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A dozen duos - 24 sailors - will compete

The Transat Paprec will start on April 30, twelve mixed doubles racing across the Atlantic from Concarneau to Saint-Barthélemy in the French West Indies. This will be the first time that  mixed gender duos will compete on this classic course from Brittany to the Caribbean.  

All 12 French duos assembled today in Concarneau for the official presentation where the new trophy was unveiled. This first edition promises to be an engaging, close sporting event rich with human stories and emotions. 

Key points
Twelve mixed duos entered for what will be the 16th edition of this classic two handed Figaro class Transatlantic race
The new trophy designed by André Sommer and made by JP Leconte was unveiled during the press conference
The opening of the race village is on April 21 in Concarneau
Start is on April 30 at 1302hrs local time

All the top seeds are in on the act at the official launch today. 

This TRANSAT PAPREC is actually the only transatlantic contested on equal terms in strict one design boats, the Figaro BENETEAU 3. Success is down to the combined skills of the sailing partners, many of them among the best of the current generation and up and coming stars of French offshore racing. The battle with the elements is usually relentless and the fight between the rival pairs promises to be close with no clear, outstanding favourites starting head and shoulders above the others. 

The event, which is part of the French Elite offshore racing championship, has actually run since 1992 and has often uncovered new talents from among the men and women who choose to take part in a unique sporting challenge. 

The race retains its DNA and its sporting appeal but  the Transat Paprec becomes 100% mixed for the first time. 

For the organizers OC Sport Pen Duick and all the partners the objective is to encourage female sailors who wish to improve their skills and find a place in the short handed offshore racing discipline, a great chance to build many ocean miles over a short, intense period: 

"The Transat Paprec is a a great opportunity to discover ocean racing”, appreciates Pauline Courtois, best known as a match racer, who will race with Corentin Horeau (Mutuelle Bleue). 

"It's a good thing. The idea is that in the long term we won't need to impose such a mix likthis to achieve equity in this sport. But I am happy to see so many young women training this winter in Port-La-Forêt. We had a lot of new young women from different backgrounds. They found it valuable in terms of sharing and being able to exchange with different sailors. I  hope that will bring a lot of people back to the circuit. “, continues top French Figarist Elodie Bonafous, who will race with Martin Le Pape aboard Groupe Queguiner.

Another top seed is formed by Gaston Morvan (Region de Bretagne- CMB Performance) who will form a duo with ex Mini 650 ace Anne-Claire Le Berre. 

He adds: "For me this is a real sporting challenge, crossing the Atlantic on a 10m boat, like this two up in a Figaro, it's something quite strong. I can't wait to  start. Ocean racing, two up as a mixed duo is something new. And for me I took a long time to find the right person.  I wanted someone experienced but who I felt safe with and is who is really able to push and perform in the race. Anne-Claire meets these criteria perfectly. We know that we can make this boat go fast together and to make good decisions and will get along well over these 20 days of racing.

This year there will be 24 sailors embarking on the adventure of this renowned transatlantic race contested on equal terms. Who will succeed Nils Palmieri and Julien Villion, winners in 2021 and holders of the course record for the crossing at 18 days 05 hours 08 minutes and 03 seconds?

Festivals in Concarneau and Saint-Barthélemy

This event benefits from unfailing support of all the partners, including the local authorities. Their involvement aims to promote their regions and territories and provide a prestigious setting for this transatlantic race. The Transat Paprec relies on the support of Paprec, Brittany Region, the Department of Finistère, the CCI MBO Quimper, the City of Concarneau and the CCA. The Saint-Barthélemy community and the Saint-Barthélemy Territorial Tourism Committee are also fully mobilized to underpin its success and to ensure the celebrations continue on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Transat Paprec is also an opportunity to share with an interested public, the start and finish Villages will allow everyone, newcomers and enthusiasts, young and old, to immerse themselves in the race, to discover the competitors as well as enjoying the display stands of partners and exhibitors and to take advantage of the many activities offered free of charge to visitors. 

The Transat Paprec Start Village will open its doors on April 21 in Concarneau and will welcome the general public until April 30. There will be a Prologue on April 23, which will allow viewers to see the Figaro BENETEAU 3 close up on the water.  And the Arrival Village will be inaugurated in Saint-Barthélemy on May 16, and will close its doors on May 22. 

Sailors, partners and visitors are expected in large numbers to make the Transat Paprec a wonderful celebration, both on land and at sea !

April 21: Opening of the Village in Concarneau
April 23: Prologue
April 30: Start of the race at 1:02 p.m.
May 16: Opening of the village in Saint-Barthélemy
May 22: Prize-giving ceremony, closing of the village

The new trophy unveiled

© Alexis Courcoux
© Alexis Courcoux

The press conference held this Thursday in Concarneau was an opportunity to see the new trophy, worthy of this iconic challenge of ocean racing. The latter, the work of Breton artist André Sommer and manufactured by Maison JP Leconte Paris

It was also an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of the person who imagined it, Alex Picot, project manager for the Transat Paprec, who tragically died in last November in Guadeloupe.