The 2012 Safran Sailing Challenge: a huge success

Paris, October 2, 2012

During the final weekend in September, the traditional Safran Sailing Challenge brought together 110 boats in Bandol on the French Riviera. There were three days of racing and games all in a festive atmosphere.

« The Sailing Challenge is quite an extraordinary experience," explained Gérard Le Page, President of the Safran Sailing Team "and this year was no exception to the rule: 850 employees took part aboard 110 boats measuring between 32 and 47 feet. We chartered all the boats that were available from Hyères to Marseilles.». No fewer than 27 different companies within the Safran Group were represented, with employees of various nationalities, « American, Mexican, Chinese, British, German, Belgian, Slovakian, Russian… the Challenge certainly leads to a great get together. It's an opportunity for the Group's employees coming from different backgrounds to meet one another and enjoy each other's company during the event. In the end, sailing is just a pretext. ».

The three days of racing followed by the traditional events ashore, which were also included in the rankings, were enjoyed by everyone taking part. Out on the water, the weather was very different from one day to the next: light airs on Friday, strong winds on Saturday (several sails were torn in 30-knot gusts) and moderate conditions to finish on Sunday with the "Sailors' Race". The trick here is that each crew chooses when they will set of on the race course with the aim of finishing as close as possible to 1700hrs, when time runs out. In other words: they need to avoid setting off too soon or too late and have to find the right moment. "It's a concept we launched just for fun, " smiled Gérard Le Page, who stressed the friendly atmosphere at the Safran Sailing Challenge. "Not all the fleet has a spinnaker pole, so the spinnaker was quite simply banned to put everyone on the same footing." Ashore too, the Sailing Challenge was also a very festive occasion.

Results of the 2012 Safran Sailing Challenge: 

  • 1st: Hispano-Suiza crew, Colombes site / Skipper: Aurélien CHEDEVILLE
  • 2nd (and first foreign crew): Techspace Aéro crew, Milmort, Belgium site / Skipper: Jean-Paul HENRION
  • 3rd: Snecma crew, Montereau site / Skipper: Philippe GALLOIS
  • 1st all-women crew: Héraklès crew, Le Haillan site / Skipper: Magali MENNRATH


Safran is a global high-tech Group and a leading supplier of equipment to the Aerospace (engines, other equipment), Defense and Security sectors. Present on every continent, the Group employs almost 60,000 people and had a turnover of 11.7 billion euros in 2011. With many companies included in the structure, the Safran Group is, by itself or in partnership with others, one of the leading players in the market in Europe and around the world. To keep up with the demands of the market, the Group is committed to research and development programmes, which represented an investment of 1.3 billion euros in 2011. Safran is quoted on the NYSE Euronext Paris stock exchange and is included in the French CAC 40 index.
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