Gentoo Sailing Team is delighted to announce that Stéphane Le Diraison will be joining James Harayda as co-skipper ahead of the 2023 double-handed IMOCA races. Stéphane brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in the IMOCA class and also with Gentoo having already completed one Vendée Globe onboard the boat.
“I'm really excited to be welcoming Stéphane to Gentoo Sailing Team as my co-skipper. We’ve built a great relationship over the past year and I’m looking forward to doing some more racing together this season. He’s a brilliant asset to the team and will play an important role as I continue a steep learning curve and build on my skills as an IMOCA skipper in the lead-up to the 2024 Vendée Globe.” says Harayda.
The duo will race together in the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race in July, the Défi-Azimut regatta in September and the Transat Jacques Vabre in November; a race many have already marked on their calendars as the highlight of their 2023 season.
A seasoned sailor with countless successes, Stéphane Le Diraison has been on the IMOCA circuit for a while, a trajectory that led him to participate in pinnacle of ocean racing.
“After sailing 80,000 nautical miles at the helm of Time For Oceans, I had the pleasure of handing the boat over to James as he continues his quest of completing the Vendée Globe race in 2024. When James approached me asking if I’d consider sailing with him this season, I said yes without hesitation! I believe together we’ll achieve some great results and I’m really looking forward to sailing together and sharing everything I know about this fantastic boat with James. It’s an honour to be joining the Gentoo team!” says Le Diraison.
This exciting partnership doesn’t stop at racing, however. Stéphane’s project ‘Time For Oceans’ shares much of Gentoo Sailing Team’s sustainability ethos and ambitions with sustainable development as a key concern. His campaign conveys a universal message: the preservation of the oceans is an action which involves multiple protagonists, encouraging everyone to play a part in protecting the environment.
“Not only is Stéphane joining Gentoo Sailing Team as my co-skipper, but we will be forming a partnership with his 'Time for Oceans' project by collaborating on some exciting environmental initiatives - it's a fantastic step forward for the team.” say Harayda.
Gentoo Sailing Team is excited to be working closely with Stéphane, developing various exciting projects focusing on the use of renewable energies, rigorous waste management as well as exploring new technologies, to raise awareness of the aforementioned issues.