Groupama Race: The winner on handicap is "Mange Mieux Bouge Plus".
We had to wait until "BCI Radical Concept" crossed the line late in the evening to determine handicap placings. "Mange Mieux Bouge Plus" and her crew (one of whom was the only woman in the race - Lauren Hautier) have won again! Handicap winner in 2012, they have played a repeat performance to win the 2014 Groupama Race. Such a worthy result is a just reward for a crew who got the best performance out of their yacht, in relation to its characteristics (measurements, type of sails, age, displacement, etc.).
"BCI Radical Concept" came second. At the finish, Philippe Mazard, the skipper, said "it is a "man's race" - a demanding competition requiring stamina, but what a splendid race!" Third place went to "Chairman PAO Production" and Cedric Bouchet's crew. Immediately upon his arrival, he said "We have a great crew. We had a ball. There was a great team spirit, even if it was quite difficult, with the return leg dead in the eye of the wind. It was extremely interesting, with lots of little tricks to play… The Groupama Race is a test of seamanship, yet very tough".
Handicap places (putting the best crew first)
1 Mange Mieux Bouge Plus
2 BCI Radical Concept
3 Chairman PAO Production
5 XLR8 Province Sud
6 Catch me OPT
"Keel Bill Groupama" did not race for a handicap place.
The last yacht crossed the line very early in the morning, at about 3AM. "XLR8 Province Sud", seriously hindered by damaged gear, has been sailing with three reefs in the main for the last 24 hours, and two reefs since the Grand Passage. The skipper, Jean Christophe Vergé was welcomed by about thirty friends and family members. Once ashore, he affirmed "once again, the Groupama Race has shown itself to be not very easy. We had light winds, heavy weather, big seas, flat calm: four quite interesting days".
Earlier that night, the exhausted crew of "BCI Radical Concept" landed. Before them, "Chairman PAO Production" and "Catch Me OPT" had also tied-up in their berths, and were welcomed by good crowd of well-wishers at the Cercle Nautique Calédonien. They then enjoyed a well deserved meal.
Only one hour after the end of the race, it is too early to make a full appraisal of the race. Nonetheless, one thing is clear, all the sailors and all the yachts were well prepared for this 4th edition of a race over the World's longest Olympic course. Everyone got back home in one piece and in good health. Also, there was not much damage to report, despite the difficulties.
Real Time Placings
1 Crusader in 3d 18h 54m 6s (new race record)
2 Keel Bill Groupama in 3d 23h 49m 5s
3 Mange Mieux Bouge Plus in 4d 4h 8m 28s
4 Catch me OPT in 4d 9h 25m 45s
5 Chairman PAO Production in 4d 10h 1m 34s
6 BCI Radical Concept in 4d 13h 41m 1s
7 XLR8 Province Sud in 4d 17h 35m 49s
Photo : Thomas Bouvet/Groupama Race