Team ENGIE – A few points short of the podium


The first stage of the GC32 Racing Tour started well for Sébastien Rogues with a fine victory on the first day. Competing against very regular Swiss teams, experienced lake sailors, Team ENGIE finished at the foot of the podium after 11 hard-fought rounds. Finishing fourth in Riva on Lake Garda, Sébastien Rogues and his team will have to work on race constancy and management to achieve their goal this season, a place on the final podium.

Team ENGIE during the event in Riva (©Jesus Renedo)

All sailors know it – consistently practicing high-level racing is the key to doing well in the overall ranking. The team, that is made up of five members; Sébastien Rogues, Gurvan Bontemps, Jean Baptiste Gellée, Antoine Joubert and Benjamin Amiot, had a promising start, winning the fourth race. This Italian stage in Riva on Lake Garda was going well for the French Team ENGIE, who finishing first and third overall on the first and second days of racing. Unfortunately the last day of racing on Sunday did not live up to the team’s expectations and so they dropped down the leaderboard to fourth place overall. With 54 points in total, including 21 credited in 3 races on the final day, the result does not put them in the best position. The team however is just 9 points from third place. In the overall ranking, the three Swiss teams, Realteam, Team Tilt and Armin Strom Sailing Team occupy the top three places with 30, 34 and 45 points respectively.

Team ENGIE know that it boils down to hard work and will continue to train hard to achieve the level of performance required at this top level of competition. The potential is there, it just remains to manifest itself on the next events. The weather conditions when sailing on a lake are different (enclosed stretch of water with high mountains), but were not, however, a hindrance to Team ENGIE’s results. Accustomed to this type of competition, having competed in several events on Lake Garda in 2016, Sébastien Rogues managed the wind conditions beautifully. It blew between 10 and 16 knots on average with the first day being cancelled due the wind being too strong.

“We really started the race well. With 11 boats on the water and a very high level we can be proud of our performance. We have moved into the second phase of our flying catamaran progression. We now have to work on how we manage the race. We need to be intelligent about tactical and physical manoeuvres. We have proven our potential and we are quite capable of winning races. We are ranked between first and fourth place. A lower ranking would be an underachievement. We are frustrated about this last day but it proves that consistency is paramount on this circuit. We must be alert at crucial moments. It is up to us now to do well in Villasimius”, commented Sébastien.

Team ENGIE head to Sardinia at the end of June

After the magnificent setting of Lake Garda, Team ENGIE will attempt to gain a place in the top 3, in Villasimius, in southern Sardinia, not far from Cagliari. Always aiming as high as possible, this margin of progression is not so complicated to cross for this united team of undeniable talent.

“We are no longer outsiders. We now have our place on this circuit, and now we must get the most out of our experience”, concluded Team ENGIE’s skipper. The adage “Give up nothing, because nothing is impossible” is the team’s motto.

Overall Ranking GC32 Riva Cup 2017
1 – Realteam – Switzerland – 30 points
2 – Team Tilt – Switzerland – 34 points
3 – Armin Strom Sailing Team – Switzerland – 45 points
4 – Team ENGIE – France – 54 points
5 – Team Argo – USA – 60 points
6 – I’M Racing Movistar – Spain – 70 points
7 – Mamma Aiuto! – Japan – 73 points
8 – Team France Youth – France – 77 points
9 – Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco – Monaco – 79 points
10 – Team BDA – Bermuda – 96 points
11 – Codigo Rojo – Argentina – 115 points

Team ENGIE during the event in Riva (©Jesus Renedo)

2017 GC32 Racing Tour Calendar

1 – Riva, Lake Garda Italy from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th May
2 – Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy, from Wednesday 28th June to Saturday 1st July
3 – Palma de Mallorca, Balearics, Spain, from Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th August
4 – Calvi, Corsica, France, from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th September
5 – Marseille, France, from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th October

GC32 Riva Cup – Teams entered

Armin Strom Sailing Team – Switzerland
Realteam – Switzerland
Team Argo – USA
Mamma Aiuto! – Japan
Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco – Monaco
Codigo Rojo Sailing Team – Argentina
Team ENGIE – France
Team France Jeune – France
Team BDA – Bermuda
Team Tilt – Switzerland
Plus one still to be announced

The GC32 is a foiling catamaran of 32 feet, that is just under 10 meters capable of lifting off the water with 8 knots of wind (Force 2). This little gem of technology is capable of attaining speeds unconceivable still not long ago. Sailing the boat, which is highly technical and very physical, requires the crew to be completely involved.

