Gallimard publications once again associated with the race for a journey in writing

Already associated with the event for the first three races, Gallimard publications is once again sponsoring the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race’s literary break. As such, they’re inviting sailors, authors, Brest’s 9 and 10-year-olds and maritime college students, as well as employees from IFREMER oceanic institution, to get writing on the theme: ‘The ocean, a mirror of our dreams.’ A collective invitation to a journey in writing.

Gallimard publications is once again partnering with an IMOCA Globe Series event for the fourth Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race, which will set sail from Brest on 7 May 2023. The 1,000-mile sprint across the Atlantic will follow a large triangular course from Brest and back, punctuated by two waypoints, one of which will be the Gallimard waypoint offshore of Cape Finisterre.

Gallimard publications will blend the salted words of its authors and the competitors, with 9 and 10-year-olds from the city of Brest, students from the local maritime college, as well as employees from France’s National Institute for Ocean Science making their creative debut this year. 

“Everyone will set a course westwards from Brest and, in their own unique way, recount their experience of the sea, which is always a very fertile matrix for thought,” explains Gwen Chapalain, founder of Sea to See, the company organising the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race. For some considerable time, he has been convinced that offshore racing is a fantastic machine for stirring up emotion, both visual and imaginary. In his view, “sailing is the perfect blend of top-level competition, conviviality, science and a spirit of adventure, because it takes place in a disconcerting sensory space. In a world where coordinates are pure abstractions void of physical reality, where the water is in constant motion, doubtless the texts produced will trigger great emotion. Doubtless too that this will create a bond between the people living out their passions to the full. Doubtless too that those not yet in the know will discover that there is real character out west!”

The ocean as a source of inspiration

Having already collated their viewpoints and offered up unique narrative on themes such as freedom or travel, skippers, writers, children and scientists are this time invited to express their thoughts on ‘The ocean, a mirror of our dreams.’ It’s a theme, which will enable one and all to show (or remind) us that the ocean reflects emotions, aspirations and a desire for freedom. It is also an inexhaustible source of inspiration and fascination for those seeking to connect and reconnect with nature and with themselves, whilst reminding us that nature is beautiful and mysterious and needs to be respected and protected. “The sea and writing have very profound links, which draw on the very origins of literature. The great Victor Hugo, who so often described, represented, photographed and painted the Ocean, was able to express this secret conversation better than anyone. Indeed, in his series of poems, ‘L’Année terrible’, he presents a genuine encounter between the poet behind the mysteries and the oceanic horizon. Now it’s down to us to lend an ear and take up the pen,” says Antoine Gallimard, president of the Gallimard publications, of which several authors have already confirmed their participation: Erik Orsenna, André Velter, Marianne Rötig, François-Henri Désérable, Pierre Adrian and Rémi David.

Special prizes for the sailors and the children

The texts by the latter, like those by the sailors, will be published during the race via the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race website and social networks from 4 May. The Gallimard Trophy will then be awarded to the skipper deemed to have written the best text, on 13 May 2023, during the prize-giving ceremony for the race. The best writing from the 9 and 10-year-old students from the city of Brest have already been rewarded. Indeed, a jury comprising teachers and athletes, presided over by  Faustine Merret, Olympic windsurfing champion in 2004, decided the winners on 12 April, with the focus on originality, presentation and writing type. On 5 May, the day after their tour of the dock in the Marina du Château and their journey of discovery of the boats and skippers competing in the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race, the latter will return to their classes where Erik Orsenna will award the winners the book ‘La Mer en poésie’ (The Sea in poetry), an anthology by Pierre Marchand and Vincent Besnier, illustrated by Mathilde Aubier.

Discover the sailors and authors’ texts from 4 May on the race website.