Record-breaker Lionel Lemonchois crowned Sailor of the Year 2006 6/12/06

Following his recent win in the 8th Route du Rhum aboard Gitana 11, Frenchman Lionel Lemonchois has been named Sailor of the Year for 2006 at an awards ceremony in Paris.

Not only did Lemonchois win the ORMA class but with a time of 7 days 17 hours 19 minutes and 6 seconds he shattered the former record set by Laurent Bourgnon by more than four days.

At the ceremony last night Lemonchois was keen to share the credit for this victory with his boat’s owner, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, his two routers, Sylvain Mondon (Météo France) and Yann Guichard, along with the entire Gitana Team “without whom it would not have been possible.”

Lemonchois continued: “?I am very happy to receive this honour, especially as the other candidates would also have been worthy winners. And it’s also partly down to people such as Pascal Bidégorry, Franck Cammas and Bruno Peyron, to name but a few, that I am here today! I’ve learned so much sailing alongside them. It’s a really nice feeling, even though I wasn’t after any particular form of recognition. But I have to say that it’s very nice? In fact, I think I could get used to it!”