On 25th March, the 2007 BPE (Banque Privee Europeenne) Trophy event was launched, as 27 boats registered to begin a solo transatlantic race from Belle-Ile-en-Mer (largest of the Breton Islands, south of Brittany, France) to Marie Galante near Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.
One remembers the last edition between St-Nazaire and Cienfuegos de Cuba. The 2005 BPE Trophy seemed to be a new challenge, and 12 solo sailors took part in the Transatlantic race, with no withdrawals registered by the time boats arrived. The Figaro Beneteau 2 and all the other racers proved that such adventure was possible. The 2005 BPE Trophy, won by Eric Drouglazet after 25 days, gave many other sailors the urge to cross the Atlantic solo to the Caribbean.
Pioneers of the last edition set an example and returned once more this year: Marc Emig (AST Group), Yannig Livory (Defi Transat 1), Armel Tripon (Gedimat), without forgetting Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert), third into Cienfuegos in 2005 and winner of the trophy in 2001 alongside Charles Caudrelier, when the race was run in pairs, and Bertrand de Broc, winner in Dakar for the second edition in 2003.
Among the Figaro specialists, representatives from Guadeloupe also came to participate with Philippe Quéré, Iles de la Région Guadeloupe, and Victor Jean-Noel, Pays Marie-Galante.
Right at the first buoy, Servane Escoffier, Brossard, was forced to abandon the race because of a twisted left shoulder, followed by Yannig Livory (Defi Transat 1), but the rest of the fleet left under a generally clement weather outlook. Also during the race, others were forced to abandon, including Laurent Pellecuer (Docteur Valnet – Aromatherapie), and James Bird (GFI Group).
Places on the podium went to those who’d opted for a southerly route, including the top three finishers who arrived within a few hours of one another : Nicolas Troussel (21 days, 9 hours, 11 minutes and 45 seconds), Thomas Rouxel, Charles Caudrelier. Victor Jean-Noel finished in 20th place, and Philippe Quere was not classed, forced to turn around at the Azores to repair his Genoa and broken shroud.
We now look forward to the next meeting: Belle-Ile-en-Mer to Marie Galante in 2009.