Olivier Cardin given special honour at French Sailing Awards

06 December 2016

Clipper 2015-16 Race winning skipper Olivier Cardin was recognised with a special award at last night’s French Sailing Federation’s flagship award ceremony, the Soiree des Champions.

The awards, held in Paris, celebrate the best French sailing performances of the year. Olivier received the accolade after becoming the first French skipper to be victorious in the race.

Receiving the award on stage, flanked by eleven of his LMAX Exchange crew, Olivier, 46, from Saint Aubin sur Mer in Normandy, said: “I am incredibly proud to receive this special award from the French Sailing Federation following the victory in the Clipper 2015-16 Race.

“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."

Adding he said: “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!”


LMAX Exchange celebrates its win arriving back into London

Inspired by Eric Tabarly, the father figure of sailing in France, Olivier, a former IT Project Manager, 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.

Attending the ceremony and congratulating Olivier on his award, Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Olivier was totally focused on winning the race and lead his crew competitively from the start to achieve this fantastic result. 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 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 in the prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which doubled as Race 5 of the series.

Overall they achieved an incredible ten podium finishes out of the fourteen races, six of which were victories. The team also scored fifteen 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 team’s narrowest victory came during the next race, into Airlie Beach, when the team swapped the lead back and forth in the final days and ended up claiming a nail biting victory by just 42 seconds and less than half a mile over rival GREAT Britain.

LMAX Exchange’s final race win came into Derry-Londonderry in Race 12 after crossing the Atlantic for the third time and returning to British waters. In an almost heart stopping conclusion, the team found stronger winds approaching the finish line and crossed just 5 nautical miles ahead of the home town team.


LMAX Exchange receives its winning trophy at Race Finish London

To find out more about the award and Paris Boat Show, visit the French Sailing Federation website.

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