The Toulon skipper, Clement Giraud, 21st in the last Vendée Globe will take part in the next Transat Jacques Vabre with Erik Nigon, the bold and generous Imoca’s owner.
The tandem met after the loss of Clement’s boat during the last Transat Jacques Vabre. A bold and experienced sailor, Erik offers to lend his boat to Clement so that he can participate in the Vendée Globe. From there, a wonderful friendship between the two sailors was born, which led them to compete in the next Transat Jacques Vabre together.
See you on November 7th, 2021 for a new chapter to be written of a duration of 3 weeks strong in teamwork and fellowship with a return to the roots as an endpoint: Martinique, where Clement Giraud was born.
“With this boat, he has sailed around the world, I have sailed four transatlantic races: we have a lot to talk about!” Erik Nigon.
For this new Transat edition, our two skippers will retrace the historic “Coffee Route”, a route taken by merchant ships during the 18th and 19th centuries to transport precious ressources still highly demanded nowadays: coffee, cocoa, cotton…
Starting on November 7th in the first coffee port in France, Le Havre, where no less than 60 boats will set off, a record number not reached since the 2007 edition.
The two skippers will embark on this race of 5,800 miles down the Atlantic to reach the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha which is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. After this key point of the race, our two sailors will continue to Fort-de-France, in Martinique in the Caribbean, where the finish line will be held, and all of this for a total duration of about 3 weeks of strong emotions and challenges.
In addition to creating a story rich sporting event, the Transat Jacques Vabre wishes to promote new ambitions this year:
– the will of innovation in terms of environmental issues and commitment to CSR through a competition aimed at start-ups and students to showcase projects that help to reduce our impact on the environment.
– the feminization of offshore racing, by encouraging a project helmed by a female sailor wishing to enter a first transatlantic race in order to bring equality.
We share these values at Jiliti, at various levels:
– a corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach applied to all our activites: increasing the lifespan of hardware and computing equipment, refurbishing equipment, recycling parts, … .
– parity between men and women at all company’s level. At Jiliti, we truly believe that equality between men and women is a real performance leverage.
The Imoca, loaned by Erik, proved its reliability during the last Vendée Globe. It’s therefore quite natural that our duo decided to go offshore aboard this Imoca to reach the end of the Transat Jacques Vabre where Clement has a revenge to take upon because of his former Imoca, the “Fortil” which burned down six days before the departure of the 2019 edition of the Transat.
The goal: to sail 5,800 miles in less than 3 weeks.
The two skippers will have to work together in the navigation’s management, the weather, the damages, the technical problems… To face the upcoming hazards, a rigorous organization is necessary and technology is a precious ally.
“An Imoca* has a mini data center on board, with all the equipment but miniaturized. For a maximum security, all equipment is redundant.” says Erik Nigon, owner of the Imoca and also in charge of digital missions for the GD of AIDES (AXA skills sponsorship) and former secretary general of the IT department of Axa and CTO of Axa.
On board, the two sailors have the following on-board supports and technologies:
– a local network with internet access
– deux servers
– deux satellite antennas
– three smartphones
– two tablets
– two GoPro cameras
– one fixe camera
– the Oscar anti-collision system
– hydro-generators to produce carbon-free electricity
The sailor Clement Giraud is a true adept of the byways who has made his life a maritime adventure. He tried all types of vehicles: Mini, TP52, Volvo, Class America, Orma, Farr40 on all the seas of the globe, from the West Indies, where he lived until his 18, to the far north through Polynesia.
Also impassionate about mechanic, he has developed an mechanic and sail making expertise; and has built two boats.
He has to his prize list: 129 regattas and races, in multi-hulls and mono-hulls, all over the globe; around 25 victories and 40 podiums; 135,000 miles sailed in a crew, 20,000 in duo, 22,000 on his own.
Erik is impassionate about nautical sports since his childhood (optimist, windsurfing, dinghy and coastal cruiser). After studying engineering, he participated in a large number of regattas for 15 years.
Today, he is one of Axa Group’s IT managers, but still retains his adventurous spirit towards the sea. And it is in this mindset that he lent his boat to Clement Giraud during the 20-21 Vendée Globe.
He has a tracky record full of experience from his various regattas and transatlantic races: 3rd in the 2012 Transat Québec Saint-Malo; 4th in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre and much more.
* An IMOCA is one of the fastest racing mono-hulls. These light and resistant to the worst conditions sailboat are at the cutting edge of modern technology.