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6th November 2016
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Edition 2012 > Skippers > Kito de Pavant

Kito de Pavant / Groupe Bel

Classement Ret

Groupe Bel - de Pavant



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The boat

Groupe Bel / <small>© François Chevalier</small>
© François Chevalier

Groupe Bel – designed by VPLP yacht design firm and Guillaume Verdier – is one of the pioneers in this new generation of light, smooth and handy boats. With wheel steering, fixed rudders and a comfortable cockpit, Kito wanted a boat that would be reactive at the helm, multipurpose in all types of weather and as ergonomic as possible.

Designer:  Van Peteghem - Lauriot Prévost Cabinet & Guillaume Verdier
Construction: Indiana Yachting (Scarlino, Italie)
Launch date: 2007
Length: 18.28 m
Beam: 5.50 m
Draught: 4.50 m
Displacement (weight): 7.7 tons
Centreboards: 2
Mast height: 28 m
Keel Blade: Carbone
Sail area upwind: 365 sq metres
Sail area downwind: 665 sq metres


Nationality : French
Résidence : Port-Camargue (Gard)
Age : 51
Boat : Groupe Bel
Website : www.sharingsmilestour.com
Vendée Globe Wins and Performances : 2nd entry in the Vendée Globe (retired in 2008-2009)

His kid sister just could not pronounce “Christophe” properly so his name became Kito and it remained for the rest of his life. And what a life! Kito is an adventurous jack of all trades who discovered the joy of sailing on a Dordogne lake with a wooden optimist dinghy built by his father. At the age of 17, his “salty” passion for regatta grew even stronger when his family moved to Port Camargue. He became France’s National Mini-Tonner Champion and, two years later, sailed across the Atlantic for the first time on the family ketch «Rackam le rouge». After exploring Martinique equipped with a sextant only, he went on with his discovery of wild areas by sailing on Lake Tanganyika. His adventurer’s soul then took him to the West Indies, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, the China Sea…

A charming competitor

In between trips, Kito owns the Espiguinguette, a piece of heaven located on a spit of sand in Camargue. In 1999, supported by his family and encouraged by Denis Horeau – who was the Fishing Ports Challenge manager back then – he started competing in the Figaro class. In 2002, this talented Mediterranean guy won the Solitaire and emerged from the shadows. Bernard Gallay and Jean Le Cam offered him to compete with them in transatlantic events in tandem on 60-foot race yachts. In 2005, Bel decided to work with this charming competitor and, after two successful seasons on the Figaro class, started the construction of the Goupe Bel 60-foot monohull. Since 2007, the skipper and his Laughing Cow (Vache qui rit® in French) have covered 100,000 miles, the equivalent of four circumnavigations, either for competition or to meet Bel employees on the five continents. 8,500 of them left their fingerprints on the boat’s mast as a token of encouragement. Thanks to Bel, the Vendée Globe is already shining around the world!


Wins and Performances

6th place in the first leg of the Europa Warm’Up

5th place in the Transat Jacques Vabre (with Y.Régniau)

Participation in the Barcelona World Race (with S.Audigane)

Participation in the Route du Rhum 
9th place in the Solitaire du Figaro

2nd place in the Transat Jacques Vabre (with F.Gabart)
2nd place in the Istanbul Europa Race

Participation in the Vendée Globe (with Démâtage)

2nd place in the Transat B to B

6th place in the Transat Jacques Vabre (with S. Col)

Before 2007
7 participations in the Solitaire du Figaro (2002 Winner)

3 participations in the Transat Jacques Vabre (3rd place in 2005)
3 participations in the Transat AG2R (2006 Winner)

Winner of the Solo Méditerranée in 2006
Winner of the 2003 Tour de France à la Voile

Press contact

Julia HUVE
+33 (0) 6 63 28 81 48

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