Transat CIC: a successful start for Nicolas Lunven

This morning, as the first rays of sunlight appeared, the pontoons of Lorient La Base were filled with 33 IMOCA teams doing the last preparations on their boat. Despite the heavy rain showers, many spectators came to admire the beautiful sight of these 33 IMOCA boats preparing to set off for the North Atlantic race towards the United States. 

Nicolas Lunven, skipper of team Holcim-PRB arrived very focussed and eager to take the start. Surrounded by his family and the team, he savored the last moments ashore before embarking on this solo regatta. At precisely 10:18 a.m., the skipper of Holcim-PRB cast off to reach the starting area located between Lorient and the island of Groix. The hours that followed were dedicated to final exchanges with the technical team members who remained on board to address the last details. It was only four minutes before the start procedure commenced that Nicolas found himself alone aboard his IMOCA.

I'm looking forward to leaving. The boat is ready. I have a great team that has worked hard this winter until the very last day to ensure that I leave in the best possible conditions.

Nicolas Lunven

At 1:30 p.m. local time, the starting gun released the monohulls competing in The Transat CIC, a solo transatlantic race from Lorient to New York. The weather conditions were favorable (around twelve knots of wind) for the first miles of the race and are expected to remain the same for the upcoming night. This allows Nicolas to confidently settle into the race before facing heavier conditions as of Tuesday, influenced by an approaching depression. "It's really ideal weather for a start, much easier than when you're getting tossed around right from the beginning," commented Nicolas before leaving dry land. During the first hours of the race, the goal is to reach the southwest of Ireland as part of the leading pack, after which the sailors will have to decide to navigate to the north or south approaching the first depression. "The first night will be calm, perhaps too calm. After that, it will get a bit rougher. Conditions will be challenging on Monday. Then we'll have a depression to navigate around in the southwest of Ireland. It's not very straightforward and still not clearly defined. After that, we'll head west in very challenging conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday."


Solo, but not alone 


While this departure from The Transat CIC marks an important moment for Nicolas, it is also significant for the technical team of Team Holcim-PRB, signaling the end of their own race. For several months, they have worked hard to ensure the boat is in top condition for their skipper's next race. Nicolas sincerely thanked them before embarking on this new challenge: "I feel very good. I'm glad to go, I'm looking forward to it. The boat is ready. I'm very fortunate to have a great team that has worked extremely hard this winter until the very last day to ensure that I leave in the best possible conditions." After 2 hours of racing, Nicolas Lunven is in the top 5, sailing at a speed of 9.9 knots. The monohull is expected to take just under ten days to reach New York, with an estimated arrival around May 7th.