clearly in the trade winds when they were light, we didn’t manage to get the same speeds as the new foilers.”


Kiwi Colman and French co-skipper Muzzolini take 24th in IMOCA race 

Finishing in 24th place in the IMOCA fleet Kiwi Conrad Colman and French co-skipper Fabio Muzolini enjoyed a sparkling finish on their Mailboxes ETC across the Fort-de-France line in warm morning sunshine and a building trade wind, they concluded their race from Le Havre with a final sprint. Whilst others before them may have crawled to the line in sticky, light airs and darkness three times round the world racer Colman and his IMOCA rookie co-skipper Muzolini made short work of the 15 nautical miles from the Diamond Rock to the line.