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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Emotion, reputation and family on the line for France in latest episode of Racing on the Edge

by SailGP 10 Oct 2023 16:57 BST
Emotion, reputation and family on the line for France in latest episode of Racing on the Edge © SailGP

SailGP's arrival in Europe for Season 4 provides the most explosive, personal and hard-hitting episode of Racing on the Edge - the championship's behind-the-scenes docuseries - as it follows the rollercoaster ride of driver Quentin Delapierre, CEO Bruno Dubois and the French team.

After finishes of sixth and eighth during Season 4's openers in Chicago and Los Angeles, France driver Delapierre and CEO Dubois knew something had to give ahead of events three and four, at home in Saint-Tropez and Taranto respectively - cue an unbelievable, dramatic and personal series of events that would lead to the teams best result so far this season.

In this latest episode of Racing on the Edge witness firsthand what went on off the water as Dubois sent Delapierre into temporary SailGP exile and how the French team controversially poached a crew from Switzerland before nail-biting tension as equipment failure almost prevented Les Blues from racing altogether in Taranto.

The decisions - contentious on one hand and deeply private on the other - saw the French team improve from another sixth, on the home waters they have enjoyed so much in Saint-Tropez, to a season's best fourth in Taranto.

CEO Dubois reflects in the episode: "He [Quentin] personally has been through a lot of problems that nobody is aware of. At the end of LA I felt that it was time to give him a break a little bit. Forget about our meetings, forget about SailGP - forget it - just go.

"Go in the sun, go wherever you want but I don't want to see you around the boat and around the team. He went on the boat [Bruno's own]. It was necessary. I was really pleased that I could offer him that."

Delapierre says: "He tapped on my shoulders and said you will have to take three weeks. I thank him for that [allowing him to use Bruno's boat]. It was a really good gift." Reflecting after France's fourth in Taranto, he adds: "I truly believe we will achieve our goal. This is a real team. We can have some lows and nobody has any doubts."

As well as Delapierre's - in essence - wellness retreat aboard Dubois' own personal boat, the episode also shines a superb light on French strategist Manon Audinet, who has been on leave from her SailGP duties following the birth of her first child with long-term partner Jason Saunders - the flight controller at the center of the poaching controversy.

Audinet is a product of SailGP's ground-breaking Women's Pathway, joining the French team for the start of Season 3 in May 2022. She played an integral role as Les Bleus smashed a new championship speed record of 99.94 km/h on home waters in Saint-Tropez that September and then claimed their first ever victory in Cádiz two weeks later.

Audinet will rejoin the French team on site, returning from maternity leave, as SailGP heads to Cádiz for a record third time for the fifth event of Season 4. She says: "The French sailing team is a big family for sure, it is important for Quentin to have everyone really close together. He was really, really happy when I said I was pregnant. I could feel that he was truly happy for me."

As the episode closes Delapierre offers a raw and emotional glimpse of the life he has chosen to lead and his own personal choices. He says: "You have to put so much on the table to be at the very high level and I have made big sacrifices."

The episode is now live on The Dock, SailGP's free fan loyalty program powered by Oracle Fusion Applications and built on NEAR protocol - the league's blockchain partner. The Dock allows SailGP fans to access and engage with unique and exclusive SailGP content and in doing so, earn points that can be redeemed for exclusive rewards.

Racing on the Edge

Part 1:

Part 2:

Season 4's run of European events concludes this week with the fifth event of the world's most exciting race on water - the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Andalucía-Cádiz - from October 14-15. Limited tickets are still available to be right in the heart of the action; head to SailGP.com/Spain for more information.

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