The latest Global Ocean Race (GOR) entry is the Franco-British duo of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron: a team that will bring an enormous bank of offshore experience to the double-handed circumnavigation in a new and powerful Class40 Pogo S² from the Structures yard in Bénodet, Brittany.
For Mabire and Merron, entering the GOR is a fresh offshore challenge: “All adventures start with a wish, but also as a result of meeting people,” explains 53 year-old Mabire. “Miranda and I have already shared a few adventures and we trust each other implicitly on the boat, which is essential on a double-handed race,” he adds. Merron agrees fully with her co-skipper: “I am delighted to be racing with Halvard,” confirms the 41 year-old. “He has many thousands of miles of ocean racing experience and has been around the world a few times. Also, we work well together on the boat.”
This practical partnership on board is a key element of the campaign. “Our skills and experience are complementary,” Mabire continues. “The few thousand miles we have sailed together have strengthened our wish to race together in the Global Ocean Race,” he says. “And, as our campaign is Anglo-French and fully bilingual, this means that we will be able to share our adventure with a wider audience.”
The duo’s racing CV is an impressive register of grand prix offshore events: Mabire has 33 years and more than 300,000 miles of offshore racing experience with five Whitbread Round the World Races, 32 transatlantic races including The Artemis Transat and OSTAR with victories in the Quebec – St. Malo and Twostar and extensive Solitaire du Figaro participation. Merron’s track record is similarly impressive with solo, double-handed and fully-crewed races including the Route du Rhum, Transat Jacques Vabre, Route du Nouveau Monde, Volvo Ocean Race and a Jules Verne Trophy attempt on the catamaran Royal Sun Alliance. Most recently, Merron won the 2008 Class40 Championship and last year she took seventh place in the double-handed Solidaire du Chocolat on Class40 40 Degrees and also broke the Round Britain and Ireland record on Dee Caffari’s IMOCA Open 60 Aviva.