Paprec supporting La Solitaire du Figaro
Paprec knows La Solitaire du Figaro very well thanks to their support of various skippers who have helmed boats in the colours of the group. In fact, the company’s own Managing Director, Sébastien Petithuguenin, has himself taken part in the flagship event of the France Elite Offshore Racing Championship, that in 2022 will see the skippers taken on 1,980 miles across three stages between the coast and the open sea.
The Paprec group has also announced the creation of a new prize for the race – the Legends Trophy – which Michel Desjoyeaux summed up: "Bringing back the skippers who have marked the history of sailing to confront the new generation in this legendary race is an excellent idea", with Alain Gautier adding, “It will bring back good memories!”
The Transat Paprec: the first 100% mixed double-handed Transat
Faithful to its historic format, double-handed, on equal terms and contested on the Figaro Bénéteau 3 one-designs, this key event on the calendar has been offering enthusiasts and the general public an exciting and thrilling competition for more than 30 years.
Charting a route of nearly 3,900nm between Brittany in Concarneau and Saint-Barthélemy, the Transat, formerly the Transat Ag2r and now the Transat Paprec, has established itself as a must for the greatest names of the discipline and young talents in the making.
The next edition takes place in 2023, and in collaboration with OC Sport Pen Duick, the FFVoile and the Figaro class, the race has been through a major regeneration, with the establishment of a 100% mixed male/female double-handed format. And while this mixed format is already prevalent in Olympic classes such as the 470 and the Nacra, it is the first time the format will be included in a transatlantic race. It is the aim of the organisers that this new configuration will help make it possible to accelerate access to excellence in ocean racing for women.
Sailors support the new format
The concept of mixed male/female crews is already generating a lot of enthusiasm among sailors including Nils Palmieri, winner of the last double-handed transatlantic race with Julien Villon, who said: "It's an excellent thing for a lot of reasons, we should be seeking for equality. I think it's great that men and women sail together on the same boat. It's also an excellent thing for partners and sponsors, especially mine, for whom the notion of mixed doubles really appeals.”
Corentin Horeau is also supportive, stating that he does "not see a difference between a male skipper and a female skipper." The sailor recalls his participation last year alongside Elodie Bonafous: "I competed in the last double-handed transatlantic race with Elodie, so a mixed doubles transatlantic race is not only doable but there is a way to get a good result. We have different strengths, even if physically I may be stronger at manoeuvres, Elodie’s control of the tiller is excellent - she was more composed than me!”
Charlotte Yven said: "For my part, I think it's a great idea, I really like sailing double-handed because I find that in mixed doubles, we are complementary. It's also great because I think it will open the door to girls who may not have dared yet or hadn't had the opportunity to get started, there are plenty of motivated and talented girls who will have their place in this race.”
In addition to those sailors who are already active on the circuit, other illustrious skippers have shared their enthusiam about this development, including Alain Gautier who said: “The Olympic sectors promote diversity in racing. Organising the Transat Paprec as a mixed team is an excellent idea. This initiative will encourage and facilitate access to ocean racing for women sailors.”
Armel Le Cléac'h also gave his thoughts: “This new mixed doubles format is consistent with what is done on other circuits. It will be the first offshore race in this form and that is very good news. It's a great race that I've had the chance to win twice - a great transatlantic which can also be a first experience for sailors who will learn from competing with more experienced ones, it's very good if it also benefits women.”
St-Barthélemy, an exemplary island for a circular economy
A multi-faceted sponsorship, Sébastien Petithuguenin, Managing Director of Paprec, emphasised the significance of Saint Barthélémy to the group. “The arrival in Saint-Barthélémy is an important symbol for the Paprec group. The French Island is indeed exemplary in the management of its waste. For two decades, its managers have bet on high technology with a plant transforming local waste into energy to operate the seawater desalination plant - and therefore to supply the inhabitants with fresh water and electricity from by 2023. Waste management contributes to the island's energy autonomy and perfectly illustrates the principle of the circular economy. The plant which has just inaugurated its extension is managed by Paprec Energies.”