Last weekend, the team carried out a few tacks in 20 knots of wind with, gaining most notably, the boat’s speed record: 35.4 knots! Delighted Michel nonetheless feels "we can do a lot better. On this particular occasion, we were sailing under Solent and one-reefed main. While racing fully crewed, we would have been under a full main! "
Work at the boatyard will last until March and over this time the boat will be dismantled to perform a complete inspection. During this period, the underside of the four beams will be strengthened.
At the same time, Michel has enlarged Géant’s team. One of the pillars of the project, Jean-Philippe Saliou, has decided to devote more time to his Olympic program in the Star. Eric Carret has taken over from him and is in charge of the deck fittings.
Formally from the famous Glénans school, Carret has twice taken part in the Amercica’s Cup with the Défi Français and for several years has been a crew member of Franck Cammas on board Groupama. This 30 year old sailor will also be one of the sailors aboard.
Under Denis Juhel who leads the technical coordination of all the projects of Desjoyeaux's Mer Agitée team, Eric Carret will train alongside Nicolas de Castro, who worked in the team in 2002 on the technical preparation of the boat. Also working upon the various boats belonging to the Mer Agitée team (there will also be a Figaro this year) is computer expert Jean-François Cuzon, Goulven le Clech and Jacques Fort.
Another new recruit to the sailing team is the well known figure of Mick Kermarec, part of Prada's design team, who will Geant's on board tactician. "It’s excellent news not only because Mick is an outstanding regatta sailor but also as he will be precious in the technical design," comments Desjoyeaux. "It’s worth noting that he was the man who made all the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic studies on the boat, most notably the appendages."
In addition to this is Vincent Riou, who is now campaigning Mich's Vendee Globe winner PRB with a view to taking part in the Vendee 2004/5, ocean racing veteran Hervé Jan who is on board for a year, and Jean-Philippe Saliou who will be on board for the Grand Prix - in short a very powerful team.