Please select your home edition
Typhoon 2021 - FOOTER

France SailGP Team announces new driver

by SailGP 28 Sep 13:37 BST
Quentin Delapierre will helm the France SailGP Team F50 at the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz, Andalusia © SailGP

The France SailGP Team will have a new driver for the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz, Andalusia, following the announcement that Quentin Delapierre will be taking the helm of the team's F50. Fresh off the back of the Tokyo Olympic Games, where he placed eighth, the 29 year old from Vannes (Brittany) will take over from Billy Besson for the remainder of SailGP Season 2.

Besson has been integral to the French team since its inception in 2018 and played a key part in the team's development and performance on this global platform, demonstrating his ability to compete at the very top of the world of sailing.

Following a disappointing result at the home event in Saint-Tropez, the change has been made to give the team the best chance of moving up from the bottom of the leaderboard.

Quentin Delapierre: new wind for France SailGP Team

Delapierre is a multi-disciplined sailor with experience across all aspects of the sport, from match racing to keelboat racing, inshore trimarans to 32-meter Ultimes. Since he started out competitively at Cataschool in Larmor-Baden (Morbihan), Delapierre has been in high demand. His experience in offshore racing with Thomas Coville, two victories in the Tour de France à la Voile, his successes in the Nacra class - including a second place in the European Championship and a win in a World Cup - and his selection (in record time) for the French Olympic Team, have all contributed to his meteoric rise in the sport, which has caught the eye of Dubois.

Dubois said: "Quentin is part of this new generation of sailors who are the epitome of the very best in professional sport, constantly driven to search for excellence in all areas. All of these make up the ethos and values of a professional league like SailGP.

"The sporting level of the global championship continues to grow and, following the performance at the last Grand Prix, we need to breathe new life into the France SailGP Team to meet the multiple challenges there are, both on and off the water.

"There are very few athletes in the world who are capable of driving an F50. Billy is part of this elite group and he has been an integral part of the French team since its creation playing a key role in its development. We are very grateful to him for all the work we have accomplished together over the past three years.

"We now have a new chapter starting, with Quentin joining the team. It is a big challenge that the entire team will face head-on, with all the energy required to reach the top level of the sport at SailGP."

A new dynamic and a major challenge

This change in sporting strategy comes in the middle of the second season of the global SailGP championship that features the sport's very best athletes; the team will welcome Delapierre at the next event in Cádiz, Andalusia (October 9-10).

Delapierre is already undergoing an expedited total immersion into the team and has been training in the SailGP simulator with his new teammates. The sailing team - Leigh McMillan, François Morvan, Olivier Herledant, Matthieu Vandame, Timothé Lapauw, Amélie Riou, Hélène Noesmoen plus coach Thierry Douillard - are working together to share their extensive experiences onboard to bring Delapierre up to speed as fast as possible. Everything is being done to support Delapierre to get to grips with the flying F50.

Delapierre said: "When I started sailing the NACRA 17, I knew that it may bring the potential for me to get involved in this kind of project. And now this opportunity with SailGP has come, it really endorses the choice I made to go to the Olympics.

"Having followed SailGP closely, I know the level of sailing is exceptionally high and there are some incredible athletes involved, but I'm up for the challenge but I know it will be one of the toughest of my career so far. I'm ready to learn fast and really appreciate the support so far from my new teammates. There is a lot to learn, especially in the tech onboard - no more pulling on ropes! But I feel incredibly lucky to have been given this opportunity. I will give the team my very best and look forward to getting on the racecourse in Cádiz."

The Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalusia-Cádiz takes place on October 9-10. Racing will be shown live on Canal+ in France on Saturday and Sunday at 3.30 p.m. GMT.

Related Articles

Canada completes line-up for SailGP Season 3
Owned by innovative businessman and investment entrepreneur and lifelong sailor, Fred Pye SailGP has announced that the line-up for Season 3 - starting May 2022 - will be further enhanced with the addition of Canada joining the global league for Season 3. Posted on 20 Oct
Champion crowned winner of eSailGP Championship
Great Britain's VIT Farley claims victory in winner-takes-all eSailGP Grand Final eSailGP Season 2's virtual high-speed action culminated on Friday with eight super-pumped qualifying players vying for the coveted title of 2021 eSailGP Champion. Posted on 19 Oct
Relive the best bits from Spain Sail Grand Prix!
A fantastic weekend in Cadiz for Australia It was a fantastic weekend in Cadiz for Australia, who won the Spain Sail Grand Prix and returned to the top of the SailGP Season Championship with only two events remaining! Posted on 16 Oct
Spain Sail Grand Prix overall
Double devastation on final day The home team went from hero to zero when a capsize ahead of the final day of racing in Cádiz, Andalusia, took the Spanish team out of contention for the Spain Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 10 Oct
Spain Sail Grand Prix day 1
Aussies lead the charge as the largest crowds to date watch on With the largest crowds to attend a SailGP event to-date, the first ever Spain Sail Grand Prix got off to a flying start. In scenes reminiscent of a football match, fans roared from the shorelines and from the 1,400 boats that turned out. Posted on 9 Oct
Spanish team favorites to win Sail Grand Prix
Home team sets its sights on finishing on top of the podium With the stage set for the first ever Spain Sail Grand Prix, the port city of Cádiz is buzzing with excitement as the home team sets its sights on finishing on top of the podium. Posted on 9 Oct
Take the 'plastic promise' for race weekend
Japan SailGP Team urges Cádiz residents to tackle plastic pollution The Japan SailGP Team is calling on Cádiz residents to take the 'plastic promise' to tackle plastic pollution during this weekend's SailGP race, as it competes for further sailing glory. Posted on 8 Oct
CDP joins SailGP's Race for the Future
Championing a world powered by nature through environmental disclosure The partnership aims to inspire and support cities and business decision-makers across the globe to drive impact within the sports industry, the associated industries that serve it and beyond. Posted on 8 Oct
SailGP: US WASZP Champ to race aboard USSailGP
US Foiling champ to take womens slot in expanded crew for SailGP Cadiz In preparation for racing in Cadiz, the team officially welcomed athlete CJ Perez to her first SailGP event where this weekend she will be one of six female athletes to ever race onboard the F50 foiling platform. Posted on 7 Oct
Women's Pathway Program athletes to race in SailGP
League introduces new six-athlete configuration for upcoming Spain Sail Grand Prix SailGP's road to creating a more inclusive championship reaches another milestone this weekend at the Spain Sail Grand Prix taking place in Cádiz-Andalusia. Posted on 7 Oct