Klaxoon will be entering two boats in the 50th Urgo Solitaire du Figaro, and will also be competing on the 2019 Figaro Bénéteau circuit.
The scaleup team – which specialises in teamwork solutions and first became involved in ocean racing with Class 40s in the 2018 Route du Rhum – is now set to tackle a new challenge by sponsoring a “Mixed Duo”, a team of two promising young sailors, Cassandre Blandin and Matthieu Damerval, coached by experienced yachtsman Marc Guillemot. This unusual venture is emblematic the company’s values: team spirit and sharing knowledge.
An ambitious project based on sharing and passing on knowledge
Marc Guillemot was not born a highly successful yachtsman. He learned the sport under Mike Birch, winner of the first Route du Rhum in 1978. As a mentor, Birch gave him his taste for adventure and the ocean, but above all a thirst to share and pass on his knowledge. A few months ago that passion, burning as strongly as ever, prompted Marc Guillemot to launch the Mixed Duo selection process to find two young sailors, one male and one female, to whom he could pass on his knowledge and the values of sailing as he trained them up to compete on the Figaro circuit.
Klaxoon immediately bought into the idea and is proud to join Marc Guillemot in promoting a different approach to yacht racing, with a more inclusive, mixed ethos and above all an emphasis on the importance of teamwork and collaboration, with this Mixed Duo of young skippers who will share training and preparations sessions before they line up to compete against one another in the season’s races.
A Mixed Duo sailing two boats
Cassandre Blandin and Matthieu Damerval are delighted to have been chosen to race for Klaxoon on the 2019 Figaro circuit. Cassandre, 28, hails from Sables-d’Olonne and was part of the French Olympic sailing team, while Matthieu, 24, from La Trinité-sur-Mer, is a regatta competitor with considerable offshore experience. Both have set themselves the goal of improving their performance and surpassing themselves in their events. Their main focus is the Urgo Solitaire du Figaro race. With their different backgrounds, Cassandre and Matthieu genuinely complement one another. They intend to turn this to their advantage by preparing together and drawing on the guidance of Marc Guillemot and his team to progress.
The two Figaro Bénéteau 3 boats, due to arrive in March, will be based in La Trinité-sur-Mer. The Mixed Duo will learn the ropes primarily in Quiberon Bay, under the direction of experienced sailors including Fred Le Peutrec, Antoine Lauriost Prevost, and Julien Bourgeois. At the moment, Cassandre and Matthieu are learning IT and meteorology and working on their mental preparation, with one eye constantly on the progress of their boats in the Bénéteau shipyard.
As a company whose focus is on developing tools that serve teamwork, inspire individuals, and equip them to excel themselves, we are proud to sponsor this project. Yacht racing shares many of start-ups’ values: an appetite for adventure, innovation, the pleasure of competing, teamwork, and a degree of humility. Marc Guillemot’s Mixed Duo project is a first for sailing, and a great way to promote teamwork within the sport.
Matthieu Beucher, CEO and Founder, Klaxoon
I have great yachtsmen like Patrick Morvan and Mike Birch to thank for helping me progress. Now, I plan to use the Mixed Duo project to set two talented young people on the path to success. It’s up to me to make sure that everyone can develop and contribute a little more to the team. Klaxoon was an obvious sponsor for the Mixed Duo. The company radiates youth, enthusiasm, equality, teamwork, talent, and innovation. I can’t wait to get out on the water with Cassandre, Matthieu, and the whole Klaxoon team.
An anniversary edition for the Urgo Solitaire du Figaro race
The Solitaire has been running since 1970, but was known as the Course de l’Aurore until 1980. Over the years it has become a prestigious event bringing together both experienced sailors and newcomers. This year’s fiftieth edition of the race will start from Nantes on 2 June and will include a stage departing from Kinsale (Ireland) and two departing from Roscoff (Brittany, France). It will finish in Dieppe (Normandy, France). It is a one-design race, and will use the Figaro Bénéteau 3, the world’s first monohull to feature foils as standard. The boat has been created jointly by specialists from Bénéteau group and architects Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP). The total course distance is between 1,500 and 2,000 nautical miles. Prizes will be awarded on 29 June in Dieppe.
The Mixed Duo’s 2019 season programme
26 April to 5 May 2019: Solo Maître Coq (Single-handed race)26 May to 30 June 2019: Urgo Solitaire du Figaro (Single-handed race)21 July to 18 August 2019: Douarnenez – Horta (Single-handed race)1 to 14 September 2019: Tour de Bretagne (Two-handed race).
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