And one more walk. Not just any. The one that gives a little more visibility to a commitment and brilliance to an unwavering support. On May 4, 2022, the Paprec group, a well-known sponsor in sailing, announced that it would become the main partner of the Solitaire du Figaro. And thirteen months later, this Thursday, June 15, he announced that he would become the title partner. For at least one edition, the one that will start from Caen on August 27th.
Also title partner of the double transat contested in April between Concarneau and Saint-Barthélemy, the French leader in recycling confirms its desire to accompany and support the two major events of the circuit contested in Figaro Bénéteau 3. "A year ago, we didn't want to be title partner of the Solitaire, but since only fools don't change their minds," laughs Sébastien Petithuguenin, CEO of the Paprec group. In this way, we are extending our support to a race that we are passionate about, the most accessible, the most democratic and the most ecological, because it is contested on one-design boats."
Opening up to attract other sailors
The CEO knows the Solitaire perfectly, having himself worn out his wax on the event in 2018, "I finished 21st out of 36 or 37 riders, it's not bad for an amateur". And he is determined, with this new commitment, to "help the Figaro class to grow in power. Its various events attract fewer sailors than at one time. It is important that this class is not seen as just a very high-level class for champions but that it opens up to attract other sailors, such as amateurs and students."
Witness to this desire for openness, the recent Transat Paprec took place for the first time in history in mixed doubles, with eleven duos of women and men at the start. "Eleven is already a small victory for me, as it is four times more women sailors at the start than in the previous edition. This first is therefore a satisfaction, and we will judge its effectiveness, and not only for women, if it makes them want to continue, "says the Director General.
The boats of the Solitaire during a departure Alexis Courcoux / La Solitaire du Figaro
For this 54th edition of the Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, which will find the Irish shores of Kinsale (1st stage of 610 miles) then stop in the Bay of Morlaix (2nd stage of 630 miles) before landing definitively at the foot of the charming church of Piriac-sur-Mer in Loire-Atlantique (3rd stage of 620 miles), about thirty sailors are announced. And for Sébastien Petithuguenin, who has made Paprec the main partner of the race until 2027, this format of a course with three long open stages "makes it possible to select the most complete sailors, those who also excel in weather and strategy, and not only on technique".
Yoann Richomme, who has competed eight Solitaire du Figaro and won two (in 2016 and 2019), will be the good example to follow for the figarists during this adventure announced raised. Now at the helm of the "performing" Paprec-Arkéa monohull, in preparation for the 2024-2025 Vendée Globe, he shows the way to excellence to all his more or less young successors of the Solitaire. Like his partner, he has a step to climb. And he knows that his many years spent in Figaro Beneteau will be an essential asset to allow him to triumph on the solo world tour.