19th team for the Global Ocean Race
A fifth, French, doublehanded Class40 team has entered the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) bringing the total of confirmed entries to 19 with a rush of four entries within the last four weeks. The highly-experienced, professional sailor, Lionel Regnier, will be sharing the circumnavigation with two co-skippers: fellow Frenchman, Pierre-Yves Cavan, and Belgian yachtsman, Denis Van Weyn Bergh. Regnier will be competing on the very competitive, brand new Akilaria RC2, 400 Mille Sabords.
Regnier and his GOR team have an enormous bank of offshore experience. Regnier’s racing profile includes two Mini Transat races; the 2005 OSTAR; the 2006 Route du Rhum on Class40 FNAIM Pays de Loire; the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2007 and the double-handed Class40 La Solidaire du Chocolat last year on board Vale Inco – Nouvelle Calédonie.
During the GOR, the 51 year-old Frenchman will alternate with two co-skippers who have already amassed valuable offshore Class40 time with Regnier. Pierre-Yves Cavan is a science teacher with a passion for sailing and has competed in the Skippers d’Islande race – a round trip event from France to Iceland and back – and in the Class40 Les Sables-Madeira-Les Sables Race. In 2007, the 43 year-old yachtsman joined Regnier for the Transat Jacques Vabre double-handed race. Denis Van Weyn Bergh from Belgium had five years of long haul delivery sailing – much of it with Regnier on his Class40 – before tasting double-handed Class40 racing in the Normandy Channel with Class40 Association President, Jacques Fournier, on Groupe Picoty earlier this year. The 43 year-old businessman has taken shorthanded sailing a step further and is currently racing solo on his 2007 Pogo Class40, Green Energy 4 Seasons – Diabetics Challenges.
For Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR, Regnier’s entry is the latest in a surge of teams confirming participation: “At the Global Ocean Race we’re really pleased with the pace and high-level of interest that the event is continuing to maintain,” says Hall. “It’s also exciting that another French team has joined the race and Lionel’s team are clearly talented and deeply committed,” he continues. “With their new Akilaria RC2, the 400 Mille Sabords team are serious contenders.”
Regnier’s 400 Mille Sabords campaign is the fifth French team in the GOR, joining his countrymen Patrice Carpentier and his team; Jacques Fournier and Jean-Edouard Criquioche with Groupe Picoty; Tanguy de Lamotte’s team and the Franco-English duo of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron. Of the nine countries represented in the GOR, France now has the most entries with one more team than Great Britain.