Here’s a young sailor, who could repeat the success of a certain François Gabart. He could win the Vendée Globe on his first attempt while not yet 30. Like Gabart, Lagravière will be setting out around the world on a new generation boat designed to win. Like Gabart, the skipper of Safran cut his teeth in dinghy and then Olympic series sailing, before a brief and yet successful time in the Figaro circuit, where he made it to the podium twice in three seasons in the very demanding Solitaire race.
Just as at ease around the buoys as offshore, Lagravière had no complex about handing in his application in the selection process in 2013 to replace Marc Guillemot. A post that was sought after attracting some of the major names of ocean racing and some promising youngsters. But it was Morgan, who got the job and took up the helm of the new Safran. A dream come true for this lover of extreme sports, who spends most of his time out on the water. It is not uncommon to see him kitesurfing or racing a J80, foiler Moth, paddle boarding or windsurfing in Quiberon Bay. As he goes from one type of machine to another, it is above all because he enjoys it, but it is also a good way to build up your skills to be used on other boats, including of course, the 60-foot IMOCA.
It all happened very quickly for this sailor, originally from Reunion Island, who had no hesitation at the age of 17 of leaving the island to take up an education in sport and sailing and then to become a professional. Unlike François Gabart and Armel Le Cléac’h, the two who led the way in the last Vendée Globe, Morgan Lagravière has not trained as an engineer. He admits he is less of a scientist and does things more by feeling and intuition when sailing. But let there be no mistake about his relaxed looks, which may seem to some that he doesn’t care. Morgan is a very methodical worker. Practically a rookie in the IMOCA circuit, he is discovering his boat as he prepares for the next Vendée Globe. We can be certain that he will well and truly be ready on the start line on 6th November 2016 in les Sables d’Olonne. It is not so much an adventure for him. Although he is very friendly and open ashore, Lagravière becomes a killer out on the sea. He will set out with the intention of being up there with the frontrunners.
After developing his project with Marc Guillemot's company, Morgan is now continuing with Kairos, Roland Jourdain's team. With two Vendée Globe heroes as successive mentors, it all sounds very promising.