Olivier de Kersauson(1)(1) Archives Rivacomgrew up in Brittany where his family, hailing from French aristocracy and already distinguished by numerous privateers and adventurers, had lived for centuries. The young viscount who had sailed throughout his childhood quickly abandoned his studies in economics to widen his adventures across the oceans of the world…
In 1964, Olivier de Kersauson was 20 years old when he got to know Éric Tabarly, the captain of the Pen-Duick, on which he carried out his military service. Becoming Tabarly’s second-in-command, Olivier de Kersauson was present at all the victories marking the incredible Pen-Duick saga: the Sydney-to-Hobart race, the Fastnet, the Gotland Race, the Transpac…
Kersauson became a skipper on board the Kriter II, in 1975-1976, for the London-Sydney-London race. Winner of the first leg of this race, he lost the second leg due to keel damage.
The man from Brittany stood out for his boldness and his sense of innovation. He was the first to construct a composite multihull (Ribourel), then to launch a trimaran with long floats (Poulain) with which he came out second in the Course de l’Europe in 1987, won several Grand Prix, and beat the solo round-the-world record in 1989.
An obsession with the Jules Verne
As of 1992, the multihull pioneer devoted himself to circumnavigation speed records by lengthening his former trimaran to compete with ENZA, the catamaran of Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston, in 1993. Both teams would end up damaged in South Africa, allowing Peyron to emerge as the first to go under the 80-day mark.
But in 1997, Olivier de Kersauson finally bettered the record by one week and carried off the Jules Verne Trophy on board his trimaran Sport Elec, the ex-Poulain, Un autre regard, Charal, and Lyonnaise des Eaux Dumez, lengthened and strengthened on multiple occasions. He completed his world tour in 71 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes and 8 seconds.
In 2004, it was on board a new maxi-trimaran, the first Ultim’ three-hull in history, baptized Geronimo, that Kersauson took out the Trophy yet again.
A double winner of the Jules Verne Trophy, Olivier de Kersauson attacked and won, in 2005 and 2006, most speed records in the Pacific such as The Challenge around Australia, taken from Peter Blake, the Transpac or the Yokohama-San Francisco, still with Geronimo.
Objective America’s Cup
Fascinated by the America’s Cup, “France’s favorite sailor” joined up with Franck Cammas and Michel Desjoyeaux to represent France at the 35the edition of the America’s Cup in 2017, in the Groupama Team France.
1989 – Solo round-the-world record in 125 days, 19 hours and 32 minutes.
1997 – Jules Verne Trophy in 71 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes.
2004 – Jules Verne Trophy in 63 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes.
2005 – The Challenge in 17 days, 12 hours, 57 minutes; record for crossing the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 4 days, 19 hours, 31 minutes.
2006 – San Francisco-Yokohama record in 14 days, 22 hours, 40 minutes; San Francisco-Yokohama record in 13 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes; Yokohama-Hong Kong in 4 days, 17 hours, 47 minutes ad 23 seconds.