The winner crossed the finish line on Sunday, 1 December after 18 days, 13 hours, 1 minute and 5 seconds of sailing, at an average speed of 8.25 knots - making this his first win sailing solo.
The Bordeaux 60, L'Imaginaire, the support boat for this year's Mini Transat, and home to writer Sylvain Tesson for these last few weeks, apparently fulfilled its promises:
Sylvain Tesson - Le Figaro
"(...)Luckily for the mini transat boats, there are seven support boats. They are the regatta participants' guardian angels. One of the flagships is a 60-foot monohull called L'Imaginaire. Its owner is none other than Antoine Gallimard, the famous Parisian book publisher. He made his boat available for the Mini Transat race and left his publishing house behind to be aboard for three weeks, in spite of this being the busiest period in the year for literary awards.
So as not to upset anyone, he only took works by Camus and Proust with him. The two skippers from Brittany were perfectly aware that L'Imaginaire is the name of the legendary Gallimard collection that includes works by Morand, Cocteau, Conrad and Le Clézio. In the evening, as the storm worsened, those competitors in difficulty called the boat. These Borgès-inspired dialogues crackled over the yacht's radio: "Imaginaire, are you receiving me? We request assistance from L'Imaginaire." To which L'Imaginaire responded. She changed course and went to help those in need, getting everyone to safety. At sea, where all is shifting and uncertain, and the night is so dark you can't make out the shapes or outlines of anything, you can always count on L'Imaginaire."
Yannick Le Clech - yannickleclech.blogs.letelegramme.com (news photo)
"(...)I was coming up to Punta de Estaca de Bares. The weather was still ok. L'Imaginaire contacted me and told me that the wind was picking up from the west. (...)Three hours later and I'm tied alongside L'Imaginaire. A hot shower, a good meal and I fell asleep in the saloon. We checked that everyone had found shelter moored to a buoy or another boat. All was well. When I woke up, there were six minis and two support boats in the cove. Four boats had carried on without stopping and hit winds of over 40 knots, it took them 18 hours to sail just 35 nautical miles... " (...) A huge thank you to the crew of L'Imaginaire (Romain, Julien, Nanou, Axelle, Lucie and Camille) for all their kindness and dedication, as well as to Antoine, the owner. They gave me a chance to rest and we had a good time together.
Clément Bouyssou - sailorsandraces.fr
"(...)I stopped the boat immediately, hauled in my jib and luffed alee. The boat slowed to 3 knots and the 35-knot wind that wouldn't let up was freezing me to the bone. I was drenched through and so disappointed! I knew the race and the battle to win were more or less over. I called the race directors via L'Imaginaire (a support boat), gave my position on race channel 72 to warn the rest of the fleet coming up behind me at an average of around 10 knots (risk of collision)."