Inside the splendour of the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel, The Transat skippers, shore teams, sponsors, family and friends gathered to celebrate the achievements of the sailors.
Through the windows, the 250 guests could see many of the boats that had made it across the North Atlantic to cross the finish line at the entrance to Boston Harbor after racing the tough 2800 mile course against the prevailing conditions.
Image: (L-R Mike Sanderson 3rd, Dominique Wavre 2nd, Mike Golding 1st)
There have been many outstanding and exceptional stories that have arrived with the skippers and the prizegiving was about honouring not just the winners but every competitor who had made it to the other side. The loudest cheer was saved for the the seven sailors still out racing at the time the prizegiving took place and the second loudest cheer for the skippers of PRB (Vincent RIOU), Virbac (Jean Pierre DICK) and Cheminees Poujoulat-Armor Lux (Bernard STAMM) who had not made it across but who all had shown immense courage in surviving the ordeal of dismastings and capsize.
The prizegiving was hosted by Richard SIMMONDS and Yannick PERRIGOT, featuring samples of audio and video that many of the skippers had not seen or heard. Patrick BUTEAUX, representing Omega as principal partner to The Transat, presented the class winners with special edition Seamaster Transat watches. Omega also awarded the special edition watch to the 24-hour record holder and the first ORMA and IMOCA skippers to reach the Eddystone Lighthouse after the start. Michel DESJOYEAUX, winner of the ORMA class struggled to hold his trophy, Moet et Chandon champagne and the three Omega watches!
Patrick BUTEAUX was joined on stage by the British Consul, John RANKIN, the French Consul, Thierry VANKERK-HOVEN, Joe MELLIA from the Boston Harbor Hotel and Kent HALLIWELL, Commodore of the CYC Marblehead, who shared the honours in presenting the prizes to the skippers.
Each skipper was presented with a glass memento holding an original 1960s half-crown (the original wager between the race pioneers Blondie HASLER and Sir Francis CHICHESTER). The top 3 skippers in each class were presented with some serious-looking trophies from the CYC and who also received a bottle of Moet et Chandon to celebrate with.
In addition, to the skipper prizes, there was the TNS Sport Media Award that was to be awarded to the PR team who had provided an exceptional and creative level of content via their skipper console on the official website. The Transat TNS Sport Media Award went to the PR team of Hervé CORBIERE and Anne FREDON from Antipode for Yves PARLIER'S Médiatis Region Aquitaine. The award was presented by Bruno LALANDE, Director of TNS Sport France.
The celebrations went on late into the night and continued with the early morning arrivals of Open 60 competitors Karen LEIBOVICI and Norbert SEDLACEK and 50ft monohull skipper Jacques BOUCHACOURT.
1st Michel Desjoyeaux / Geant
2nd Thomas Coville / Sodebo
3rd Franck Cammas / Groupama
1st Mike Golding / Ecover
2nd Dominique Wavre / Temenos
3rd Mike Sanderson / Pindar AlphaGraphics
1st Eric Bruneel / Trilogic
2nd Rich Wilson / Great American II
3rd Dominique Demachy / GiFi
1st Kip Stone / Artforms
2nd Joe Harris / Wells Fargo-American Pioneer