Gwénolé Gahinet took 11th place in the first edition of the Lorient Horta Solo after crossing the finish line in Lorient harbour at 03:21:09 hrs (French time) on Sunday. The skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten completed this 1250-mile race between Horta in the Azores and Lorient in Brittany, France in 8 days 12 hours 21 minutes and 09 seconds. The race was won by the young Adrien Hardy (Agir Recouvrement) and marks the end of the first season for Gahinet on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit.
“There, it’s done”, Gahinet said with a smile on arrival, “it was a long leg that was difficult and challenging for everyone. The race format is superb although we were somewhat apprehensive about having this course as a big leg of La Solitaire du Figaro, when it was almost a transat. It was an education but quite unsettling, especially since we had to deal with difficult conditions on the way out, the convoy to Horta and the return leg. Late in the season, it’s more complicated to deal with the accumulated fatigue of several months.”
Gahinet was happy to be back in Lorient where he trains all year at the Pôle Lorient Grand Large (the Lorient offshore sailing centre) especially with Adrien Hardy, but was also disappointed, not by the result, but to have been dropped too quickly by the lead group. “I handled the first front badly in gybing too early on the second day of racing and I got left behind,” the skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten said. “However, at the end of the front, the wind picked up suddenly for the lead group, so they all escaped away from me. It was an expensive mistake for some of us.” Gahinet’s determination could not change anything, the gaps were entrenched and whilst the contest at the front drew to a thrilling finish, the skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten felt a little lonely. “I gave it everything, there was nothing left to try and it quickly became monotonous without being able to race with others. But for a first one, on paper, the leg was great.”
Positive results for a first year on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit
In his first season at the helm of the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten, Gwénolé Gahinet has fully met his objectives. As a winner of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale with Paul Meilhat, and the leading rookie and 13th in La Solitaire du Figaro – Eric Bompard Cachemire, the young skipper made a name for himself and whilst still knowing he has great room for improvement. “The season was very intense between the official racing program and the preparation,” Gahinet said. “Now, I need to step back from some things to get the necessary perspective. This autumn, I will have time to train without the pressure of competition and I will optimise the way I work to be on top next year. I obviously want to do better even though this year was amazing.”
Training at the Pôle Lorient Grand Large resumes in early November with the coach, Tanguy Leglatin. Until then, Gahinet will focus on the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe helping Marc Guillemot in his weather preparation alongside Morgan Lagravière