Solo race LA SOLITAIRE URGO Le figaro - Departure from Nantes June 2
We are back in the race, with our partnership on St Michel and its skipper Yann ELIES, who started the race on Sunday, June 2nd from Nantes for about ten days at sea.

The Solitaire URGO le Figaro is a single-type race, no assistance, timed, disputed over four stages along the coast over 1500 to 2000 miles, in 10 to 13 days. We will follow its progress on a daily basis.
Good luck Yann!

Sardinha Cup 2019 - March 26 / April 13 - Victory !
Congratulations to our 2 champions Yann ELIES and Samantha DAVIES who crossed the finish line at 7 H25.
What better way to promote the values that are also ours: courage, discipline, adventure and perseverance.
Bravo !!!

This unique double-sail race starting from St Gilles Croix de Vie, running from March 26 to April 13, 2019,
bears a name based on an unusual route. The name came from the route made by sardines as they come up our coasts from Lisbon.
33 pairs are engaged in this race.
The event is part of the French Elite Offshore Racing Championship.

In 2019, BATT & ASSOCIES is sponsoring the boat of Yann ELIES and Samantha Davies; they are one of the rare coed pairs (6 in total)
competing in this Sardihna Cup.

They finished Stage 2 in 4th place. The finish is scheduled for Sunday, April 9th.

Route du Rhum 2019 - Relive the past 12 days in pictures

17/11/2018  Arrival in Guadeloupe - 2nd place for Yann

Fatigue could be read on the face of Yann Eliès that night in Guadeloupe. The skipper of UCAR-StMichel gave his all to catch up to Paul Meilhat, but the latter did not give in! The finish of this Route du Rhum - Guadeloupe to Imoca kept its promise: intense and full of suspense. Joy and satisfaction also shone on the St Brieuc native's face as he managed to snatch a fine second place.

Yann Eliès : "This Route du Rhum has been incredible.  After the first few days, I thought the podium was over for me! I got stuck in a windless zone the day after leaving; I saw Paul and Vincent getting away and then the whole fleet coming back on me. When I finally got out of this trap, I was 80 miles behind the leading trio.

I didn't let up in the bypass of the Azores High*. We ended up with 4 boats in the trade winds, ready to fight.
Vincent made the mistake, not Paul! Bravo to him!

To finish second and to catch up to 3 miles from Paul on the Tour de l'île**, it was unexpected ten days ago, it's a great result!

I have a special thought for Alex Thomson who performed the race masterfully. High performance is a multitude of small details that need to be put in place.
He made a mistake***, that's for sure, it's already happened to me. It's part of the game. But he showed that he was the boss.
On the next Vendée Globe he' s going to be hard to catch!

I'm bushed. The Imoca require a mad burst of energy. You have to manage your time, your sleep, your strategy, your mental and physical effort.
There are dozens of small tasks to deal with every day, which make it very difficult".

November 15 2018   36 HOURS ON THE CLOCK

"I'm ready. Those were Yann Eliès' first words on the phone this morning and sum up the UCAR-StMichel skipper's state of mind 500 miles from the finish line. The St Brieuc native is still in the race for second place and has no intention of letting Paul Meilhat out of his sights! The end of the race for the Imoca boats holds many surprises...

Yann Eliès: "We've been sailing in the trade winds* for a week now, at a fairly intense pace. This morning, I've still got 20 knots set, gusting to 28 knots. UCAR-StMichel
is sailing in a 3 to 4-meter swell, which increases as the squalls pass. I was pretty shaken up last night. When you go fast, the conditions on board are more trying. But there are still 36 hours to go and you have to do it all the way!

A week ago, I didn't think I would be able to take 2nd place, I was really behind during the storm. I came back with small differences in speed, with a more southerly option in the trade winds and I'm back in the game.

