Fantastic victory for David Raison
David Raison has won the singlehanded Charente Maritime-Bahia Transat 6,50 on his innovative Proto TeamWork Evolution. His achievement potentially represents a milestone in the world of offshore yacht racing.
Raison crossed the finish line at 18:43 UTC, having sailed the 3120 mile long second leg between Madeira and Salvador de Bahia in an elapsed time of 17 days, 6 hours and 13 minutes, at an average speed of 7.53 knots. The skipper from Lorient has beatne the previous record for this course by 20 minutes.
On this leg Raison took the lead soon after the Cape Verde Islands and managed to maintain his lead crossing the Doldrums. On his arrival in Salvador he was 130 miles ahead of second-placed Thomas Normand, and 330 miles ahead of the pack.
Raison's boat, with her strange looking round nose, has excelled on this difficult course, but especially when sailing between 60 and 90° TWA, where she seems unbeatable, achieving speeds up to one knot more than her opponents.
"When I saw that I was ahead of the fleet coming out of the Doldrums, I thought 'this race is for you! Don’t mess it up, don’t fall in the water, don’t break the boat”, said David Raison soon after the arrival. “This boat is fast and exceptional; she helped to compensate some tactical mistakes. Sometimes, I was even slowing down because the boat was banging hard. I slept better last night. I wanted to be in good shape today, I didn’t want to miss the arrival… This was my fourth transatlantic race and my last goal was to finish before nightfall and see Bahia under the sunlight. Tonight I can enjoy a nice big piece of meat in the restaurant; it’s fantastic!”
David’s victory is in line with the history of the Mini Class, who has seen innovations such as canting keels, ballasts or carbon masts, used today on all race boats. Nobody knows yet whether this type of boats will be seen on other, bigger classes in the future; yet one thing is sure: everyone is going to have to think about it.
Philippe Rey-Gorrez, the President of TeamWork, travelled from Geneva in order to welcome the winner. « We already came for Alex Pella’s stopover victory in 2005 under TeamWork’s colours. It is always a wonderful moment and we are hugely happy. We are pleased to have been able to contribute to this success and no, we wait impatiently for Etienne David’s arrival. His goal in his first transatlantic race is to finish in the top ten. He currently fights in the top group and can get a great result following his superb fourth place in the first leg.”