At 06h 24m 38 GMT on Friday 14 May 2004, after 4 days, 14 hours and 43 minutes and 38 seconds at an average speed of 9.22 knots it is Jean Le CAM aboard Bonduelle that takes victory in the first edition of the 1000 milles de Calais race.
The victory follows a fearsome duel with British skipper Mike GOLDING on Ecover that has been battled out since last Sunday's start. Despite a faultless race, Bonduelle made the real break at the Fastnet with a fabulous coup on rounding the famous halfway mark, tacking its way out of the clutches of a ridge of high pressure that enveloped the remainder of the fleet. An awesome coastal option skirting along the thermals of southern England paid off against Golding's mid-Channel course, as did a move into less current late yesterday evening.
The crew aboard the Marc Lombard design Open 60' launched just over a month ago on 8 April 2004 are Ronan Le Goff(34), Pascal Dourlen (38) and Yann Regniau(36) and Belgian Grégoire Metz(33). The crew will be awarded 12,600 Euros for their win. After rounding the Dover mark at 0435 and 11 seconds the Dover-Calais record of 1hr18m50s remains unbeaten as yet...Bonduelle took the head of the race on 10 May, 20 hours after the start.
Jean le Cam has become part of the scenery in French sailing. An eclectic sailor, equally at home on a monohull as a multihull, on water as much as in a boatyard, Jean le Cam is renowned for his triple victory in the Solitaire du Figaro, an achievement which earned him the nickname of Roi Jean (King Jean). Prior to the tactical and strategic Figaro circuit to which he remained loyal for a number of years -16 participations in the Solitaire -, this sailor from the Finistere started out in maxi multihulls (with Jet Service), then Formula 40 (he was world champion twice) and also sailed aboard "Hydroptère". Later, in 2000, he became Project Manager of the trimaran Bonduelle, which he skippered up until 2003, before setting his sights on the Vendée Globe and the Open 60 footers. In the company of his friend Roland Jourdain, he has already participated in numerous races in the 60 footer class. Here he is at the helm of his own boat, Bonduelle, with which he will be at the start of the Vendée Globe 2004 in a few months time.
Full results and positions are available on the event website at the address below.