The end of the race is unpredictable, that will spice up the next few hours. I imagine that Paul Meilhat is like me, with his eyes glued to the map. Vincent Riou is having technical problems and is moving a little slower but I'm still suspicious, he's not very far away. UCAR-StMichel is doing well, the foils are doing the job, I'm ready to shoot!"

November 14 2018  Fighting spirit and wild squalls

UCAR-StMichel is approaching the West Indies, the Orange and Yellow IMOCA must make its way through the squalls. Yann Eliès, following behind Paul Meilhat, faces violent gusts of wind. Stressful conditions that should chase the St Brieuc native skipper all the way to Guadeloupe.

Yann Eliès :
"We are in a relatively disturbed trade wind*, with quite a few big squalls. Suddenly we see these black cloudy masses appear, more or less extensive. The wind forced by a third when they hit the boat, these conditions make it a bit of a mess. When you go from an average of 20 knots to 30 knots, UCAR-StMichel gets carried away, the sails of your boat are no longer adapted. You have to jump in your raincoat, get outside and stay vigilant. Yesterday I was thinking about how difficult it is to sail a Multi50** in these conditions, and I saw the news of Arkema capsizing, I was sorry for Lalou".

"Alex Thomson was very bold at the beginning, he dominated the race, that' s all there is to it. There are three of us, UCAR-StMichel, SMA, and PRB
who have been chasing the podium for the past week. I'm keeping an eye out to try to repeat my good weekend with SMA in the lead.
Paul Meilhat is 45 miles (editor's note: 83 km) ahead, but I won't give up! The big squalls might chase us to the finish and then we'll have to go around the island again***! There is a good chance that all will be determined on these last miles around Guadeloupe."

November 13 2018  The last 3 days will be intense

Yann Eliès is back in the game! The gaps were significantly reduced between Alex Thomson's chasers. Paul (Meilhat), Vincent (Riou) and Yann (Eliès) want to make it to the podium and they are putting all their energy into it. Guadeloupe approaches and the regatta for the podium intensifies.

Yann Eliès : "It's always best when you make up miles on your competitors! The closer we get to Pointe-à-Pitre, the more we are in contact. Paul and Vincent and I trained together in Port-La-Forêt. It's motivating to find ourselves neck and neck a few hundred miles from the finish.

I get the impression that everyone has small technical problems or missing sails. We all say as little as possible by strategy. The reality is that when you break something, it has a mental and physical impact because it has to be repaired. So don't give hope to your competitors! The skippers are tired, the boats have more or less suffered, the last 3 days are going to be intense!"

Ranking at 11h45

1/ Alex Thomson - Hugo Boss à 1007  miles from the finish - 1865 km
2/ Paul Meilhat - SMA à 185 miles from the leader - 342 km
3/ Vincent Riou - PRB à 216 miles from the leader - 400 km
4/ Yann Elies - UCAR-StMichel à 218 miles from the leader - 403 km
5/ Boris Hermann - Malizia 2 - Yacht Club de Monaco à 315 miles from the leader - 583 km

November 8 2018   Ascension and attention

"Finally the atmosphere is warming up! "announced Yann Eliès to his team this morning on the phone. UCAR-StMichel is heading towards the tradewinds* that it will hit in 24 hours. In the meantime, the yellow and orange Imoca will have to slalom between the calms of the Azores High** et les calm *** of Madeira. UCAR-StMichel is progressing in 5th place and is positioned the furthest east of the fleet. It is preparing for a long downwind battle**** against its rivals. " "The race will be played out between the four of us, but we have to watch what Boris Hermann does," explains Yann. The German took 2nd place by sailing on a northern route, close to the direct route, while the 4 "southerners" are making the the long lap to get around the Azores high. Between the northern route and its head winds, which is shorter, and the southern route, which is longer with its downwinds vents portants***** conditions.Who will succeed?

November 4 2018  The departure

The 123 boats of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe fleet began the race on Sunday, November 4.  Countdown and betting begin.

Chaque jour nous suivons le classement de notre skipper préféré de Yann ELIES.

