Brought up like Jérémie Beyou and Armel Le Cléac’h around the rocky coast of Morlaix Bay, Yann Eliès is an extremely gifted sailor, who is at ease on anything that floats with one or more hulls. There must be something in the genes, as in the family, sailing has been passed down. His father Patrick was well known for his Grand Slam in the Solitaire and Yann also has an exceptional list of achievements. He has won just about everything, including the Solitaire du Figaro three times (like Poupon, Le Cam, Desjoyeaux and Beyou) and no fewer than ten legs in the prestigious event, a record he shares with a certain Jean Le Cam. He continued to clock up successes in the Jules Verne Trophy and was used to smashing the crewed round the world record with the Peyrons. He is quite simply on top form.
His return to the Vendée Globe is an event in itself. We can all remember his terrifying accident in 2008 in the Southern Ocean. Yann Eliès risked his life that day. The first person to come to his aid was Marc Guillemot, aboard his Safran. The two men went on to sail together on that boat, so it is logical that it is on the same VPLP-Verdier designed boat that Yann Eliès will be setting sail again in the 2016 Vendée Globe. A great story, but Yann Eliès is not the type of person to dwell on such emotional moments. If he chose this boat, it is because he knows her well , but also in his eyes, she remains very competitive, which should allow him to be up there with the boats from the latest generation, which in fact, were inspired by Safran, which has now been renamed Quéguiner-Leucémie Espoir.
Yann has shown everyone his incredible ability to return to being a great sailor after his accident (he was helped in this by Jérémie Beyou, who was the first to get him out there sailing again…). Eight years later, he is returning to the Everest of the seas with even higher ambitions. He wants to complete the race, but also wants to be the first home.