Take a multi-graduate who is launching himself into ocean racing for the first time, a startup that is revolutionizing teamwork, a fund committed to fighting climate change, and an association that promotes social integration through sports. What do you get? A very audacious project led by Jean Marre, a beginner skipper ready to cross the Atlantic to make his dream come true. Would you like to know more? Come, we tell you his story.
Jean Marre - From freshwater sailor to committed skipper
If clothes don't make the man, does the hat make the sailor? One could ask oneself this question when one meets Jean Marre and his red cap screwed on his head. Contrary to the epinal image of the sailor, practically born on the waves and with an oilskin on his back, Jean Marre grew up in Saint Germain en Laye in the Yvelines. Relatively far from the sea, therefore. As he explains it very well himself, he lived his passion "by episodes and from afar with magazines like Voiles et Voiliers or the departures of the big races like the Vendée Globe or the Route du Rhum". First contact with sailing on the Seine, thanks to "Wednesday activities", Jean dreamed of the ocean like others "to become a footballer".
Following a brilliant university career, Jean Marre began a career in a suit and tie between the towers of La Défense and ministerial offices, until 2018, when he had the trigger. "After a meeting with people who had little experience, like me, but who had done the Mini Transat, I felt that it was time.". In a few weeks, the young dynamic executive swapped his suits and office for boots and a 6.50m boat to prepare for the 2021 Mini Transat.
The big bath of the Mini Transat
To put it simply, the Mini Transat is a solo transatlantic race without assistance. It takes place every two years in odd years with boats called "Mini" because of their size, only 6.50m regulatory. Changing course every year, the 2021 edition links Les Sables d'Olonne to Saint François in Guadeloupe, passing through the stopover of Santa Cruz de la Palma on the Canary Islands.
It's the gateway to ocean racing, the most accessible race even for a "beginner" like me. It's the perfect race".
Jean Marre, skipper
Boat found, project launched, an adventure like the Mini Transat cannot be improvised. In search of sponsors and partners to accompany him in this great adventure, Jean does not only wish to obtain financing but to take advantage of this experience to promote messages and values that are dear to his heart. Thus, Jean has chosen from the start to offer the space of his sails to two organizations whose values he shares, like Klaxoon:
- Time for the Planet, a company dedicated to finding funds and technological solutions to fight climate change
- Sport dans la ville, the main association for integration through sport in France, which supports the social and professional integration of 7000 young people.
Raising awareness for the preservation of the environment
Acting for the environment through entrepreneurship is the mission of Time For the Planet. This young non-profit company brings together thousands of shareholders to source and finance environmental projects around the world. A logical choice for Jean. "The more people who invest in the movement, the more Time for the Planet will be able to finance companies and their innovations. I found it interesting to put their logo on my sail to attract and interest the Mini's followers to this cause".
Running for equal opportunities
For more than 20 years, the association Sport dans la ville has been helping young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods find their way back to success through sport. The association's objective is to promote equal opportunities by offering support towards training and employment to thousands of children and young adults. A very important project for the sailor. "When I was younger, I wanted to work in the field of social integration through sport. Thanks to the values of sport: cohesion, sharing, positive education, they lead young people to success, I also wanted to highlight this initiative."
Klaxoon, the desire to share this adventure
And what about Klaxoon? For Jean, it's not a choice by chance: "I already knew the company, from my former professional environment. When I came to the Klaxoon Store to meet the teams, I immediately felt that we could do great things together, that we shared this belief that nothing is impossible if you work together."
Since its creation in 2015, Klaxoon has accompanied numerous sports sailing teams, driven by shared values. At the top of the list is team spirit. In sailing, as in the business world, team spirit is essential because as Michael Jordan said "Talent wins games, teamwork wins championships". Sharing, cohesion, mutual aid are central values of sport, they are also those of the teams. "Sports sailing is based on values that are also those of start-ups, such as a taste for adventure, innovation, the pleasure of competition, team spirit and a certain humility," recalled Matthieu Beucher, CEO of Klaxoon, in 2019 before the start of the Solitaire du Figaro.
Klaxoon's mission is to enable teams to flourish by giving everyone the means to do more all together. For Jean, his Mini Transat project embodies this mission: "With my partners, I want to share a common path before the race and even after. I want to bring them into the adventure and create a whole ecosystem". Several partners, several supports, all united for the success of this Atlantic crossing.
Finally, the inclusive dimension of Jean's project also echoes the missions and values of Klaxoon. Integrating everyone, giving a voice, allowing people to express themselves in meetings, synchronously or asynchronously, is also promoting a vision of inclusion in business. It's about valuing individuals, wherever they come from, with their experiences, skills and competencies. Jean Marre is a good example of this. Far from the sea environment at the beginning, by dint of work, self-sacrifice and enthusiasm, it is his childhood dream that has come true. "My sponsors allowed me to realize my dream. I came with my project, with no track record, no CV, and Klaxoon trusted me. This is proof of their inclusiveness. The human dimension is central to our collaboration."
Klaxoon and the marine world, a long-standing relationship
This commitment to nautical sports is a strong marker of Klaxoon's identity. In 2018, the Klaxoon Class40 set off on the Route du Rhum for its first experience on the water. The following year, during the 50th edition of the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, Klaxoon entered two boats as part of the "Mixed Duo" led by skipper Marc Guillemot. This innovative experience of mentoring two young sailors, Cassandre Blandin and Matthieu Damerval, allowed Marc Guillemot to promote a more inclusive and mixed sport sailing in a world that is too often male. Thanks to this "Mixed Duo", Marc Guillemot accompanied Cassandre and Matthieu during their training sessions and their preparation for the Solitaire according to two principles dear to Klaxoon: knowledge sharing and team spirit.
Klaxoon is also and above all a strong collaboration with MerConcept, the offshore racing team of sailor François Gabart, winner of the Vendée Globe in 2013. From design to construction to boat operation, some fifty employees use Klaxoon on a daily basis. Thanks to Klaxoon's collaborative tools, Merconcept's teams synchronize their actions, speed up their decision-making, and ultimately work more efficiently, whether they are in the workshop, on the yard, sailing or with their partners.
After all, an ocean race, even a single-handed one, is the culmination of a long-term project carried out by numerous teams looking for ways to work together in the most productive way possible. And is it possible to have more hybrid than a team where some members are at sea and others on land?
From this Monday, September 27th, Jean Marre comes to perpetuate the beautiful story between Klaxoon and the big blue for an adventure of several weeks on the Atlantic on his Mini. For Jean Marre, it is high time to take the sea.
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