Cape Martinique. Lots of emotions on this 2nd edition!

The last competitor, the duo Marine and Sébastien Péjoan, arrived in Martinique closing this second edition of Cap-Martinique. Thibaut Derville and Jean-Philippe Cau, the co-organizers of the race, take stock of this race destined to become a classic.

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How did the arrivals take place?
There are a lot of emotions. For amateurs, crossing the Atlantic solo or double is a huge challenge and they all arrive transformed in Fort-de-France. The great satisfaction of this transatlantic race is to see that the sailors are all there to welcome each other. Even Robert Jacobson, who had abandoned in the Azores, came to Martinique and attended almost all the arrivals. The South African Adrian Kuttel gave up in Madeira and insisted on finishing his transatlantic race outside the race. This is exactly the spirit of Cap-Martinique, this mix of sportiness and conviviality.

What is the sporting record of this Cap-Martinique?
He is incredible ! If we look at the winners in the different categories, we see that all navigation frontages are represented, from North to South and from East to West and even inland bodies of water. It’s interesting because few races bring together competitors from all over France and this shows that the level is super homogeneous.
Lille’s Amaury Dumortier and Geoffrey Thiriez arrived first and won the “Line Honors” while Gérard Quenot and Bertrand Daniels, who come from La Rochelle, won the general classification in corrected time. Solo, the first on the line is the Marseillais Ludovic Gérard and it is Régis Vian who wins on corrected time. Régis comes from Le Mans and is preparing in La Trinité-sur-Mer. All this shows that there are very good sailors on all the waters of France and beyond. We also see that the race is attractive abroad with the participation of several foreign sailors from Belgium, the Netherlands but also from South Africa and the United States. The Americans Justin and Christina Wolfe also had a very good race as they finished 7th in real time.

How do the runners feel?
There is unanimity among all sailors: the Cap-Martinique is the hardest and most demanding of amateur races. It is an unforgiving, long course that requires exceptional endurance. The competition is also extremely tough since the best are all there. After 20 days of racing and 3,800 miles, we saw boats coming into contact as far as the bay of Fort-de-France. It’s a unique experience.

What do you remember from this second edition?
Everyone has in mind the disappearance of Philippe Benoiton. We know today that he died on his boat, most likely hit by its boom, but other incidents occurred and ended better. Risk is always present at sea but each sailor has the responsibility to reduce them as much as possible.

This year there were some very young crews. It is a surprise ?
We know that young people love adventure so it’s not a total surprise but it’s good news. We often talk about the renewal of generations and we see that the next generation of our sport is very present. The surprise, however, comes from their capacity for progress. I am thinking in particular of Ivan Lecat and Gwendal de la Rivière as well as François Ropartz and Vianney d’Aboville. When they registered about two years ago, they were almost beginners but they knew how to raise their level of play to be in good conditions at the start. They have been very diligent in training and have had a magnificent race today. This race was one of learning. In two years, they changed categories. They were passionate sailors, they became experienced ocean racers. It will be a great Source of inspiration for the next ones.
On the other side of the age pyramid, there is Jacques Amédéo who is 76 years old. Here again, it commands admiration and demonstrates that our sport can be practiced at all ages with just as much pleasure.

Do you see an evolution in the profile of competitors?
What we observe is that the level is getting higher and higher. Cap-Martinique is aimed at good sailors but especially at those who want to become one. We must salute the work carried out by the training centers in La Trinité-sur-Mer or La Rochelle. There is now a standard of preparation which is to sail 50 days a year, within a group with good supervision. It is a demanding format for amateurs who otherwise have busy lives but it allows you to start this transatlantic race in good conditions.

So there will be a third edition?
Of course ! This second edition allowed Cap-Martinique to be placed a little further in time. We are lucky to have enthusiastic skippers but also valuable partners, whether businesses or local authorities. This year we changed our arrival marina and it’s a real progression. This marina at Etang Z’abricots, 15 minutes from Fort-de-France, is an incredible infrastructure. We would also like to thank the entire team who did a fantastic job welcoming this fleet.

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