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24 October 2007, 09:34 am
LE BLÉVEC Wins Transat
Yves LE BLÉVEC celebrates victory
Yves LE BLÉVEC celebrates victory

Transat 6.50 2007
Bahia, Brazil

Yves LE BLÉVEC (FRA) won the 16th Transat 6.50 from Charente-Maritime, France to Bahia, Brazil, crossing the finishing line at 19:53 French time last night.
He sailed Actual the 3,100 miles of leg two, separating Madeira from Salvador de Bahia, in 17 days, 6 hours, 38 minutes and 2 seconds at an average speed of 7.36 knots. Added together with his time for leg one from Charente-Maritime to Madeira, he spent 23 days, 3 hours, 51 minutes and 24 seconds at sea.

LE BLÉVEC, 42, who has competed in the Transat 6.50 twice before, had set his sights on victory right from the start. He finished third in leg one, behind Isabelle JOSCHKE and Samuel MANUARD, but then took control of the race in the second leg to take overall victory.

"It is an incredible, extraordinary feeling," he said yesterday after finishing. "I've live for this project for two years already, a project that my partner "Actual" and I built with a common aim... Winning only… As we did today in Salvador de Bahia!"

He continued, "But the entire story is huge. Remember where I come from. I prepared both my boat and myself these lasts months without knowing if I would leave. [LE BLÉVEC only knew that he could line up at the start just a few days before the race got underway.] After the first leg I really was under pressure because of my opponents' level: Isa [JOSCHKE], Sam [MANUARD], but also [Adrien] HARDY, [Ronan] DESHAYES and all the others… I have had to belt along as much as I could, without resting, and only at few moments I was worried for my boat and wondered if all that was reasonable."

A particularly important moment for LE BLÉVEC came when he passed the equator, where he dismasted two years ago. "I had a feeling of freedom," revealed the French skipper. "I had to concentrate again on my objectives by saying to myself "but you haven't done anything yet, you still have half an ocean to cross." And at that moment, my boat helped me… easy, gliding in the trade winds, being incredibly well balanced."

Behind LE BLÉVEC, Fabien DESPRES (Soitec) was just over 60 miles from the finish at the 06:00 poll this morning, with Ronan DESHAYES (Pco technologies) another 20 miles further back.

ISAF (source: DVDB/GPO)
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