Do we really need to present this exceptional sailor? Not yet forty and with two second places behind him in the last two Vendée Globe races, two wins in the Solitaire du Figaro, two more in the Transat AG2R and a second place in the Route du Rhum, we probably don’t need to. For Armel Le Cléac’h improving on his previous results means winning the Everest of the seas.
In 2008 on his first attempt, Armel made it to the podium alongside Michel Desjoyeaux. In 2013, he was just three hours, seventeen minutes short of winning missing that vital bit of luck. Three hours after 78 days of racing!
Those who follow closely what goes on in the Figaro circuit have known for ages that the Jackal – his nickname because of his ability to overwhelm his opponent and never give up an inch – is a major player. A huge talent. We could add that it all began with family cruises around the rocky coast of Northern Brittany near St Pol de Léon. He will be facing his childhood rivals once again in the Vendée Globe, as Armel comes from the same misty waters as Jérémie Beyou and Yann Eliès. Let’s just say that it would be easy to imagine those three on the podium of the Everest of the seas one of these days… It would make a fantastic story, but in any case, we can count on them to do battle out on the water, as they have already done in the Solitaire: between the three of them, they have won the event eight times in the past few years. Meticulous, attentive, extremely fast and often making inspired strategic choices, Armel Le Cléac’h will be the favourite in the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe. And we have already seen before that when the pressure is on him, it has a positive effect. Aiming for the top and nothing else will be enough. In the last Transat Jacques Vabre (2nd), Armel proved that both him and his machine were in fine form.