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Musto 2023 Hikers LEADERBOARD

TeamMusto titans take on 2023 Transat Jacques Vabre

by Musto 25 Oct 2023 17:00 BST
Charal's Jérémie Beyou - Transat Jacques Vabre © Charal / Maxime Mergalet

Thirty of the world's top offshore sailors are set to don their Musto kit for the biennial Transat Jacques Vabre later this month.

Competing across four classes - Class 40, IMOCA, Ocean Fifty and the ULTIM - and lining up against sailing industry heavyweights, the #TeamMusto sailors will be relying on their top notch technical clothing to give them the marginal gains they need to triumph in this prestigious offshore sprint.

Preparing for his transatlantic skirmish and fresh from his Défi Azimut win in September, Charal's Jérémie Beyou will race for a coveted IMOCA class victory. Sailing in a fleet of 40 boats - ten of which boast #TeamMusto sailors - competition will be hot as they all career across the course to the Caribbean Island of Martinique.

Despite the calibre of his rivals, Beyou is outwardly confident that his team is the whole package.

"We're convinced that we're one of the four or five boats that can win the race," he grins. "The Défi Azimut victory is obviously good for morale and comes at just the right time. I've really settled in with Franck [Cammas] now. We've got the boat under control and we've made progress on a lot of little details.

"For us, it's all about having that edge - that something extra that will give us a boost. For me, that comes in the form of Musto’s LPX Jacket with zip and hood, which can be used in the trade winds if you need to go forward to the bow. It's practical to put on, waterproof, lightweight, and breathable, so when the weather's fine and it gets a little wet up front, it's the perfect product for us aboard Charal."

Equally confident after a successful stab at The Ocean Race 2022-23 which saw them finish third overall, Boris Herrmann and co-skipper, Britain's Will Harris, are hoping a mixture of their Musto kit, experience together, and familiarity with their boat will be a top-scoring combination.

"We know our boat, Malizia-SeaExplorer, very well," explains Herrmann. "We made some further improvements and adjustments over the summer refit, and we know it's a reliable racing machine.

"Although I loved sailing in a crew of five in The Ocean Race, I've really enjoyed sailing only with Will this past month, we know each other so well. It's surprisingly quiet onboard now and I enjoy how easy it is to coordinate and discuss everything with only one person. We've come full circle; it's four years since Will joined the team for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019!"

"Having the right kit is important too," adds Harris. "It's typically windy in early winter of the first part of the race. For the first four days, I doubt we'll be taking off our Musto HPX smock and salopettes as we get out of the English Channel. There will be lots of manoeuvres, but the kit is made with agility in mind, which is perfect. However, my favourite product for these transatlantic crossings is the Musto LPX Gore-Tex Infinium Aero Jacket. I can quickly throw this on to go outside on the deck and not get wet, whilst also staying cool in the tropics!"

A firm favourite with this year's fleet, the Musto LPX collection is ideal for high-performance sailing in warmer conditions. Beyou's favourite - the LPX GORE-TEX Jacket - is made from durable polyester 3-layer GORE-TEX. A brushed tricot collar provides heat retention and comfort next-to-skin, while a pared-back design and articulated elbows deliver complete freedom of movement. Meanwhile, Harris' favourite - the LPX GORE-TEX Infinium Aero Jacket - has an underarm gusset and articulated sleeves that are perfect for maintaining movement onboard.

Will isn't the only Brit in the IMOCA fleet - he'll take on fellow Brit and seasoned offshore superstar Sam Davies in what's sure to be a full-on fight for first place. The 2023 race will be the eighth Transat Jacques Vabre under Sam's belt, and she'll sail her boat, Initiatives-Cœur, with British Australian, Jack Bouttell, as her co-skipper. Bouttell is ready to shake up the fleet following his recent impressive win in The Ocean Race 2022-23, which he sailed with 11th Hour Racing Team - his second consecutive victory in the prestigious round-the-world tour.

It's tough at the top though, and Davies thinks the competition is even tighter than Jérémie Beyou does...

"The fleet is becoming more and more homogenous," she explains. "There's actually around ten boats in with a chance of winning the race. This pushes everyone to be ever more demanding and rigorous, which results in more reliable boats, less damage and fewer retirements. Competition is good for the sport!

