Concarneau - Saint-Barth départ 22 avril 2018
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English Corner

09/03 - 12h38


With just under a month to the start of the race on April 3rd, British co-skippers Sam Matson and Robin Elsey are confirmed as the first UK Transat AG2R La Mondiale entry for 2016.

The 15th double-handed duo to sign up for the 3,890 mile race from Concarneau to Saint Barts, Matson and Elsey of the Artemis Offshore Academy join a formidable line-up of Classe Figaro Bénéteau II competitors combining forces for the Transat AG2R.

“The competition for this race is fierce," Elsey reported. “Sébastien Simon and Xavier Macaire (Bretagne – CMB Performance), Gildas Morvan and Alexis Loison (Cercle Vert), Thierry Chabagny and Erwan Taberly (Gedimat), Nicolas Lunven and Gildas Mahé (Generali), Charlie Dalin and Yoann Richomme (Skipper Macif)… the list goes on.

All of these guys are really strong solo competitors and together they will be even better. Sam and I have the advantage of having raced double-handed together for a year before going solo, but it's hard to say where we fit in the fleet. There is plenty of talent on the entry list.”

Both successful skippers in the annual Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro, Matson and Elsey now look toward their first transatlantic adventure – from the rough waters of the French Atlantic to the fresh breeze and humid temperatures of the Caribbean.

“This race will be the furthest I've sailed on a Figaro and the conditions on the course will be very changeable,”Chatham sponsored skipper Matson explained. “From Concarneau we sail across the Bay of Biscay and around Cape Finisterre. This part of the course will likely be windy and wet until we're around the peninsula.

From there, we race to a virtual mark in the Canaries. It's hard to predict what we will face on this section of the course, we're pretty much sailing into the unknown,” he continued.

“From the Canaries we start into the tropics. We're hoping for a nice downwind surf on the trade winds to Saint Barts, but Paul Meilhat, who won the last race in 2014, said not take anything for granted with this race. We could end up sailing upwind all the way across the Atlantic…"

Adding to challenges of the course comes having to live together aboard a 33ft keelboat. For some of the solo and highly competitive sailors in the line-up, the compact living arrangements may have its issues. It is the ultimate test of team-work and endurance.

Thankfully co-skippers Matson and Elsey are well used to one another's company on land and on the water.

“I started sailing fully crewed with Sam in 2011,” said Elsey. “Later we raced Figaro 21 in the Royal Ocean Racing Club series as part Artemis Offshore Academy's double-handed programme, before both progressing to the solo squad.

We both have a focused and relaxed approach to racing and have been friends for a long time. I think this will make for a great partnership."

A biennial race, the double-handed Transat AG2R La Mondiale is a great test of skill and team work for Figaro veterans and Rookies alike, with past winners including Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet (2014), Armel Le Cléac'h and Fabien Delahaye (2010), Alain Gautier and Jimmy Pahun (1996), Jean Le Cam and Roland Jourdain (1994) and Jacques Caraës and Michel Desjoyeaux (1992) – all now well known names on the Classe Figaro Bénéteau and ocean racing circuits. See the full winners list below.

Matson and Elsey will be following in the footsteps of British teammates Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry who finished the race in 12th place in 2012.

The 13th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale starts on Sunday 3rd April from Concarneau.

Find out more about the race here.

For UK press information, please contact:

Emma Harris


2016 Transat AG2R La Mondiale entries

Co-skippers/Boat name

Sébastien Simon & Xavier Macaire/Bretagne – CMB Performance

Gildas Morvan & Alexis Loison/Cercle Vert

Thierry Chabagny & Erwan Taberly/Gedimat

Nicolas Lunven & Gildas Mahé/Generali

Nicolas Thomas & Arthur Prat/Les Saintes

Arthur Bouwyn & Alienor Fleury/Guadeloupe

Yannig Livory & Erwan Livory/Lorientreprendre

Charlie Dalin & Yoann Richomme/Skipper Macif

Tolga Ekrem Pamir & Stéphanie Jadaud/Freedom Services À Domicile

Tanguy Le Turquais & Hervé Aubry/Cuisine Ixina

Adrian Hardy & Vincent Biarnes/AGIR Recouvrement

Milan Kolacek & Pierre Brasseur/NC

Keni Piperol & Benjamin Augereau/Marie Galante

Sam Matson & Robin Elsey/Artemis

Past winners Transat AG2R La Mondiale winners


1992 – Jacques Caraës & Michel Desjoyeaux

1994 – Roland Jourdain & Jean Le Cam

1996 – Alain Gautier & Jimmy Pahun

1998 – Bruno Jourdren & Marc Guessard

2000 – Karine Fauconnier & Lionel Lemonchois

2002 – Hervé Laurent & Rodolphe Jacq

2004 – Armel Le Cléac'h & Nicolas Troussel

2006 – Kito de Pavant & Pietro D'Ali

2008 – Jean-Paul Mouren & Laurent Pellecuer

2010 – Armel Le Cléac'h & Fabien Delahaye

2012 – Gildas Morvan & Charlie Dalin

2014 – Paul Meilhat & Gwenolé Gahinet

Thrilling finish in two-handed transatlantic marathon

Thrilling finish in two-handed transatlantic marathon


Close finishes to marathon ocean yachts races are becoming standard fare these days and the Transat AG2R La Mondiale proved it was no exception with an incredibly dramatic finish at the Caribbean island of St Barts today. Lire la suite
The Transat AG2R La Mondiale: all set-up for a thriller to the finish at St Barts

The Transat AG2R La Mondiale: all set-up for a thriller to the finish at St Barts


The Transat AG2R La Mondiale race from Concarneau in Brittany to St Barts in the Caribbean is turning into a thrilling test of stamina and nerve with the leading seven crews looking set for a fight to the finish for the podium places. Lire la suite
Temps de course
  • Saint-Barth
  • Concarneau
Trophée de
la performance
Trophée de la performance / Jeudi 10 mai 2018
Le Trophée de la Performance du jeudi 10 mai est remporté par Guyot Environnement (Pierre Leboucher & Chrsitopher Pratt) avec 219,7 milles parcourus en 24H Tous les trophées
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