The island of Saint Barth had a lot to celebrate when the ninth edition of the Transat Ag2r, a transatlantic race that set sail from the port of Concarneau in Brittany, France, arrived in Saint Barth’s Port of Gustavia in mid-May. Although top honors went to Laurent Pellecuer and Jean-Paul Mouren aboard the Figaro Beneteau SNEF-Cliptol Sport, second and third place went to boats with local sailors aboard: Luc Poupon, a French “local” by adoption who sailed with Ronan Guérin aboard Solar Inox, and native son Miguel Danet in tandem with Eric Péron on the Concarneau-Saint-Barth, representing the two ports that host the race.
The winners all opted for a southern route across the Atlantic, with Laurent Pellecuer and Jean-Paul Mouren arriving Tuesday morning, May 13 in Gustavia, having set sail from Concarneau (Finistère) on April 20. When they crossed the finish line five seconds shy of 3:14am (Saint Barth time), Pellecuer and Mouren had spent 22 days, 19 hours, 13 minutes and 55 seconds at sea, traveling at an average speed of 6.78 knots over 3,710.4 miles from France by way of Porto Santo in Madeira.
Solar Inox and Concarneau Saint-Barth opted for the same southern route, and it paid off—they came in second and third respectively, with a large part of the local population on the dock and in the port to welcome them after cheering for them as they crossed the Atlantic on the way home to Saint Barth. This marks the first time a native son and a local resident stood in the winners’ circle for the Transat Ag2r—with a huge celebration on the dock in honor of all the sailors, but especially the local heros.
Ellen Lampert-Gréaux lives in Saint Barthélemy where she is editor-in- chief of Harbour Magazine, and has been a regular contributor to All At Sea since 2000. She also writes regularly about entertainment design and technology for Live Design magazine, and about Caribbean architecture for MACO, a Trinidad-based lifestyle magazine.