Le Tour de France à la voile! Does HVAC Engineers sail?

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Le Tour de France à la voile!  Does HVAC Engineers sail?

KNUD E. HANSEN A/S employee has participated in the revival of the famous race around France.

Stephane, why this sailing race? I’m French and I have been sailing races my whole life, but the past years I have focused on my family and job after I won the last world championship in Farr 30. This year the Tour De France (TDF) offered a complete new format of race by using a high speed Trimaran - which was enough to convince me and I said “let’s go”.

When you say let’s go, what happened? With two other friends, I started one year ago to test the boat - after 1 hours of testing, we all knew without doubt, we had to build a team to try this race. We started using our network and we found our main sponsor, and then began the adventure in April 2015.

Then what? This race is a great adventure race, which has existed the past 38 years. All the best French sailors does it and also teams from the UK, US, New Zealand, etc.… they come to enjoy the French coast from the North sea to the Mediterranean. Until now, it has only been done by mono-hulls, but the organization decided this year to jump to the multihull and that was a success; 28 boats (12 on a waiting list) and what a level of the sailors! Many World- and Olympic Champions etc.… that was super cool to race against all these guys.

How did it go? Our target was to finish in the top ten and we finish 11/28, so we are a bit disappointed. But to be honest, looking back on our training time, our budget and the level of the teams in front of us, we should be proud of this result. It gives us only one wish now: To do it again and this time we will go for the top 5!

Isn’t it too ambitious? No, we know where and how to work to improve. We just need more time; meaning finding a higher budget before the end of October and to work harder all winter in the cold water.

Your role in the team? I have two roles, one to organize the project and manage the economic side - in fact, like in my professional life. And on-board, mainly to do the trimming of the sails, with a permanent dialogue with the helmsman. It is so exiting when you are on the limit at 22-25 knots - under genaker - trying to stay on the right side, yes this boat capsizes, look at the links: Dailymotion.com  and Tourvoile.

Your best souvenir? Definitely the town of Roscoff - we did a great job here finishing 3rd of the stadium races.

What about the future?  Start another project for 2016, which is so exiting in all aspects; Technically, Team Building, Management and so demanding when racing - so many things - it helps me after my daily job. I wish as many as possible could be able try to enjoy this high level race– and remember: wearing a helmet is mandatory guys!

What else? My next challenge is to participate with the KNUD E. HANSEN A/S’ Medoc Marathon boys on the 12th of September – we are eight guys from my company doing the wine-tasting Marathon in the beautiful Medoc – between 22 wine castles and with 10.000 runners. Marathon du Medoc.

Stephane Geslin works for The Danish Naval Architect Company KNUD E. HANSEN A/S where he is the Manager of the HVAC-department, an experimented sailor double-winning world champion sailing Farr 30 and several times winning in French championships.

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