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Ahead of the start of the Pure Ocean challenge between Bermuda and Lorient next month, which will resurrect the infamous series of races that took place over 40 years ago, those involved in this and historic editions have reflected on the importance of the route and its resurgence.

Back in 1979, the first edition of the race saw Jean-Claude Parisis and Olivier de Rosny on the monohull Fernande finishing third as Éric Tabarly and Marc Pajot on Paul Ricard were beaten into second place by Eugène Riguidel and Gilles Gahinet with just 5 minutes and 42 seconds separating the top two boats.

Olivier de Rosny said: “It was such a pleasure to race in this competitive boat and I can remember passing the banks of Newfoundland with winds of 30 knots which was a lot more than the other boats who were following a route further south.

“When we finally arrived in Lorient we were both very surprised at how many people were there to welcome us back and we were inundated with letters congratulating us on our achievement.”

Olivier de Rosny believes that resurrecting the crossing challenge is a great opportunity for boats to return to France after the Caribbean racing season.

He said: “It adds a bit of spice to the crossing rather than doing a straightforward delivery and it will ensure that each sailor is also doing something to help protect the sea so that future generations can continue to enjoy this huge playground that is our ocean.” More here.