Following a tough Brest Atlantique race, François Gabart has momentarily decided to give racing a break this season, despite having learnt a lot from this event. The MACIF trimaran’s skipper will use this time to focus on projects in a different way and to recharge his batteries to return stronger than ever next year. After talking about this together, the MACIF group and François Gabart have decided to hand over the helm of the MACIF trimaran to Pascal Bidégorry for The Transat CIC, which will set sail from Brest on 10 May 2020.
François Gabart has competed in ocean races alongside Macif for 10 years running and has built up an outstanding record of achievements. However, skippering an Ultim trimaran is extremely demanding physically and mentally, since sailing at these amazing boats’ incredible speeds is a challenge that demands perpetually pushing the boundaries.
All the recovery and preparation time the skipper needs in between races is essential to maintain the pace required by these multihulls, remain vigilant and withstand the impact of the waves, the constant noise, and the endless manoeuvres, while performing well in the race.
The Safety of the Skipper Depends on His Being on Form
Over the winter, François Gabart realized that he had overextended himself. He lagged behind in his physical preparation for the upcoming season and didn’t have enough time to recover from the exhaustion that had accumulated over recent seasons before the next date set for early May – The Transat CIC. François knows that it is essential not to underestimate the problems this represents, particularly when putting to sea again single-handed for another Atlantic sprint.
After due consideration with the MACIF group, the decision was made to allow the boat to take part in The Transat CIC, without François at its helm. Naturally, this decision does not affect the partnership between the skipper and MACIF, for which, as an insurance group, prevention is a core value. The firm fully backs his choice, knowing that he will return much stronger next year at the helm of the new MACIF trimaran, which is currently being built.
Pascal Bidégorry, a Safe Choice!
Three months before the start of The Transat CIC, the MACIF group and François Gabart have decided to entrust the helm of the MACIF trimaran to Pascal Bidégorry. His multihull experience and his approach to performance, in combination with the fact that he has been working on and supporting the MACIF trimaran project since the boat was launched in the summer of 2015, naturally make Pascal the inevitable choice to skipper the boat in The Transat CIC.
Winner alongside François in the Transat Jacques Barbara in 2015, then the Armen Race and The Bridge in 2017, Pascal Bidégorry has also taken part in a large number of training sessions on board to develop performance and advise François. Already there for the first transatlantic race, he will therefore enjoy the privilege of leading the trimaran in this its last race under the colours of Macif, since it will be sold this summer.
Moving Forward by Stepping Back
This year, François Gabart will take the time he needs to recharge his batteries, but that doesn’t mean he won’t help out onshore. His passion for ocean racing remains unaltered and his desire to contribute is stronger than ever. The four coming months will be devoted, among other things, to helping Pascal Bidégorry with his preparation for The Transat CIC, since François will be part of the team working with him to achieve the best performance possible at sea. He will sail with him during training sessions and will also be part of the routing team during the race.
By taking an external view of the project, François hopes to gain new experience that will help him rethink the way he sails, with a view to 2021, which is already looking full of crew-manned sailing events. He will then be at the helm of the new MACIF trimaran, whose launch is planned for early next year. François intends to get fully involved with the teams for this new project, both with regard to making the technical performance decisions yet to be implemented, and the overall organization of the project with Macif, to ensure that racing remains rewarding in the future and fulfils their common goals between 2021 and 2023.