The handover


Alain Gautier (right) with Armel Le Cleac'h
 

Alain Gautier (right) with Armel Le Cleac'h

The helm of the trimaran Foncia is to pass from Alain Gautier to Armel Le Clec'h next year. Here they explain why
Q: It’s always been said that sailing is a sport that you could do at high level over a long period of time. You’re only 42 years old, why are you stopping now? Alain Gautier: As with all sports, the main driving force is motivation.You mustn’t wait for it to dry up before you stop. Even though the choice seems like a difficult one, it is logical. That’s why I included a clause in my contract with Foncia, which enables me to give up being skipper of the trimaran Foncia before the end of the eight year contract I have (2000 to 2007). I don’t want to take the start of a transatlantic race for material reasons. I want to remain in love with the sea as I have been for 25 seasons of single-handed racing. Q: Are there any other reasons? AG: You know, life is made up of many elements, with parts at sea as well as on land. Today, I want to spend more time with my family. When I see the speed at which my children are growing up, I say to myself that I don’t want to miss out on this. Q: Did your second place in the Solitaire du Figaro Afflelou 2003 give you a boost after some big disappointments with the trimaran? AG: The decision to stop crossed my mind after the capsize during the Challenge Mondial Assistance in2003, but I’m not a man to make such a major decisions in the heat of the moment. I insisted with Foncia that I raced in the Solitaire du Figaro. The experience of that was so intense that I knew I was right to have made that decision: Little one design boats, smaller problems and superb sensations. I like this race and I’ll doubtless do it again. When I say

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