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Jack Trigger returns from the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe

by Chris Marchington 7 Dec 2018 13:27 GMT
Jack Trigger finishes 8th in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2018 © Christophe Breschi /

Jack Trigger is home and finally dry in England after taking part in the transatlantic Route du Rhum, the iconic yacht race. He set sail from St Malo on the North coast of France, through the Bay of Biscay, and then across The Atlantic, to Guadaloupe in The Caribbean where he sailed in last week. At just 24, he was amongst the youngest in the race that started on the 4th of November.

Scary Odds – One in Three Drop Out

Jack, on Class 40 'Concise 8', was one of 123 yachtsmen and women taking part in the notorious race, rightly feared by many experts for starting as the winter gales and weather systems begin to roll in. Jack finished a very credible eighth in his class of 53.

"This race is brutal - there's no let up. The Class 40's are fast and stiff enough now to be unbearably uncomfortable, and I think Concise 8 must be the wettest in the whole fleet! During the race you effectively cat-nap for two weeks, live off freeze-dried stew or energy bars, and you never really get dry after the first wave goes over the boat till you get off at the finish," says Trigger. "It pushes you to really appreciate the comforts in life, real food, dry clothes, and a bed!"

The race this year lived up to its gruelling reputation, taking a heavy toll of the fleet. Of the 123 who started, over one third were wrecked or retired with major damage. One of the favourites, the ultra-modern Gitana, financed by Rothschilds Bank, was wrecked early on. At the last count, over 42 boats had retired.

Trigger explains what they were heading into: "We knew that three gales were coming our way. It's hard to get your head around it, when the start at St Malo was all blue skies and flat seas. Within two days, it was fifty knots of wind and dropping twenty feet off the tops of waves. It stayed like that for the best part of a week.

"It was a tribute to the huge amount of work that we've done as a team this year, on making the boat more reliable, that Concise 8 made it through in one piece. You're also forced to learn very quickly how to sail the boat in those conditions, the boats are powerful and can tear themselves apart, so you need to find a balance between when to push hard, and when to throttle back and keep the thing together."

A Great Debut Season

The highly commended eighth place in his first Transatlantic race means Jack has ended the Class 40 season in fourth. Jack was clearly thrilled with the result: "It's been a fantastic season for us and we have achieved everything we set out to. We hoped for a top ten place in the Route du Rhum so to be 8th is well inside that goal."

Not only has Trigger proved his worth as the youngest competitor in the fleet, but he has achieved these results against cutting edge designs in his slightly older 2013 boat, and on a smaller budget than the top teams. He has also found the time to work as an ambassador for Diabetes UK, a condition (Type 1 Diabetes) from which he suffers himself.

Says Trigger "to achieve the results we have this year is the real reward for all of the hard work that it takes to put a campaign like this together, and while it's nice to chill out and reflect on what we have achieved, we are already thinking ahead. Now is a period of fundraising and planning before next season, and we will be looking to add new partners to 'Team Trigger' to get me on the start line of my ultimate goal - competing in the 2020 Vendee Globe."

Given his awesome progress so far, and clear determination to beat Diabetes and The Atlantic, we are sure he will be there.

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