Hugo Picard (aka The Sailing Frenchman) at the heart of a dream transatlantic race!

On September 26, 2021, Hugo Picard, youtuber and skipper known as The Sailing Frenchman, embarked on an incredible project: to take part in the Mini Transat, a famous solo boat race…

Hugo Picard

Photo credit: Hugo Picard

A skier’s destiny all mapped out…or almost!

Hugo grew up in the heart of the Pyrenees, so it’s only natural that he should become a ski instructor. Convinced that the mountains are his preferred domain, he never imagined that one day the sea would become his element. It was when he joined the sailing association at his business school in Montpellier in 2013 that Hugo discovered a new passion: the seas and oceans. It was the beginning of a great love affair.

A few years later, in 2017, The Sailing Frenchman bought a boat, the « Ann Alé », for the symbolic price of one euro and began renovating it with the aim of being able to sail. After spending countless hours repairing the « Ann Alé », it finally becomes its own floating home.

Hugo embarked on the first of many epic voyages across the Atlantic, spending two seasons exploring the Caribbean islands.

Hugo Picard

Photo credit: Hugo Picard

The Mini Transat: an adventure begins!

After a few years spent working and gaining experience as a skipper, Hugo set himself the goal of taking part in the Mini-Transat. Created in 1977 by Bob Salmon, this single-handed transatlantic race on a 6.50-meter sailboat is considered the breeding ground for tomorrow’s ocean racing champions and Vendée Globe skippers. A mythical event that enthusiasts see as a springboard for new adventures. The bottle to the sea has been thrown.

Dreaming of taking part in the Mini-Transat, Hugo is calling on his community to help him achieve his goal. Thanks in particular to the fund-raising campaign we co-organized on Ulule, Hugo was able to finance the purchase of parts for his new boat and set off on his personal challenge!

A dream finally realized

Yes, thanks to you, Hugo was able to live his adventure and make his dream come true. We’re delighted to be able to thank you and keep you informed of the results of this race.

For the 23rd edition of the Mini-Transat solo race, 84 sailors took to the water!

How did it work? In two stages! While the first stage linked Les Sables d’Olonne to the Canaries, the second involved crossing the Atlantic to reach Guadeloupe.

After a total of 28 days against all odds, it was on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 9:42 am that Hugo crossed the finish line of the second leg of his incredible epic, in 34th position!

Hugo Picard

Photo credit: Hugo Picard

Many thanks!

On this last leg, Hugo experienced the Transatlantic crossing of his dreams.

Indeed, in an interview with Mini-Transat, he confided that his first Atlantic crossing had taken him 31 days. Well, as of November 16, 2021, his new record stands at 17 days! A dazzling improvement by this Skipper of whom we’re all very proud!

None of this would have been possible without the support of all the people who put their trust in Hugo and believed in his project.

We would therefore like to thank the following people in particular:

roland-tirel, chantalbailly, kennett-rb, bartongib, hamish975, florian3489, helenerenard-, louisbeyssac, mpcortier, e-gerardin34, jmtaverney, chamonier, gabor-skornyik, matcaubs, romscaubs, sandra-marichal, and L’équipe Samboat.

We end these words of thanks with Hugo’s own, because no one could express his gratitude better than he did:

« Single-handed ocean racing may seem like a very individual sport. But if you’re alone at sea, an ocean racing project is a team effort. If I’ve been able to complete my first solo transatlantic race, on a fast, safe and seaworthy boat, it’s above all thanks to you.

It wasn’t just your contribution to the purchase of material and equipment for the boat that brought me to the starting line. It’s the conviction that I wasn’t the only one to believe in this crazy idea of crossing an ocean on a boat the size of a minivan. So for all that, thank you a thousand times over and bon vent. »

Hugo Picard

Photo credit: Hugo Picard

Congratulations again to Hugo, and good luck for the next adventure!

If you’d like to keep up with Hugo’s adventures, check out his Youtube channel and videos!