Joseph Bizard, general manager of OC Sport Pen Duick, world leader in the organization of offshore races, provided AFP with an initial assessment on Wednesday of this unprecedented event, won by Charles Caudrelier after 50 days at sea.

“It was honestly one of the most intense sporting events we have ever had to put together. Six boats sailing around the world mean dozens of people working shifts on land to ensure their safety, the smooth running of the race, writing daily updates and preparing for arrivals. But we come out of these sixty-six days with the feeling of having delivered a very wonderful adventure.”

The satisfaction of the general director of OC Sport Pen Duick goes beyond the athlete, and he was keen to underline the success of the event for the public. “We had 150,000 people in the village cumulatively over the ten days of departure and then an average of 6,000 people per arrival. This is 50% more than the gauge we had anticipated, so the objective was achieved on our side. And the media coverage is equivalent to that of other major multi-class races, including a great start followed live by one million 250 thousand spectators. We believe that this race has found its place in the landscape of ocean racing, from the first edition.”

A: “The sporting intensity of an event is the part that we don’t necessarily control. When we look back at the history of the race, many commentators and experts doubted before the start the ability of these boats to complete a world tour. There were six sailboats at the start, hazards and duels in the four corners of the globe and in the end five great finishes. “It definitely gives us a good taste of coming back,” he added about the sporting result.

Before looking ahead to a future edition in four years: “It’s more than a desire on our part. A project like this always takes time to make headway, but now that we have proven that it is possible, we have all the assets to definitively establish this event in the history of our sport. Afterwards, the heart of the reactor remains the athletes, so we have four years to be ready on D-day, to bring even more competitors and competitors. We are planning with between 7 and 10 boats for the next departure.”

Finally, Joseph Bizard had a word regarding the numerous stopovers which “spoiled” the pace of the race according to some. “The authorization of these stopovers was essential to ensure the presence of boats on arrival. Sailing for 60 days alone aboard these giant multihulls of the seas is an extraordinary sporting feat, but it involves risks that we wanted to minimize. It is still a little early to draw definitive conclusions on the regulations, but we will discuss this with the teams. We will undoubtedly have to think about changing this format a little and strengthening communication around what a galley represents on a boat of such size.