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Sailing: Charlie Dalin: "It's exceptional to win the first race of your new boat"

Le Figaro.

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Sailing: Charlie Dalin: "It's exceptional to win the first race of your new boat"

Le Figaro. – First race with your new boat and first victory, you are off to a strong start…

Charlie Dalin. - It's great, I'm super happy. We weren't going there with this objective, and we weren't even aiming for the podium. The objective was to discover the boat, to start testing it. We had sailed five times before leaving for the start in Cowes and given the weather conditions we even wondered at one point if it was a good thing to go there.

And so you won...

The boat withstood the shock, I haven't yet heard back from the engineers, but a priori there is no structural problem. There was just a little water coming in in one corner but otherwise we didn't take out the tool kit. It's exceptional and I'm extremely proud of the team's work. It's complicated from the outside to realize the job, it's a feat to launch a boat in such a short time and win your first race in complicated weather conditions.

You have been behind the Richomme-Eliès duo for a long time, where did the victory come from?

It didn't turn out much. Four minutes is nothing. We managed to overtake them on the side of the Channel Islands not long before the finish. And we caught seaweed in the saffron two hours from the finish in Cherbourg. It was tight all the way. And this great fight with Yoann (Richomme) and Yann (Eliès) reminded me of my years on the Figaro and Solitaire circuit, and in particular the 2016 season when we did 1 and 2 but in a different order with Yoann. This promises great races for the future.

How was the cohabitation with Pascal Bidégorry?

Very well, it was the first time that I raced with him and we got along very well. In terms of feeling, he is very strong…

Does this victory confirm that your boat is born?

Yes, a priori it is. This allows you to go in the right direction. If we don't need to go to the pits to solve technical problems, we can sail and make the boat more reliable, and the more we make it reliable, the more we can sail. In any case, the boat meets our objectives during its design, it behaves better at sea than the previous Apivia, it goes better downwind and is better suited to difficult conditions. In terms of speed, we are still discovering but I have the feeling that he has good speed.

All this should make you happy for the next Vendée Globe (departure in November 2024)?

I am happy that the new four-year cycle with this Macif is starting so well. It's wonderful to live that. Given the general level, the Vendée Globe is going to be a big fight. We still have a lot of work to do before the Azimuth challenge (September 19-24) and the Transat Jacques Vabre (October 29), I only allow myself a week of family vacation. We are already in the funnel of the Vendée Globe...

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