Transat Quebec–Saint-Malo: skipper Georges Leblanc weighs anchor for a final crossing

Transat Quebec–Saint-Malo: skipper Georges Leblanc weighs anchor for a final crossing
Transat Quebec–Saint-Malo: skipper Georges Leblanc weighs anchor for a final crossing

Aged 72, Quebec skipper Georges Leblanc will weigh anchor on his boat one last time to begin crossing the Atlantic, as part of the prestigious Transat Quebec–Saint-Malo race. Departure is scheduled for June 30.

This is his sixth participation in this competition which returns every four years. His first crossing took place in 1996, when he was 45 years old. He entered again for the next edition, in 2000, where he finished in third place in his category.

He also took part in subsequent editions until 2012. During this last crossing, he finished 5e rank in its category. The 2020 race was canceled due to the pandemic.

For this final crossing, the navigator wants to have “the wind in his sails”.

“I hope everything goes well. Most [des membres de mon équipage] have already crossed the ocean with me more than once. They hope that we will do well,” he says aboard the El Unicorniothe boat with which he will make the crossing.

This final crossing as part of the competition does not seem to make him overly nostalgic.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t sail again. But at some point you have to be realistic. And honestly, there are family pressures, confides Mr. Leblanc. They tell me: it seems to me that you have done enough.”

16 times around the Earth

Throughout his sailing career, he has covered more than 345,000 nautical miles. Considering that this is the equivalent of 16 times going around the Earth, we can conclude that the seas and oceans no longer hold any secrets for him… or almost.

One month before the Transat Québec–Saint-Malo, Georges Leblanc, aged 72, is preparing for his final crossing, aboard his sailboat “Majorica”. 05-24-2024. DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC

DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC

Because in his experience, no crossing is the same. The weather, debris in the water, the crew and unforeseen events of all kinds are part of the experience.

Although this is his last transatlantic race, the skipper has not ruled out taking part in other, less demanding races.

“Probably in the West Indies, in the heat,” he observes.

His career as a sailor gave him the most beautiful memories. He likes to think of the Northern Lights shows that “earthlings” were able to witness recently.

“People found it beautiful. [Mais] they were very small. In the north, it can’t be [comment c’est magnifique]! It’s like the night, when the sky is clear, there are so many stars,” he confides.

He also thinks back to all the sunrises and pods of dolphins he has been able to admire. Memories firmly anchored in his memory.

For now, he is preparing to store up other beautiful memories in this final stretch before leaving with his crew.

“My mandate is that 10 of us arrive in Saint-Malo, in good physical condition, that everyone is happy and that we will have had a good adventure,” he finishes.

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