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1000 milles des Sables : Douguet – Lipinski - Tréhin : the trifecta !

© Vincent Olivaud / 1000 milles des Sables
© Vincent Olivaud / 1000 milles des Sables

The suspense lasted until the end in this 2nd edition of the 1000 Milles des Sables! After passing the way-point of La Coruña on Monday morning, Corentin Douguet (Quéguiner - Innoveo) took the lead of the Class40 fleet, slowly but surely increasing his lead, but the game was almost over in the last 150 miles of the course. The reason for this was the erratic and unstable light airs which tightened the troops, even giving the advantage to one of his competitors for a while. However, the former Figaro sailor never let his guard down and finally won with a lead of 16 and 30 minutes respectively over his runners-up, Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) and Axel Tréhin (Project Rescue Ocean), at the end of just over five days of racing.

"The end was hard to deal with. It was hard to imagine that I had come all this way in the lead and that it might end up going downhill. But I never got too excited, although I must admit that at one point I was angry with myself when Ian passed me this morning. But I managed to get my head straight and find a way to get back in front of him. After that, I didn't give up", commented Corentin Douguet on his arrival at the pontoon, this Thursday evening, after an epilogue that was, to say the least, epic, due to the asthmatic conditions experienced over almost the entire last 150 miles of the course. "It was a one-two punch. We had to succeed in exploiting the slightest reef, but it wasn't easy. Simon Koster (Banque du Léman) was on a different course with a different wind. Axel was not far away either and with a gap that could have become dangerous too. In this type of situation, you never know what can happen. It's inevitably a bit stressful", added the sailor from Nantes who finally managed to keep his leadership until the end, after having made a very strong impression from the beginning to the end of this 2nd edition of the 1000 Milles des Sables, his first event on the circuit aboard Quéguiner - Innoveo after some fifteen years on the demanding Figaro Bénéteau circuit. "I didn't expect such a thunderous entry, but obviously it's a pleasure. It wasn't easy because the youngsters are good and they know their boat well. For my part, I knew that mine (launched on January 5th) had potential. I was able to validate a certain number of technical points and test the machine in different types of conditions by doing things at my own pace. It worked well and I couldn't have hoped for anything better than a victory to start with," added Corentin, who won by a handful of minutes ahead of, in order, Ian Lipinski and Axel Tréhin, two leaders in the class.

"There was a hell of a game. The last 36 hours have been really random but in the end, the final ranking reflects the race. It's been a very rich five days. There is certainly no better training than confrontation. It allows you to move forward and progress. I'm happy to have revised my solo sailing. I had forgotten how hard it is! I really had a hard time of it mentally," said the skipper of Crédit Mutuel, who kept up with Corentin Douguet's pace until the virtual mark in La Coruña, before falling slightly behind and then catching up with the score in the calm. "I never gave up but I clearly went through a lot of emotions, which was particularly energy consuming", said Ian. Axel Tréhin, who also went through all the colors of the rainbow during this first round of the season, agrees. "After passing the West Gascony waypoint on Tuesday night, I completely lost my footing. I was in the red. Fortunately, I managed to rest before the end and I found myself in the least stressful situation of the leading group, with everything to gain and nothing to lose," said the skipper of Project Rescue Ocean, who finally finished half an hour behind the winner and six minutes ahead of his Swiss playmate, Simon Koster. "Last year, I started with a victory, which put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. Today, we know who the pressure is on", finished Axel Tréhin, whose next challenge will be, as for his competitors, the Normandy Channel Race in exactly one month.

Source: LSVCAL

General ranking: Les 1000 milles des Sables - Class40

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