After having been consistently among the leading four in the early part of the race, the Gitana Team skipper fell prey to unstable and difficult weather conditions. Today, at the end of his first-ever Figaro race, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent is starting to draw some initial lessons from this experience.
On the race: “That was my longest transet ever! I don't think I've ever spent so much time on the Ocean. The absence of wind is definitely a sailor's worst enemy! But first and foremost, what I'll take out of this experience is how I was right up there for the first 15 days, not only where the classification was concerned but also in terms of speed, which is really important for me. I didn't get left behind at all. In the end, it wasn't to be but even now, I don't really see how, with the information I had available, I could have anticipated that ridge of high pressure coming down so low!”
On the boat: “What surprised me the most was the lack of activity on board, especially when there's no wind. You just have to take it on the chin and sit tight. I used the automatic pilot a lot so I could concentrate on making all the different adjustments.”
On lessons learned: “Physically, it's not a demanding boat and is much easier to manoeuvre than a multihull, although they're a bit of an extreme example! But from the psychological angle, I have to say that these last ten days have been really testing for me and I don't yet have the necessary hindsight to review my race properly and analyse the different situations I was faced with. That's why I've decided to go and see Sylvain Mondon (ed's note: Météo France) with all my course data and the weather info I received on board. We'll go over my race from start to finish to try and understand where I might have gone wrong! It's the best way of trying to prevent something similar happening again.”
On the finish: “I used my final hours at sea to clean and tidy the boat. Ironically, the wind picked up again right at the finish. It's always nice to set foot on dry land again, especially after 24 days at sea! My thoughts have been with everyone who has supported me in this adventure and I'd like to thank the boat's owner, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, as well as my partner, Domaine du Mont d'Arbois, who supported me right to the end!”