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Vendée Globe LIVE TV interviews: " The team's hard work "

Here is what François Gabart, Armel Le Cléac'h, Jean-Pierre Dick, Arnaud Boissières, Dominique Wavre and Alex Thomson said during the Monday January 28 live TV show on Vendée Globe TV.

Arrivée Le Cléac'h

François Gabart (FRA, MACIF, winner):

The day after the finish is great, but I liked the one before, too. We had a great time on our boats but enjoying a good meal, a bed, and the company of our friends and family is just amazing.

You try to prepare yourself to the excitement around the finish in Les Sables, but you can’t prepare for that, really, it’s so special. Even though I had already experienced that as a spectator four years ago.

The 40 days we spent in the Southern Ocean were a non-stop effort, the quietest moments still had 20-knot winds.
Jean-Pierre, we’ve thought about you a lot, I know you’ll take the right decision and you’ll bring the boat back to a European port, either Les Sables or another.

I followed the 2004 Vendée Globe very closely, and the fight between Jean le Cam and Vincent, and I remember how funny Jean was during the interviews.

Cali, thanks for your email, you said you were sorry not to be here to welcome me, it’s ok, you’re excused!

During the race, I would check the news on Twitter, because it is not heavy to download, compared to a webpage. And you still have a lot of info. You just have to be careful because it’s not always very reliable.

The boats are tired, their keels and masts are still there, the rest is just details, really. It’s the result of hard work by CDK and Mer Agitée.


Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA, Banque Populaire, 2nd place):

My channel experience was unique. Since I arrived, I’ve been caught up in a series of interviews, requests, and all.
I had time to look back at my race before crossing the finish line. And I was disappointed because, let’s face it, I wanted to win. And then I saw the boats come to me, all the people who wanted to be close to me, it made me feel great. I heard the light was beautiful. I know I loved that moment.

78 days, it’s incredible! I remember Denis Horeau talking about 76 days at the pre-race press conference. We thought he was crazy, but he was actually quite close. It’s going to take us time to analyse the statistics and the figures but we’ve already realised how great it is.

I think we’ve been spared by the weather. When we were checking the weather files, we kept seeing it was really bad in the south, but we were never really in those conditions. We didn’t have to face major storms in the Southern Ocean.

Jean-Pierre, I’m very sorry you lost your keel because you deserved that 3rd place. It was great to fight against you. I could tell you had problems in the Southern Ocean because knowing, you, I knew you should have sailed faster.
Jean le Cam is unique, he can teach us a lot about how to feel comfortable in front of the camera. I’m glad he can sail all the way to the finish this time, I remember rescuing him four years ago, it was much less funny. He had less time than us to prepare for the race.

Cali, I’m sure you can catch up on the boats ahead of you, the guys are tired, the veranda can do great.

I’m crazy about sports so I followed the sports news during the race. I received emails about that, and general news too, on a regular basis, like when Florence Cassez was freed. It’s a strange thing to find out about that kind of thing on board.

People on the pontoons tell me they’re surprised to see the boat looks great. We were lucky enough not to hit anything too big. There’s a always a little bit of luck involved. The rest is all thanks to our team’s hard work, they prepared the boat for two years before the race.


Alex Thomson (GBR, HUGO BOSS):

Obviously, it’s been a brilliant job by François and Armel. I want to congratulate François, he’s done a great job, his mentor Michel Desjoyeaux can be proud. To Armel, I want to say he must be sad to end up second but it was such an amazing race on his part, staying so close to MACIF throughout the race and taking the lead, too… Well done!
I want to enjoy the moment now, it’s so pleasant, I had 35-knot wind with gusts at 45! (he laughs). No, seriously, I just want to finish the race now. I’m taking things easy, though, I want to stay safe.

At the beginning of the race, people were talking about 77 days and I thought it was ridiculous, to be honest. I was so wrong! It’s very unlikely I finish after 84 days, the record for older generation boat, it’d mean that I have serious problems!

I felt nervous yesterday about the conditions I was going to have to face before the finish. It will be extremely windy and very stressful, I’m not looking forward to that, definitely not. The traffic is going to get very busy, too. But there’s nothing you can do about that, really.

When the two winners crossed the line, I felt proud to be part of that race and very fortunate to be among the leaders. What a great day it must have been for both of them with the huge crowd there to welcome them on a Sunday afternoon…


Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA, Virbac Paprec 3):

The wind is slowly getting stronger, the boat is surfing nicely.

I want to congratulate François and Armel, their average speed is just amazing. I wish I had been able to fight with them longer, but I had technical problems. That and the weather conditions slowed me down.

It’s been a frustrating race for me as I haven’t been able to use 100% of the boat’s potential. Now my priority is to decide whether or not I’ll try to cross the finish line in Les Sables. It will be a tough decision that I need to take in the next couple of days. We need to keep safety in mind, above anything else. It’s important to finish the project, for myself and for the people who got involved in it, but life is important, too.

I’ll sail to Cape Finisterre and see what the conditions are once I’m there. I just can’t have wind over 40 knots, that just wouldn’t be safe. By Janaury 30th, I’ll have a better vision of what to expect.


Arnaud Boissières (FRA, AKENA Vérandas):

Hi all, I’m doing great, the sun is up and I’m sailing north. The temperature is still warm, I’m sure you are jealous in Les Sables. There are 25 knots of wind, with 2-metre swell. All good!

I wrote François and Armel an email but I want to congratulate them again, they’ve had an amazing race, it was a beautiful fight. I really like their fighting spirit.

I’m trying to do my best to keep ACCIONA behind and to possibly get closer to the senior sailors in front of me.

Dominique Wavre (SUI, Mirabaud):

To people, the race is over, but we’re still at sea, so it’s a bit strange to us to see people talk about the race as if it were over, it’s the perception they have, but we’re still in the middle of it, with a lot of things left ahead, things to experience and things to do. In a way, it gives us extra motivation.

I want to congratulate François and Armel, they’ve had a fantastic race, I hope I can have a beer with them when I’m back.

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