The Banque Populaire Team will be presenting its new member at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, a 2-handed transatlantic race between Le Havre (France) and Salvador de Bahia (Brazil): Clarisse Crémer, who will be discovering the IMOCA-class monohull with Armel Le Cléac'h.
In the famous Normandy port one week before the start, 29-year-old Clarisse Crémer is at the helm of the racing yacht. And standing by her side, in his capacity as joint skipper and coach, is Armel Le Cléac'h – a sailing legend if ever there was one – but, for once, taking a back seat in this race.
The Breton sailor, who is eagerly awaiting delivery of the new maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire XI scheduled for the winter of 2020-2021, agreed to help Clarisse in her goal of competing in the Vendée Globe single-handed around-the-world race in 2020. Sailing the old-generation IMOCA-class Banque Populaire X, a yacht not equipped with foils, the pair of sailors will be competing in the Jacques Vabre transatlantic race in order to hone their skills in competitive sailing.
“Strategic mistakes will be made along with maneuvering errors; Clarisse will make them as will I. That's how we learn the most, by facing up to difficult, complicated situations.”
Although he doesn’t intend to make a practice of it, Armel Le Cléac'h has agreed to sacrifice his own chance of winning in order to allow his teammate to discover the transatlantic race under the best possible conditions: “It's certain that having Armel as a mentor, co-skipper, and coach (the exact word to describe his role hasn’t been created yet!), is really quite impressive if we look at it objectively. But he's very patient! It's even rather disconcerting because I've never seen him get annoyed, let alone angry!”
The novice hasn’t suffered from stress so far. But once they have reached the Brazilian coast, Clarisse will continue to discover her new ship alone. She will sail the yacht back to France single-handed, in the conditions she will face again next year in the single-handed round-the-world race. A new adventure will then begin....