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A real media and popular success, the flagship race of the French Elite Ocean Racing Championship, organized by OC Sport Pen Duick, has been a success in both sporting and CSR terms. A success hailed by all those involved, from sailors to partners, starting with Paprec, Title Partner of the event, and the Département de Loire-Atlantique, its Major Partner.

Legends are born here: the baseline of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec has once again been confirmed for the 2023 edition of the race, which is as demanding as it is committed, as thrilling as it is sometimes cruel. "As it does every year, the Solitaire du Figaro Paprec found its audience, helped hatch exceptional sailors and forged some of ocean racing's greatest talents. The 2023 edition was particularly tough, and put the sailors to the test. But it's in these conditions that they express themselves best, and that the most talented sailors manage to stand out from the crowd," sums up Joseph Bizard, General Manager of OC Sport Pen Duick.

A positive sporting outcome

A beautiful course in three challenging legs; four stopovers; 32 skippers; suspense; twists and turns, but above all a magnificent winner in the person of Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire): all the ingredients were there to make the 2023 edition of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec a great vintage. "At Paprec, we're delighted with this first edition as title partner. It was a very rich event, with 32 male and female competitors of many different nationalities, and a third of them rookies! It lived up to all its promises. Demanding, it was held in difficult conditions, with oily seas, headwinds... and required everyone to draw on unexplored resources and show fighting spirit," comments Sébastien Petithuguenin, Managing Director of the Paprec Group. Before adding: "It kept aficionados on the edge of their seats with fights that were sometimes very close. It featured some spectacular remontadas: Corentin Horeau was only 15th at the end of the first stage. And it lived up to its role as an illustrious race in the French meritocracy: on equal terms, rookies took their place against seasoned sailors. The first rookie, Victor Le Pape (Région Bretagne - CMB Espoir), for example, came 9th overall.

A popular success, a regional celebration

The Solitaire du Figaro Paprec was held in four towns this year: Caen (Calvados), Kinsale (Ireland), Baie de Morlaix (Brittany, Finistère) and Piriac-sur-Mer (Loire-Atlantique). In each of the three French towns, the race village welcomed newcomers and enthusiasts free of charge, including 1,500 schoolchildren, who came in droves to admire the boats, meet the sailors and take advantage of the 14 days of events put on by race partners and exhibitors. New this year: 300 visits of Figaro BENETEAU 3 were offered to the general public. In Caen, host city for the Grand Départ of the 54th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, over 3,000 spectators attended the Grande Parade along the Canal de Caen à la mer. "This edition was a success in terms of the audiences we managed to attract to the race villages, particularly schoolchildren, to whom we want to pass on our passion for sailing," emphasizes Joseph Bizard.

A popular success, a regional celebration

The race's Grand Final, judged in Piriac-sur-Mer for the first time, was also synonymous with discovery and sharing, as Louise Pahun, vice-president of Sports solidaires, responsables et activités de pleine nature, explains: "By setting course for Piriac-sur-Mer, we had chosen a novel destination for this new edition of the Solitaire du Figaro Paprec in Loire-Atlantique. The public immediately responded to the diversity of the activities on offer and the constant attention paid to the environment. Among the 16,000 people we met at the event, I'd first like to highlight the diversity of the audiences: here, the emotion of a family discovering the boat for the first time "in real life" with the departmental sports program, there, the dialogue with a retired sailor on the departmental stand, or the enthusiasm of a class of schoolchildren to discover the sea in a different way. That's how we want to experience sport together!

Some 25,000 players took part in the race on Virtual Regatta Offshore, the Official Game of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec.

The race's carbon footprint reduced by 13%.

Committed to CSR, OC Sport Pen Duick has successfully challenged its practices to reduce its impact. "The Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, which we have built even more closely with our partners and local authorities, is a race that moves with the times. Last year, we launched a concrete initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have successfully continued our efforts, supported by concrete and ongoing actions, including the completion of the event's carbon footprint for the second year running. We are delighted to be able to work together to make this a more sustainable event. This success demonstrates once again that there are no great projects that can't be done together," says Joseph Bizard with satisfaction.

OC Sport Pen Duick chose Wings of the Ocean as its NGO partner for the 54th edition. Present in all three race villages, including the one in Piriac-sur-Mer (Loire Atlantique), eco-labeled by the REEVE network, Wings of the Ocean raised awareness of ocean protection among more than 2,200 visitors to its 25 m2 stand provided by OC Sport Pen Duick, and communicated its actions to a wide audience.

This year, the race's carbon footprint was estimated at 417 tonnes of CO2e, 13% less than the 2022 edition. Thanks to the implementation of a 100% local carbon contribution plan, 43% of the event's carbon footprint, or 181 tonnes of CO2e, was offset with Agoterra (ex-TerraTerre). In this context, the race's carbon contribution (+28% vs. 2022) supported a Norman farmer in his transition to more sustainable agriculture. A positive CSR result for OC Sport Pen Duick, which intends to continue its transition towards a more sustainable event.

Increased media coverage (key figures)

- 17 million euros worth of advertising space purchased

- 3060 media coverage (+76%) including 394 press articles, 2424 web articles, 150 radio reports and 92 TV reports

- 9.5 million impressions on social networks (+28% vs. 2022)

- 685,000 page views on the new race website

- 820,000 page views on cartography

- 117,000 viewers on France 3 Bretagne, Pays de la Loire and Normandie for the Grand Départ

See you in 2024 for the 55th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec and L'Étape by La Solitaire !