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Boston Welcomes Hero

Posted Saturday, May 24, 2008

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In brief:

- Loick Peyron wins The Artemis Transat IMOCA 60 class after 12 days, 11 hours, 45 minutes, 35 seconds

- With this third victory, Peyron exceeds the two-time record he shared with French sailing legend Eric Tabarly

- Gitana Eighty sets a new IMOCA 60 course record

- Brit Air expected to finish in approx 2 hours


See quotes in brief below, extended version and news of Brit Air arrival to follow


In detail:


Loick Peyron on board Gitany Eighty crossed the finish line of The Artemis Transat at 03:15:35 GMT on Saturday, 24 May (00:15:35 local time). His arrival in Boston, Mass., USA, marks an historic achievement for this legendary French sailor. He is now the only sailor in history to have won this race three times (1992/1996/2008); exceeding the two-time record he shared with another French sailing legend, Eric Tabarly.


Gitana Eighty finished the 2,982-mile course of The Artemis Transat in a time of 12 days, 11 hours, 45 minutes, 35 seconds (based on corrected time including the deduction of the 2.5 hour time allowance awarded by the jury for his rescue of Vincent Riou). In doing so, he has beaten the existing monohull record of 12 days, 15 hours, 18 mins and 8 secs set by Mike Golding onboard Ecover in 2004, by 3 hours, 32 mins and 33 secs.


Distance on the water : 3185 miles

Average speed on the water : 10.68 knots


Loick quotes from dockside, Rowes Wharf, Boston, Mass., USA:


"If I'm happy? Yes! If I'm tired? Oh yes! It was an exhausting race, especially at the end, but it was once again a fantastic battle on the water. Leaving Plymouth, I knew there were at least 6 boats capable of winning this one, and in fact that was demonstrated by the numerous changes of leaders. I was happy to be in the match since the start, it's always good to take an early lead, and when I moved back a bit afterwards it didn't worry me a lot, that might be because I'm starting to have a bit of experience! Taking Vincent onboard was strange at first, I had trouble getting back into my pace and habits, but then we learnt to know each other, it was great - we finished the race commenting on what our fight might have been and given the weather patterns, I think we would have ended up more than exhausted, it would have been extremely close-fought.


"Winning this event for the third time is fantastic, considering its history and my own attachment to it. My uncle Jean-Yves Terlain raced it in 1972, I took my first start in 1984, and now almost 25 years later, I'm winning it for the third time! Do I think about having won one more than Tabarly? Well, I guess every time I'm on a boat I think about him, he got us all into sailing really... In fact, yes, this third victory really feels special, when I think about it!"



To hear Loick's audio on arrival in Boston, go to and click on Audio Gallery. Media can download the audio from the Online Media Centre at



Peyron's 1992/1996 victories


In 1992, in fine style and based upon sound experience and sheer determination to push his steed as hard as possible without going too far, Loïck Peyron won in eleven days, one hour and 35 minutes on board his trimaran Fujicolor. Paul Vatine came second in 12 days 7 hours and 48 minutes, finishing more than one day later, followed by Francis Joyon, third, who was soon to be much talked about.


The 1996 Transat was the tenth in the series and Loïck Peyron once again showed that he was capable of steering a brilliant course with both finesse and prudence. Ahead of Loïck, Laurent Bourgnon turned his trimaran turtle and had to withdraw. Francis Joyon opted for a very northerly route, which turned out to be an excellent choice, but as he was propelled towards victory, he too capsized off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. At this point in time, those following him lay almost 24 hours behind - Paul Vatine also on a northerly course but 292 miles behind and Loïck Peyron a little more than 334 miles. The tension was maintained right through to the finish as the two yachtsmen played cat and mouse, depending on who made best use of currents and local conditions. In the end, Peyron pulled into the lead, just a puff ahead of Vatine to win in 10 days 10 hours and 5 minutes, leaving Poupon's

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