Yvan Zedda /www.zedda.com

Thierry Duprey guns for the Rhum

Former Gitana skipper hoping to secure Crepes Whaou! 2 for this year's solo transat race

Wednesday April 7th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Having competed in the Route du Rhum once previously, at the helm of Baron Benjamin de Rothschild’s Gitana 12, Thierry Duprey de Vorsent is aiming to be on the start line of this year’s race on 31 October.

“Singlehanded, it was like a very first experience and I learned a great deal from it,” says Duprey of his 2005 race. “Now I want to apply that to be more competitive. There is always an element of the unknown, which is the magic of these races, and for me there will be a little less than the first time – but the Route du Rhum remains a mythical race.”

For 10 years Duprey was a skipper in Baron Rothschild’s Gitana stable beginning in 1999 with Gitana IX. “Baron de Rothschild allowed me to take the helm and without this amazing opportunity, I wouldn’t be where I am today, ” he admits. He has since sailed on Gitana IX, Gitana X, Gitana 12, Gitana 13, Trinitaine, Foncia, Oman Sail and Groupama 3. His only deviation from multihulls was when he competed in the Figaro in 2007, sailing both single- and doublehanded. “In the Figaro I learned particularly about the pace and attention to detail. Being on the technical and sporting management side of large projects didn’t previously enable me to concentrate on a multitude of details which are often the key to success.”

On the start line of this year’s Route du Rhum will be two classes of multihulls – the unlimited G-Class, such Sodebo and Groupama 3 (with a reduced rig), but most competitive will be the Multi50.

“Taking into account my experience and the economic situation, a Multi50 would be more accessible for a partner and more at my level from a sporting point of view,” says Desprey. “The former Crêpes Whaou! 2 is available and interests me a lot …” At present he is looking for a partner...


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