Back in France, Quo Vadis sister company Clairefontaine has been celebrating the recent winner of this year’s Trophe Clairefontaine, an international sailing competition that they’ve sponsored since 1990. The competition brings together 8 established sailing champions, each of whom have very different backgrounds and expertise (specialists from solo transatlantic races rub shoulders with helmsmen from match-racing circuits, according to the Trophe’s website). It then provides them all with the same equipment: a specially designed monotype catamaran that’s 7.65 meters (25 feet) in length and is used exclusively in the Trophe Clairefontaine.
Contrary to the majority of sailing competitions, the Trophe Clairefontaine takes place in a nautical stadium at the Trinit-sur-Merright in front of spectators. Access to the stadium is open to all and free of charge. This year’s race took place on the 1st and 2nd of September, and its winner was Michel Desjoyeaux, one of the world’s most successful solo sailors (he was the first person to sail around the world alone in under 100 days). Desjoyeux and his crewmates, Christophe Espagnon and Xavier Revil, edged to victory in the final three legs of the race after a long duel with Swiss sailor Luc Dubois. It’s his fourth victory so far: he also triumphed in the races of 2001, 2003 and 2004.