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Kenavo Volvo

At 5 pm for the last time, the Volvo Ocean Race headed off at the pointe du Talut. On the pontoons, once again the public were sizably present. Many came to wave goodbye to the skippers for their final leg from Lorient to Göteborg. The 7 Volvo Ocean 65’s took their leave after rounding the Morbihan marker in the bay of Quiberon before heading north into the Iroise sea.

150 000 is the final number of visitors who came to see off the Volvo Ocean Race sailors at the Lorient La Base quayside. This popular success has affirmed Lorient’s reputation as a cluster of excellence in industry and nautical sports. During this stopover, qualified as magical by Ian Walker, the skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the teams in the Volvo Ocean Race saw that this was indeed one of the world’s hubs for offshore racing. The party was magnificent, and even the weather joined in, with full sunshine and a thermal breeze for the In Port race and the coastal route for the start.

 

During this last day, Lorient unveiled the face of its new sailor alongside Eric Tabarly on the walls of the K2 bunker at the entrance to Lorient La Base. No surprises, Franck Cammas winner of the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, was chosen to be represented through a mosaic of more than 12000 black and white photos of the Faces of Lorient - quite an honour for this sailor who has helped to confirm the reputation of French offshore racing in a world until now largely dominated by the Anglo-Saxons.

 

Squabbles at the head of the fleet

 

At 5 pm on the dot, the race committee released the hounds along a coastal route in front of Groix before heading south to the bay of Quiberon where the Morbihan marker, moored a few miles from the entrance to the harbour of la Trinité sur Mer, marked the end of the Volvo Ocean 65s way along the coast. Route then to the point of Brittany leaving the islands of Hoëdic and Belle-Île to starboard. Two teams, Team Alvimedica and Team SCA jumped the start and had to return across the starting line while the rest of the fleet, led by Team Brunel headed upwind to the first route marker. The coastal route saw several changes in the lead before the seven teams set a course for the south-east. The guests of honour, François Gabart, winner of the last Vendée Globe and the Route du Rhum, Faustine Merret, Olympic windsurfing champion at the Athens games and Yann Penfornis, director of Multiplast, did the ritual jumping off before being recovered by the organisations’ RIBs.

On the racing side, after the coastal route, the three boats in line for the podium battled it out at the head of the fleet; Donfeng Race Team leading Team Brunel and Mapfre by a nose. No need to say that they aren’t many opportunities for rest between Lorient and the Hague, for a twenty-four hour pitstop on this final leg.

 

Over the coming days, there will be time enough for a complete look back at this 2015 Volvo Ocean Race stopover. But you can bet your bottom dollar that between the sporting results, the intense visitor numbers at Lorient La Base and the satisfaction of the companies involved, that the scales will tip firmly to the positive.

 


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Journal Lorient-La Base

Visuel journal Lorient-La Base

Émission animée tous les jours en direct à 18h par le journaliste-navigateur Pierre-Yves Lautrou

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