The sport, the thinking, the excitement!

The 4th edition of the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Brest - Brest certainly kept its promise. The pre-race phase inspired thought, prompted discussion and fuelled get-togethers with the skippers, attending scientists, as well as 200 children from within the local care system keen to discover the offshore racing environment. Out on the water, the Défi Pom’Potes set the tone for the battle that raged throughout the race. A fierce clash in a wide range of conditions provided champions Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière (FOR PEOPLE) with the perfect showcase for their talent. We review an event that is fast establishing itself as an unmissable date in the offshore racing calendar.

Rallying together youngsters

The Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Brest-Brest aims to be a hub for exchange, encounters and discussions in conjunction with the on-the-water competition. In this way, the race played host to a range of initiatives alongside its partners and participating authorities, the city of Brest, the Finistère department and the Breton region. In the run-up to the event, the skippers, associates from Ifremer and nearly 1,000 local students aged 9 to 11, took part in a writing competition created with Gallimard publications on the theme ‘The ocean, a mirror of our dreams.’ 

The weekend prior to the start, thanks to the involvement of the Finistère department, 200 young people in care in specialist local establishments and foster families benefited from special access to the skippers and the boats. Having also participated in a writing and drawing workshop, they got to spend some quality time chatting with famous skipper Jean Le Cam before being treated to a trip on the water around the port of Brest aboard some prestigious old sailing ships. 

Protection of the oceans under study

A little earlier on, writer and a member of the Académie Française Erik Orsenna, together with some renowned scientists from Ifremer, Océanopolis, OceanOPS and ESurfMar, attended a reception at the Préfecture Maritime hosted by Vice-Admiral Lebas. The idea? To champion practical steps to better protect the ocean. Attended by all the skippers and around twenty sailors from the Ecole des mousses, the effects of this conference also extended out to a set of Météo France buoys, which were deployed along the course by the sailors Guirec Soudée – Corentin Douguet (Freelance.com), Antoine Cornic – Jean-Charles Luro (Human Immobilier) and Sam Goodchild – Antoine Koch (FOR THE PLANET) to measure the surface temperature of the water. 

The Défi Pom’Potes set the tone

Out on the water, the thirteen boats clashed for the first time on Friday 5 May in the famous Défi Pom’Potes speed runs. In Brest harbour, the skippers got the chance to express the true potential of their IMOCAs, maintaining an average speed of over 30 knots. “I’d never sailed a monohull so fast,” raved Thomas Ruyant. The skipper of FOR PEOPLE  (teamed with Morgan Lagravière) took victory in the Défi Pom’Potes, tied with Charal 2 (Jérémie Beyou-Franck Cammas), whilst Paprec Arkéa (Yoann Richomme-Yann Eliès) completed the podium. FOR PEOPLE also secured the Oceania Hotels Trophy, which rewarded the best time over 500 metres with a speed of 36.5 knots.

A ‘very high-flying’ race

The race also showcased how these latest-generation monohulls are able to maintain incredibly intense speeds, especially as the fleet dropped back down from Fastnet, when FOR PEOPLE, Charal 2, FOR THE PLANET and Paprec Arkéa posted incomprehensible speeds for hours on end.

Leading the way for the first 24 hours, it was actually the daggerboard boats like Monnoyeur-Duo For a Job, Canada Ocean Racing (Scott Shawyer, Ryan Barkey) making her IMOCA race debut, and Fives Groupe-Lantana Environnement (Louis Duc – Halvard Mabire), which were absolutely flying. The climb up to Fastnet after passing the ‘Tout Commence en Finistère’ waypoint then enabled FOR PEOPLE and Charal 2 to make good their escape and the mano a mano went right to the wire as Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière took the win just 26 minutes ahead of Jérémie Beyou and Franck Cammas! It was one of the few races that the reigning champion of the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, Thomas Ruyant, had yet to win.

Ten duos ultimately completed the race, their first of the season in France, racking up valuable experience in their quest to improve and optimise their monohulls and make them reliable going forward. “We were keen for the competitors to be able to test themselves over different points of sail and face stiff competition right to the last, which is exactly what we saw,” beamed Hubert Lemonnier, Race Director. Our main takeaway from this event is very positive and all the skippers thoroughly enjoyed themselves.” An incredibly fruitful return to the racetrack then, it is testament to the ongoing appeal of the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Brest-Brest.


Tout commence en Finistère Trophy

First boat to the ‘Tout Commence en Finistère’ windward mark

Charal 2: 1d 1h 18min 17s


Région Bretagne Trophy

First boat around the ‘Région Bretagne’ waypoint

Charal 2: 2d 6h 18min 23s


Défi Pom'Potes Trophy

First in the speed runs

Charal 2 and FOR PEOPLE: Time: 2 min 13s


Gallimard Trophy

First to the ‘Gallimard’ waypoint

FOR PEOPLE: 3d 9h 58min 40s



The most miles covered in 24hrs

FOR PEOPLE: 492 miles / Average 20.5 knots


Complètement à l’Ouest Trophy

The boat with the westernmost position on the racetrack: FOR PEOPLE


Complètement FRAIZH Trophy

The most miles covered along the entire racetrack

FOR PEOPLE: 1,684 miles / Average 16.5 knots


Oceania Hotels Trophy

Best time over 500 metres in the Défi Pom'Potes

FOR PEOPLE: Speed: 36.55 knots


Prix Gallimard 

The best text on the theme "The ocean, a mirror of our dreams’



Trophy for best image

Maxime Mergalet / Charal: best race video


Gwen Chapalain, Organiser of the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Brest-Brest: “Year on year, we never tire of organising this unique event, this test of character. The incredible show put on by the sailors and the emotional rollercoaster ride they took us on were the crowning glory of the past fortnight. The level of performance glimpsed at during the Défi Pom’Potes gave us a foretaste of the incredible intensity of the race. We’re very grateful to Class IMOCA with whom we’ve been working for over 20 years. Thanks to the unshakeable trust shown in us by Christian Guyader, President of Guyader Gastronomie and Jean-Guy Le Floch, founder and CEO of Armor-Lux hosiery, we are able to offer not just a sports event, but an event that embraces the region’s very lifeblood. The commitment of the city of Brest, the Finistère department and the Breton Region really add to the event’s dynamism. The success of the Gallimard competition, the conference organised around Erik Orsenna at the Préfecture Maritime in Brest, as well as the tour of the dock organised for 200 children, will remain etched on everyone’s minds. This can only reinforce our motivation to think to the future and we hope to return to Brest very soon.” 

Antoine Mermod, President of Class IMOCA: “Our boats can be sailed singlehanded, double-handed and in crewed format. This year, which culminates with the Transat Jacques Vabre, racing the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Brest-Brest double-handed was an obvious move. Moreover, sailing it double-handed meant a little more security, peace of mind and performance for the teams who’d recently launched. The real novelty of this race is the presence of an on-board reporter. Bringing the race to life for the audience is a real bonus. Viewing the images from offshore and seeing just how spectacular the boats are far from the coast is thrilling and it doubtless heralds the start of a whole new story.”