Published: Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Clipper Race 2015-16 winning Skipper Olivier Cardin has been recognised with a special award at the French Sailing Federation’s flagship award ceremony – the Soiree des Champions. 

Olivier Cardin Awarded At French Sailing Federation Ceremony

(Photos: Clipper Race - Olivier Cardin)

The awards, held in Paris, celebrated the best French sailing performances of the year. The 46-year-old Cardin from Saint Aubin sur Mer received the accolade after becoming the first French Skipper to be victorious in the race.

“I am incredibly proud to receive this special award from the French Sailing Federation following the victory in the Clipper 2015-16 Race,” says Cardin of LMAX Exchange. “This award is not only for me, but also for all the LMAX Exchange team, many who were able to join me on stage, who built the success and highly deserve to share this reward.

“It is excellent to have this recognition from the French Sailing community about the Clipper Race. Being French, we are always happy to win an English-organised race! However I am watching carefully to see if Alex Thomson (winner of the Clipper 2000 Race) will now be able to take the English revenge in the Vendée Globe!”

Former IT Project Manager, Cardin was inspired by the father figure of sailing in France – Eric Tabarly. He has a rich racing history including two seasons match racing with French Olympic sailor and two-time Finn Gold Cup champion, Philippe Presti before joining the Clipper Race. 

“Olivier was totally focused on winning the race and leads his crew competitively from the start to achieve this fantastic result,” says Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “It is the first time the race has had a French Skipper and I hope that Olivier’s achievement inspires others to join our international group of Skippers.”

Olivier Cardin Awarded At French Sailing Federation Ceremony 1

Cardin guided his team with purpose from the start and displayed a blend of competitive spirit and passion, winning the opening race from London to Rio de Janeiro with confidence. The team claimed podium finishes in four of the first six races, including third place at the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which doubled as Race 5 of the series.

Overall they achieved an incredible 10 podium finishes out of the fourteen races, six of which were victories. The team also scored 15 Scoring Gate points and two Ocean Sprint points, and claimed a total tally of 152 points, which saw them take the title by four points over second place Derry~Londonderry~Doire.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only event of its kind on the planet which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers. The only professional on each of the twelve one-design Clipper 70 yachts is the Skipper. 

40,000 nautical miles in length, the circumnavigation includes a series of 14 races across six continents and takes almost a year to complete. Approximately 700 crew will take part in the next edition of the challenge. It is the world’s biggest ocean challenge.