GUYOT environnement – Team Europe in final preparations for The Ocean Race
The countdown for The Ocean Race is on and GUYOT environnement – Team Europe has started the final preparations. Five weeks before the start of the world race in Alicante (15th January, 2023) the yacht is back in Europe. With the signing of Támara Echegoyen Domínguez, the final building block to complete the sailing team has also been put in place. The 2012 Olympic champion and Volvo Ocean Race sailor (2017-18) fits perfectly into the structure of the European team with her experience in Olympic and offshore sailing.
The co-skippers of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, Benjamin Dutreux (France) and Robert Stanjek (Germany), see the 38-year-old Spaniard as an ideal fit for the spot in the team that has yet to be filled. “The time of preparation is running. Therefore, we need someone who can be deployed immediately. With her experience on the different boats, Támara will be able to empathize directly on the foiling Imoca. She knows the Atlantic and the Southern Ocean: an incredible advantage when we have to sail the long legs – whether she is on board or delivering support from shore. It’s also great to have another European nation on the team now with the Spanish, along with the French, British and German,” says Benjamin Dutreux, who has just successfully completed the Route du Rhum.
Robert Stanjek adds: “Our philsophy of building a team with a broad background of sailing experience is further strengthened by Támara. In addition, the human structure in a team is extremely important. Annie Lush and Támara know each other well as competitors from their shared Olympic and Ocean Race days. Annie made the connection with Támara.”
The Spaniard is also excited about the chance to participate in The Ocean Race again and to be part of this young team: “I am very grateful to the team for this opportunity. It is a pleasure to work and sail with all of them. I really like their open mind to learn from each other as a team. It is one of their strengths. Looking forward to sailing together in the next The Ocean Race”.
The sailing team has a few days off until Christmas before meeting in Barcelona to take delivery of the yacht. After Benjamin Dutreux finished the Route du Rhum in Guadeloupe as a strong eight, Robert Stanjek, Annie Lush, Sébastien Simon and Phillip Kasüske, along with Onboard reporter Charles Drapeau, have taken over the boat and sailed back to Europe. A perfect opportunity to get to know the potential of the former “Hugo Boss 6” even better in the different conditions. On 10th December they arrived in Barcelona. Now the yacht is due for an overhaul before it is transferred to Alicante for the start of the race.
With this crew, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe will embark on the seven legs of the 14th edition of the race around the world.
Raised on the Île d’Yeu in the Atlantic, a passionate sailor, a materials technician in the yacht building industry, a committed campaigner for marine conservation: Benjamin Dutreux is a maritime enthusiast. The 32-year-old learned to sail from his grandfather, competed in his first regattas as a teenager and advanced to the French national squad. In his student days, he switched from beach catamarans to match racers and eventually discovered his passion for offshore sailing. In 2015 to 2018, he sailed in the French stage race Solitaire du Figaro. He made a splash in his first participation in the Vendée Globe, finishing ninth in January 2021. Shortly after, he was hired by Offshore Team Germany and was part of the winning team in The Ocean Race Europe.
The son of a successful sailing and rowing family, Robert Stanjek lays the foundation for a career as an Olympic sailor at Yachtclub Berlin-Grünau, one of Germany’s most successful sailing clubs. Stanjek opts for the Star boat, becomes European champion in 2008, and is named Germany’s Sailor of the Year in 2011. In 2012, he sails to sixth place at the Olympic Games, and finally crowns himself Starboat World Champion in 2014. With the Olympic retirement for the Starboat, the now 41-year-old switches to offshore sailing, completes the training for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 in the Dutch “Team Brunel”. The chance to sail once around the world becomes his passion. Consistently, he builds a campaign with Jens Kuphal and opened the door to participate in The Ocean Race.
Olympic competitor, two-time circumnavigator and four-time match race world champion: Annie Lush is a prime example of an all-rounder in sailing – but not just sailing. Born in Poole on the south coast of England, the 42-year-old also won the famous rowing race against Oxford University during her university days in Cambridge. But sailing is where all her passion lies. She became match race world champion for the first time back in 2004, and was able to take part in the Olympic Games in her native Britain in 2012. She then switched to offshore sailing, taking part in two Volvo Ocean Races. In 2014/15, she was part of Team SCA, the first all-female team to win a leg of the Ocean Race. In the 2017/18 edition, she sailed with Team Brunel and is now aiming for her third world race.
As 2016 Junior World Champion and 2020 German Champion in the Finn Dinghy, Phillip Kasüske was considered one of Germany’s hopeful Olympic talents. But after the Corona Shutdown, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and the elimination of the Finn Dinghy for the Olympic future, the 28-year-old Berliner has realigned his focus. The powerhouse focused entirely on sailing, was part of the winning team in The Ocean Race Europe. Kasüske is characterized by a special combination of sensitivity and power. On board the Imoca, the passionate cyclist not only brings the necessary horsepower to the grinder. The youngest member of the sailing team can also take the helm when it counts thanks to his experience in Olympic sailing.
Raised in the Vendée department and brought to sailing by his father, Sébastien Simon began racing in the Optimist, winning World Championship bronze in the 420 in 2013. In the same year, he prevailed in the CMB selection process. This success secured his participation in the Figaro Circuit. A distinction he repaid when he won the La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro in 2018. In 2020/21, he competed in his first Vendée Globe. After 25 days of racing, he participated in the rescue search for missing Kevin Escoffier. Shortly after, he himself had to abandon the race with damage to the foils. In Team Guyot Environnement – Team Europe, the 32-year-old joins his good friend Benjamin Dutreux, with whom he once shared university accommodation in Nantes.
The sailing vita of 38-year-old Támara Echegoyen is filled to the brim with the highest successes. The Spaniard brings Olympic Gold Glory, World Championship titles and Ocean Race experience to Guyot Environnement – Team Europe. The highlight of her sailing career to date has been the 2012 Olympics, when Echegoyen won the gold medal in match racing off Weymouth. Among her opponents was her current teammate Annie Lush. After that, the Spaniard raced on several tracks: In the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race she was part of the strong Spanish Mapfre team, and in the skiff she developed into an outstanding athlete. In 2016 and 2020 she became 49erFX World Champion, and at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo she narrowly missed the podium in fourth place.