France tour for Sir Robin and first French skipper Olivier Cardin

05 April 2015

The Clipper Race’s first ever French skipper Olivier Cardin has sailed into Saint Malo, France with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston for a tour following the successful call for a French skipper.

Sir Robin appealed for a French skipper in November when he was in France – a nation of sailors - competing in the Transatlantic Route du Rhum race.

The ClipperTelemed+ yacht is berthed in Saint Malo and will host a reception for the City’s Mayor and guests on Sunday evening. Sir Robin, Olivier and past and future race crew including a French sailor will then sail onto Brest to help launch the Brest Tonneres maritime festival.

Olivier, 45 from Saint Aubin Sur Mer, Normandy, said: “Sailing into France for the first time since being selected as a race skipper a few weeks ago feels very special. I am so happy to be the first French skipper in the 19-year history of the Clipper Race. I want to promote the race in France to encourage more French to sign up and take on the Race of Their Lives."

Sir Robin added: “I wanted to visit to thank the people of Saint Malo for such a fantastic welcome here before I set off in the Route du Rhum race. The support of the city and the atmosphere during the prep week was incredible. We wanted a French skipper for the next edition of the Clipper Race and we found one, so I am delighted to be sailing in France with Olivier now.”

Crew member Gabrielle Barthelemy is a 30-year-old marketing manager from Normandy and will compete on Leg 3. She said: “I have been to Saint Malo many times but I have never sailed in. It was really spectacular. There has been a lot of interest in the boat and what we are going to do on the race here and I am proud to represent France. I hope I can get more French people to come join us and compete.”

There are 12 French sailors signed up for the 2015/16 edition which sets off from the UK on August 30 2015.

It is not too late to apply and there are still places available on most legs. Click here to find out more and apply.

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