"I always have a dual objective: solidarity and sport," she adds. "With my sponsors, as well as Musto, who have pledged to support our cause, our goal is to save 20 children. For every new follower on the Initiatives-Cœur Facebook and Instagram accounts, a donation of €1 is made to the Association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, and for every €12,000, a child can be operated on and saved. From a sporting point of view, we're aiming for the top 10 in a fleet that's very dense in terms of quality. Bring it on!"

Alongside Jérémie Beyou (FRA), Boris Herrmann (GER), Will Harris (GBR) and Sam Davies (GBR), #TeamMusto sailors Charlie Dalin (FRA), Clarisse Crémer (FRA), Louis Burton (FRA), Justine Mettraux (FRA), Damien Seguin (FRA), Benjamin Dutreux (FRA), and Tanguy Le Turquais (FRA) will also face each other on the IMOCA start line in this year's race. In the Ocean Fifty Class, Erwan Le Roux (FRA) and co-skipper Audrey Ogereau (FRA) will race five other teams for a shot at first place.

Sailing in another first-rate fleet, Ireland's ambitious Pam Lee and French co-skipper, Tiphaine Ragueneau will race in the Class 40, along with two other #TeamMusto boats.

"This year's Transat Jacques Vabre is all about progression and opportunity for me," explains Pam Lee. "It's my first season as skipper of a Class 40, so my main objective is to learn more and improve as a sailor; it still amazes me that I'm here. Two years ago, I was at the start, helping some friends with their Class 40. I decided there and then that I wanted to be on the start line for the next edition. That was the start of it for me. We need more women at the top of the fleet, fighting to be the frontrunner. This is my first step to being that woman."

Lee and Ragueneau were selected ahead of many other up-and-coming teams for the 'Cap pour Elles' scheme, which provides both financial and practical support for a pair of female sailors to take part in the race.

#TeamMusto sailors Ambrogio Beccaria (ITA), Nicolas Andrieu (FRA), Ian Lipinski (FRA) and Antoine Carpentier (FRA), will join Lee and Ragueneau on the Class 40 start line in Le Havre.

Over in the ULTIM Class, there are five crews preparing for battle. Riding the waves on his monumental Maxi Banque Populaire XI, the formidable Armel Le C'léach will - similarly to Sam Davies - take on his eighth Transat Jacques Vabre. Decked out in Musto MPX, he'll be making moves to become offshore sailing's MVP...

"We're exactly where we need to be," he smiles. "We're ready for anything - any weather, all conditions, we can take it. It's great to have a slightly bigger fleet than in other races. You can really see where your campaign sits in the fleet that way. The next few months are going to be big for us. We are ready!"

For more information on #TeamMusto, please visit www.musto.com.

Full list of #TeamMusto sailors participating in the 2023 Transat Jacques Vabre:

Class 40

Ambrogio Beccaria (ITA) and Nicolas Andrieu (FRA) - Alla Grande Pirelli
Pam Lee (IRL) and Tiphaine Rageuneau (FRA) - Cap Pour Elles
Ian Lipinski (FRA) and Antoine Carpentier (FRA) - Crédit Mutuel

IMOCA

Charlie Dalin (FRA) and Pascal Bidegorry (FRA) - Macif
Louis Burton (FRA) and Davy Beaudart (FRA) - Bureau Valée
Jérémie Beyou (FRA) and Franck Cammas (FRA) - Charal
Sam Davies (GBR) and Jack Bouttell (AUS) - Initiatives Cœur
Clarisse Crémer (FRA) and Alan Roberts (GBR) - L'OCCITANE en Provence
Justine Mettraux (FRA) and Julien Villion - Teamwork.Net
Boris Herrmann (GER) and Will Harris (GBR) - Malizia-SeaExplorer
Tanguy Le Turquais (FRA) and Félix De Navacelle - Lazare
Benjamin Dutreux (FRA) and Corentin Horeau (FRA) - Guyot Environnement-Water Family
Damien Seguin (FRA) and Laurent Bourgues (FRA) - Groupe Apicil

Ocean Fifty

Erwan Le Roux (FRA) and Audrey Ogereau (FRA) - Koesio

ULTIM

Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA) and Sébastien Josse (FRA) - Maxi Banque Populaire XI

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