Nous avons assisté au départ de la course ; voici nos plus belles photos

October 29 2018  Dolphin & Lilly Wood

Mad talent and strong will, raised in the harshness of Northern Brittany, Yann is one of those respected Breton sailors. But who is behind this Breton with an uncompromising character? He describes himself and paints his Chinese portrait.

Yann Eliès by Yann Eliès …

"I see myself as a lucky person. I can be quite the "Brittany man"," meaning that I don't always have an easy character. However, this is a quality because I don't always give up easily. When I set a goal for myself, I can put a lot into it to achieve it. »

If I were 

An animal : I would be a dolphin. They are quite playful, joyful animals. They move around in the water with such ease that sailors envy them. They also have the ability to keep moving while sleeping, it's a bit like a solo sailor's dream to be able to rest while being active at the same time.

A hero : I wish I were a politician capable of making good decisions.

Une chanson : Prayer in the C by Lilly Wood & Robin Schulz.

A meal : A pasta dish.

An objet : Imoca UCAR-StMichel, I find it beautiful, racy, it's a beautiful object.

A place : A wild beach in Brehat, a white sandy beach with pink granite around, or the Glénan. These are the beaches of my childhood, these places soothe me.

An element : Salt water.

A noise : The sound of a foil splitting the water. We will soon get rid of the sound of water, the foam, the froth that a boat makes when it pushes the water. This noise will be what offshore racers will hear at sea in a few years.

A saying : We never, never, give up, we go all the way! This motto allows me to hold on. On the last La Solitaire du Figaro it gave me a boost. And if it doesn't go as planned, it's hard, but at least you don't give up and you don't have any regrets.

A film : I like Belgian humor. This is a film that can be embarrassing, it's black humor, it's called Dikkenek.

A sport (except for sailing) : Surfing.

October 28 2018  Share the Rum

Next Sunday at 2:00 pm the 123 boats of the Route du Rhum will cross the departure line of the 8th edition. The countdown has started. Yann's days are intense between autograph sessions, media interviews, and meetings with his sponsors. However, the skipper of UCAR-StMichel is taking time for himself to get into the game, smoothly but surely, with some mountain biking, cardio, and rest.

October 24 2018 Quayside arrival for UCAR ST MICHEL

UCAR ST Michel was docked today. "The first victory is to be at the start" said Yann Eliès.

October 8 2018  A card up their sleeve

In the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe 2018, Yann Eliès chose to work with Charlie Dalin for the performance of UCAR-StMichel.  "Charlie is a top-level skipper and excels in this field. He was already there during my first Route du Rhum on the Ultim* in 2014, and we did the Transat Jacques Vabre together in 2015. He is another ace up my sleeve! "says Yann.

What is your role on the team?
Charlie Dalin. "I'm here to help him with navigation software, weather, strategy and sail selection. In Saint-Malo, I'll also be present right from departure to the final weather routing** before his solo crossing."

How was the last training with Yann?
"The last training course was similar to the first hours of the Route du Rhum race with navigation phases close to the coast. Yann has a perfect command of his boat and this type of route. He is in his element! He finished first of the two offshore races against 5 other Imoca boats. On November 4th, between Saint-Malo and the entrance of the Bay of Biscay, he will have a great opportunity to be at the leading edge!"

With less than a month to go before the start of the Route du Rhum, what else are you still working on?
"There are new sails aboard UCAR-StMichel, which are different from the old ones in terms of surface area and shape. So we have to optimize the polarities (range of use of the sails according to wind strength and direction) of each of them in the navigation software. This will be a key element in the strategy before and during the race."