Sébastien Rogues – Skipper, Helmsman
Born in 1986, Sébastien Rogues started dinghy sailing at the age of 6. In 2007, just turned 21, Sébastien launched his career in high-level sailing with the ambition of becoming a professional skipper. After having acquired his first boat, a Mini 6.50 Pogo 2 series, Sébastien achieved promising results in solo races of the Mini 6.50 circuit. He then started on the highly contested Class 40 circuit, which allowed him to consolidate his offshore experience and clock up some fine victories such as the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Fastnet Race on board his Mach 40 GDF SUEZ. In 2015, Sébastien turned towards multihulls: the trimaran Diam 24 and the catamaran GC32. He was one of the first to embark on the technological shift in the world of competitive sailing today. Sébastien is the first French skipper to have involved his team in the GC32 adventure.The 2016 season presented him the opportunity to put into practice what he learnt during the many competitions against with the world’s elite in multihulls and numerous trainings on other fast boats, mainly on Flying Phantom.

Gurvan Bontemps – Main trimmer, Tactics
Gurvan began his career with the Tornado, with which he did 2 Olympic preparations from 2000 to 2007. He has an impressive F18 record including a second place in the 2014 World Championships, a French Champion title in 2013 and 2014, and a 5th place at the 2013 World Championships. In this discipline, he also won the Martinique Cata Raid 2013-2014. He focused his 2015 season on the Flying Phantom, winning the Raid des Corsaires, Foiling Week and Eurocat. At the same time, Gurvan has participated in numerous sailing projects, including a role as a helmsman, trimmer on the Maxi 80 Prince de Bretagne in 2013, a position as head of the GC32 Gitana Team in 2015, and a helmsman position at the GC32 trainings of Groupama Team France in 2015.

Jean Baptiste Gellée – Trimmer
At the age of 27, Jean-Baptiste has already accumulated over 15 years of competitive sailing, including 8 years of high-level Laser practice. In 2004, he was crowned champion of France Espoir Laser (under 18). In 2006, he finished 4th in the Isaf Youth World Championship. In 2008, he came 4th in the European Youth Championship (under 21). He then joined the France Espoir team, a training team at the highest level that he remained with until 2011. Jean-Baptiste participated in the Tour de France à la Voile for the first time in 2014 aboard the APCC Voile Sportive and finished 2nd in the rookie ranking. Last year, Jean-Baptist was Skipper of the Diam 24 Radio VINCI Autoroutes, on which he ranked 14th.

Antoine Joubert – Headsail Trimmer
Antoine started his career with Formula 18 with two Junior World Championship titles in 2008 and 2009. He also won 7th place in the World Championships in 2011. He then did 3 seasons in M34 with the crew of Courrier Dunkerque where he became the French team champion in 2011, won the Spi Ouest France in 2013 and finished second in the Tour de France à la Voile in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, Antoine did the Diam24 season with Cheminée Poujoulat and the Flying Phantom season with Team Momentys (including a victory in the Geneva Rolle, second place in the Eurocat Carnac alongside Franck Cammas)

Benjamin Amiot – Number 1
At 28, Benjamin Amiot brings a solid experience to racing catamarans. At 15, he started competing in Formula 18, which is what he has sailed most on until today. He won the title of world vice-champion in 2014. For the past three years he has been sailing on Flying Phantom and GC32. In 2015, he raced under the colours of the Phantom shipyard, became a crew-member on the GC32 Gitana and Zoulou then trimmer and tactician on the Diam 24 Prince de Bretagne before competing in two Grand Prix on board the D35 Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing.

Soon to turn 31, the skipper, who is a member of his local Yacht Club de la Baule, has already established an impressive sailing record, gaining a place on podiums and victories for several years in Mini 6.50 and in Class40.

– 5th GC32 Riva Cup (crewed – GC32)
– 8th GC32 Malcesine Cup (crewed – GC32)
– 8th 35 Copa Del Rey (crewed – GC32)
– 3rd La Reserva de Sotogrande (crewed – GC32)
– 5th Marseille One Design (crewed – GC32)

– 5th GC32 Bullitt Racing Tour (crewed – GC32)
– 4th Marseille One Design (crewed – GC32)
– 5th Trofeo di Roma Cup (crewed – GC32)
– 4th Kiel Cup (crewed – GC32)
– 21st Tour de France à la Voile (crewed – Diam 24)
– 4th Cowes Cup (crewed – GC32)
– 4th Austria Grand-Prix (crewed – GC32)
– 10th Grand-Prix de l’École Navale de Brest (crewed – Diam 24)
– 20th Grand-Prix Atlantique (crewed – Diam 24)
– 7th Spi Ouest-France (crewed – Diam 24)
– 7th Martinique Cata Raid (doubles with Matthieu Souben – catamaran F18)

2013 – 2014
– 2nd Marseille One Design (crewed – GC32)
– Winner of races in Class40 (Transat Jacques Vabre, Rolex Fastnet Race, Armen Race, Record SNSM, Grand Prix Guyader…)