As he was leaving Le Havre, Lamiré announced that he was here to win. Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires was not the bookies favorite for the Transat Jacques Vabre. But by buying the old Crêpes Waouh 3, a 2009 VPLP-design with an exceptional track record, this year, the Saint-Malo skipper knew that he now had a boat that matched his ambitions. After six years on the Multi50 circuit, Antoine Carpentier, who is as calm as he is effective and had already pocketed the British Transat in 2016, joined as co-skipper. Already a winner in Salvador de Bahia in the Class40 two years ago, alongside Maxime Sorel, Antoine Carpentier is at ease racing on all platforms inshore or offshore.
After a cautious start from Le Havre, Lamiré and Carpentier were slower in the Channel, letting their competitors race ahead without being left too far behind. Their maximum deficit was 67 miles on October 30 before entering the anticyclonic ridge south of Gibraltar.
Taking advantage of a gap to the east of Solidaires In Peloton – ARSEP, which had until then had a faultless race, they found a more direct trajectory that saved them many miles and without ever stalling. Primonial took the lead on October 31 as it passed east of the island of Madeira. Hull-to-hull with Primonial, Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires took the lead on November 1, south of the Canaries, and never gave it up, increasing their advantage with each ranking.
Solidaires In Peloton – ARSEP had hugged the coast of Africa and, needing to get west, lost 80 miles on the lead in less than 24 hours between the Canaries and Cape Verde archipelago, where Primonial had to make a pitstop with energy problems.
Passing between the islands of Sao Vicente and Santo Antao in Cape Verde, Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires took advantage of the accelerating winds in the channel without suffering from the wind shadow of the large volcanic islands.
As for the Doldrums, they crossed them in less than 24 hours – a mere formality. Growing in confidence in their boat throughout this Route du café, Lamiré and Carpentier were able to accelerate when necessary and then maintain a high pace with very good averages in the trade winds.
By the time they were approaching the north-east coast of Brazil, Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires had extended their lead to 220 miles
Where others might have looked behind them and covered, this duo was always looking to the finish.
Routed by Christian Dumard (the Multi50 are the only class allowed to have onshore routing), Lamiré and Carpentier had a great race, worthy of their champion trimaran, the most successful in the history of the Multi50 class. Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires’s victory in Salvador de Bahia is its sixth victory in a transatlantic race, including four Route du café.
Key moment: Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires find fifth day western trajectory
1st Groupe GCA – Mille et un sourires – Gilles Lamiré and Antoine Carpentier
Finished: Friday, November 8, 2019 at 04:49:41 (UTC)
Race time: 11 days 16 hours 34 minutes and 41 seconds
Miles travelled: 4,926 nautical miles, average speed 17.56 knots.
2nd Solidaires En Peleton – ARSEP – Thibaut Vauchel Camus and Fred Duthil
Finished: Friday, November 8, 2019 at 14:53:01 (UTC)
Race time: 12 days 2 hours 38 minutes and 01 seconds
Miles travelled: 5,054 nautical miles, average speed of 17.39 knots.
Distance to winner: 10 hours 3 minutes and 20 seconds
3rd Primonial – Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben
Finished: Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 12:24:42 (UTC)
Race time: 13 days 0 hours 9 minutes and 42 seconds
Miles travelled: 5,088.80 nautical miles, average speed of 16.30 knots.
Distance to winner: 1 day 7 hours 35 minutes and 1 second