Back in Brest and already on stand-by for another attempt, as soon as some favourable weather arrives, Francis Joyon has made a slight change to his crew. The German sailor, Boris Herrmann is now focusing on his 2020 Vendée Globe campaign ansd is being replaced by Sébastien Audigane. A good all rounder, recognised for his skill at the helm, Sébastien has a wealth of experience of round the world sailing, and has an excellent knowledge of the boat, having previously sailed on her at the time of Groupama 3. He is someone who admires Francis Joyon, is friends with Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella and Clément Surtel, Big Seb has already merged well into the team and can’t wait to begin the attempt at the Trophy, which since Geronimo and Olivier de Kersauzon, has determined his career plan and lifestyle.
By joining the crew of the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran, Sébastien Audigane will not be entering a strange universe. One of the legendary figures in the Jules Verne Trophy, Sébastien Audigane has shown his human qualities and talents abord some of the leading projects in the history of the event. “Olivier de Kersauzon gave me the taste for sailing around the world as quickly as possible. I sailed on Geronimo at the start of my career, explained the 48-year old sailor. “I was proud and pleased to win the Jules Verne Trophy aboard Bruno Peyron’s maxi catamaran Orange II with a certain Bernard Stamm. I also sailed on Banque Populaire V, but was not abaord for their winning campaign with Loïck Peyron.”
His knowledge of the boat, the race course and his talents at the helm meant that last year he was part of the Spindrift adventure. Sébastien is setring off again this time with just as much enthusiasm as back in the early days. “Sailing around the world is still just as exciting for me,” he admits. “The course is fantastic and these boats are magical. IDEC SPORT proved last year that she was capable of beating the record, if the winds are favourable in the south.”
Boris Herrmann is stepping off the boat with some mixed feelings. On the one hand there is the regret at leaving this exceptional group ofn sailors, but at the same time he is looking forward to seeing his Vendée Globe dreams come true after purchasing an IMOCA that is currently racing. He said last weekend talking about handing over to Sébastien, that he is “a sailor I know well and have huge respect for and I’m sure hell fit in perfectly with the group.”
Sébastien Audigane in short…
Sébastien Audigane does not leave people feeling indifferent about him. The sailor built like a rugby player stands out in terms of his size? Secondly, there is the kindness coming from such a physique that surprises. Big Seb is a discreet yet efficient and measured sailor. The model crewman. For more than fifteen years, he has been indispensable wherever he lays his hat, from Dragon racing to the Figaro class, meaning that he is always on the short list when teams are establishing their ocean racing projects. Bruno Peyron, Franck Cammas, Loïck Peyron and more recently, Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli have chosen him as their favourite helmsman, as he shows confidence and skill at the helm of these maxi-multihulls as they race around the world. It is the ocean that inspires and motivates the Breton. At ease at the helm of a 15m IR in the Mediterranean sunshine, year after year, he looks towrds the desolate wastelands of the Southern Ocean, as if 5 roundings of Cape Horn is not enough. Seb wants more. Watch leader last year on Spindrift, he sees it as a blessing that Francis Joyon has invited him aboard this maxi-trimaran that he knows well, Franck Cammas’s former Groupama 3. It would be understating things to say that his wide range of talents fit in perfectly with the demands of Joyon’s elite troops. The confidence he shows will be a quality that the others on IDEC SPORT share, along with the pleasure of sailing on the big red and grey maxi-trimaran, which will certainly continue with the arrival of the new boy.
Some of his achievements
JULES VERNE TROPHY: 4 attempts and winner in 2005
ATLANTIC RECORD: 3 times holder – ORANGE/G3/B POPULAIRE 5
NEW-YORK /SAN FRANCISCO RECORD: Holder with MASERATI
BARCELONA WORLD RACE: 2 attempts (6th in 2015)
SOLITAIRE DU FIGARO: 7 attempts. Leg victory in 2002
TRANSAT AG2R (FIGARO): 4 attempts
TOUR DE FRANCE SAILING RACE: 9 attempts, 8 leg wins