*Yann had finished in 7th place at Pointe à Pitre in Ultim aboard the MOD70 Paprec Récyclage
**In Imoca, routing by a person ashore is forbidden during the race

September 22 2018  In the right spot

It is with rain, air, and sea that UCAR-StMichel crossed the finish line of the 24h Azimut this Saturday at noon. The orange and yellow IMOCA finished on the podium after PRB - Vincent Riou and Initiatives coeur - Samantha Davies. A fair third place for Yann Eliès who replays the race:

Yann, you left like a rocket on these 24 hours azimuth! 
"Yes, the start was successful. We had prepared the move with my team. UCAR-StMichel left the pier well in advance and we had time to make a small tack change to adjust the boat. All we had to do was hit the gas to cross the line. It is psychologically very important to get off to a good start."

What happened next?
"Last night we went upwind. It was hard, it was choppy and not much wind. We did not do too badly but we could have done better. I then took a good trajectory when I passed the 3rd point before coming back to Lorient. I was happy, I made a good comeback on PRB. And then Vincent Riou suddenly woke up, adjusted his boat and flew away (laughs)."

What conclusions do you draw from this race?
"Overall, I feel good, in the right spot Samantha Davies still finishes ahead of me but I haven't had the last word! On the technical side, I can't wait to get my new sails, it will allow me to go a little faster upwind and to be even more on the ball!"

September 12 2018  Resting, Biking, and Cardio

After an intense phase of two workshops in Port-La-Forêt, Yann dedicated this week to technique, sport and rest. Taking care of the boat but also of the man is good preparation for the Route du Rhum. Julien Penven, composite manager of UCAR-StMichel and Yann ELIES chat with us about their days ashore.

Yann Eliès :
"This week is a chance to sit down with the team and define a battle plan for the little bits and pieces to tinker with. Technique, computers, and electronics, when the boat remains at the dock, there is a lot going on. I also train on land: I ride mountain bikes and paddle a lot, and I do muscle strengthening with a coach 3 times a week. I also watch my rest and my nutrition very carefully. Even if I want to go sailing, preparation on land is important to be at my best later on!"

Julien Penven :
"UCAR-StMichel reached maturity. Major choices were made several months ago and today we're really in the final stages of fine-tuning. With Jean-Yves Gau and Damien Guillou, our goal is to make sure that Yann can get the most out of the boat!"

July 23 2018 First race for Ucar-St Michel

Thus begin a story and a partnership between Yann Eliès and the Imoca Ucar-StMichel. Indeed, today at 3:00 pm, the skipper and his boat in its new colors will depart on their first race together: the Dhream Cup between Trinité-sur-Mer and Cherbourg, via the Fastnet lighthouse (south-west of Ireland). Twelve Imoca boats are present on this solo race of more than 700 miles. "The Dhream Cup is a true Figaro race leg, but in Imoca, it's going to be tough," emphasizes the skipper from St Brieuc.

Yann Eliès :  "Ucar-StMichel is brand new! It comes out of a three-week construction period where my team thoroughly checked everything in preparation for the Route du Rhum. We especially put on our new bright new colors. I love to see my new boat sporting the colors of Ucar and StMichel."

The skipper is brand new too! I've just taken a three-week vacation, on the ocean of course! I've recharged my batteries; I am ready to tackle this first solo race aboard Ucar-StMichel.

And what a race! The Dhream Cup is a real Figaro leg, but in Imoca, it's going to be tough! I'm hungry for it but we'll have to be watchful because we'll be sailing close to the French, Irish, and English coasts with rocks, current, and a lot of maritime traffic."

June 2 2018 St Michel joins UCAR and Yann Eliès
One good turn deserves another, Yann Eliès is happy to welcome aboard his Imoca, the family owned cookie factory St Michel. Jean-Pierre Dick's loyal sponsor decided to join the ambitious project of the skipper from St Brieuc. Yann Eliès clearly states his objective: winning the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe.

The boat is now called UCAR-StMichel and is now participating in its first race, the Tour de Belle-Ile, which starts today at 10 am. On board, Yann will be surrounded by his technical team and some friends from the Figaro circuit: Charlie Dalin, Alan Roberts, and Damien Guillou.

