Safran sets sights on 2016 Vendée Globe, with Morgan Lagravière and a new boat
Paris, January 28, 2014
Safran announced today that it will continue its commitment to ocean racing, with the aim of participating in the 2016 Vendée Globe round-the-world solo race. Safran has chosen Morgan Lagravière to skipper a brand-new IMOCA class monohull ocean racer. Construction of this boat will start shortly, for launch in late 2014 or early 2015.
For Safran, this latest challenge carries on the Group's achievements with Marc Guillemot since 2005. Marc will pass the helm to Morgan Lagravière after the 2014 Route du Rhum race.
A 27 year old navigator with a passion for both sailing and aviation, Morgan Lagravière has already won several world championships and the title of junior champion of France, all since 2002. Because of these results, he was selected for the French Olympic sailing team in 2008. In 2012, he was chosen from among 50 competitors to represent the Vendée region in the Figaro Bénéteau category. As early as his second season, Morgan became the French solo ocean racing champion. So it was only natural that he has now shifted his focus to the IMOCA class of 60-foot monohull racing boats.
On the agenda for the young skipper this year are several major races, namely the Grand Prix de Douarnenez in May and the Transat New York-Barcelona in June, both two-handed races he will enter with Marc Guillemot. He will then monitor the design and construction of the new Safran boat, designed by the naval architects VPLP/Verdier, and developed in partnership with Banque Populaire. The two sponsors will share development and production costs for a single hull mold.
The Safran Sailing Team continues to grow and also expand its scope of action. Alongside the IMOCA program, Safran is teaming up with the clothing company Guy Cotten to sponsor Gwénolé Gahinet, 29, on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit.
Safran's aim is to support these young skippers just like it supports its own employees' career development and professional fulfillment. In fact, this is a vital challenge for Safran, since in the last three years it has hired a number of new employees equal to more than 30% of its total workforce. The Group must now transmit to this new generation the values of innovation and teamwork that have helped make Safran what it is today.
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 68,000 employees and generated sales of 10.5 billion euros in the first nine months of 2013. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditure equivalent to 12% of revenue. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
For more information, www.safran-group.com / Follow @SAFRAN on Twitter
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