Yann ELIES and UCAR qualify for La Route du rhum race

It is with a big smile that Yann Elies entered the bay of Lorient on his Imoca UCAR this Saturday, May 26th. The skipper has indeed just reached an important stage in his project by qualifying for the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe. Having left last Thursday, Yann has completed the 1200 miles required by the race organizers. These 4 days offered him the opportunity to practice solo for the first time on UCAR. 

How do you feel now that you have qualified?
Yann Eliès : "I qualified, the goal of this navigation is accomplished! I have the golden ticket that will allow me to be at the departure of La Route du Rhum in November. The 1200 miles have been done in a little less than four days, I'm happy."

Can you tell us about this life-size practice?
Y.E :  "The idea was to try and get to know my Imoca UCAR, there's nothing better than a closed-door session with your boat to get to know it. I had previously sailed in fake solo and double-handed with Jean-Pierre but being alone on board is different.
Solo sailing is a new experience and organization on board: eating, sleeping, producing energy, doing your own weather forecast. Everything must be perfectly coordinated in order to perform well on a daily basis during La Route du Rhum. This qualification is a good introduction that will help me clear the way for my next training sessions".

Notre partenariat avec Yann ELIES pour la route du Rhum 2018

Soucieux de partager et de promouvoir ses valeurs, comme précédemment avec Jean-Pierre DICK,  BATT & ASSOCIES apporte aujourd'hui son soutien à Yann ELIES;

Yann ELIES sera donc au départ de la Route du rhum, le 4 novembre 2018à Saint Malo destination Guadeloupe,  sur le bateau UCAR
Photos c Y.Zedda

"I will be at the departure of La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe !" said  a smiling Yann Eliès.
Indeed, the skipper from St Brieuc is embarking alongside a new partner: UCAR. This company specializing in car rental for all and a pioneer in new uses of individual and shared cars, has decided
"to embark on the great adventure of ocean racing with one of its most talented skippers," said its President, Jean-Claude Puerto.

Yann Elies will start the mythical transatlantic race aboard Jean-Pierre Dick's Imoca. A ship that Yann knows perfectly well. Indeed, he won the Transat Jacques Vabre with it last November. "I am really happy to be here at the departure and to introduce Ucar's employees to this commitment to the sport. I'm hungry  for it, I want to add it to my list of achievements!" says Yann.
lâche Yann.

Yann ELIES' achievements
  • Double winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre (Imoca, 2017 and Multi50, 2013)
  • Triple winner of La Solitaire du Figaro (2012, 2013, and 2015)
  • Double winner of the French Ocean Racing Championship (2004 and 2006)
  • 2 participations in the Vendée Globe (2008 abandoned due to a serious injury - 2016 5th place)
  • Double holder of the Jules Verne Trophy (round-the-world record) aboard Bruno Peyron's maxi-catamarans "Orange" and "Orange II" in 2002 and 2005 (50 days 16h 20 min 4sec)

Les partenaires
Sponsor Title : UCAR
Official Partner Privilege : St Michel
Club Partners : Chiesi - Proclim - Lamie Mutuelle - Parquest CapitalBatt & Associés - Balguerie- Altana Eden Park - One2Team

La Route du Rhum 2018 : destination Guadeloupe
(Translated from)Source : la route du rhum website

A sporting and maritime event, La Route du Rhum is also one of the most popular races. Ever since its first edition, the magic of this transatlantic race has been operating from Saint-Malo. Every four years, the corsair city opens wide the doors of the sailors imagination and launches a formidable invitation to the spectators: that of escape and wonder about the ultimate dream of solo sailors, " going-at-sea " sailors ready to face the ocean head-on with a rare intensity...

Hear, hear the strong wind of freedom! As its founder Michel Etevenon wanted, La Route du Rhum has always been about diversity. La Route du Rhum has been bringing together monohulls and multihulls, small ocean-going racers, and giants of the seas along the same departure line and on the same itinerary since 1978. This new type of transatlantic race opens the Atlantic to sailboats of all kinds, revealing the fierce vitality of ocean racing.