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Dimitri Voisin, the brain-stormer of Mer Agitée.Friday, September 18, 2009

Behind the strong personality of the skipper hides the brains of sailing. I had a meeting with Dimitri Voisin, who has a doctorate in Aerodynamics and who raced the first leg of the istanbul Europa Race alongside his boss, Michel Desjoyeaux.

Foncia ®

"This is the only sport where you can kick the ball alongside the champions! Though I am nowhere near the same level as Jeremy Beyou or Michel Desjoyeaux” he adds humbly. Yet still, if Foncia is the first of the three boats currently with an equal number of points at the head of the general ranking upon their arrival at Brest, Dimitri Voisin shall be one of the winners of the Istanbul Europa Race.

He was onboard for the leg between Istanbul and Nice and was relayed from the Baie des Anges to Catalonia by Paul Duval and now between Barcelona and Brest by Julien Marcelot, both his work colleagues. Of the five crew members that form his team, the double winner of the Vendée Globe reserved a place for three of his eleven employees at "Mer Agitée”. The company is based in Port La Foret, Brittany and puts together the projects of the most famous skipper in France.
Dimitri Voisin defines himself as a "sunday sailor” and "the least competent sailor of the band”. But, for the past four years, this doctor in aerodynamics, specialist in fluid mechanics and expert in wind tunnel testing, works in search and development and on the electronics onboard Dejouyeaux's boat. His is the brain that made the weather indicators that measure strength of the wind, he put together the onboard computer, equipped it with navigational software, installed video equipment and a hydro-generator.

 "The density of the air is 1000 times less than that of the water, which is what we have chosen to produce the energy the boat needs” explains the scientist also in charge of the technical partnerships with specialized companies
It is clear he loves to work for Desjoyeaux whom he defines as "A self-taught working machine”. "If he is strong it is because he is always learning, be it in photography, in strategy, in writing” reveals the man who provides him with the most advanced technology. "The boat's performance never stops evolving” he remarks enthusiastically. "As long as it lasts” he shall "keep on developing things”.
Mer Agitée has taken away the restlessness from this man whom 36 years ago was born to a military father and who lived for 13 years in Germany in garrison towns such as Friedrichschafen, Fribourg, Baden... He passed his BAC (french certificate), obviously specializing in science, in Grenoble. He then continued his university studies in Paris VI. As part of his course he spent time studying in Oxford and Varsovie where he was the scientific ambassador between France and Poland; "a fantastic experience” he remembers with bright eyes! He finally completed his doctorate thesis in Nantes.
A passionate traveler, he sometimes helps with the delivery of the boat and then watches his boss with an envious eye, leave to race across the oceans with the boat full of his innovations and technological miracles. He next personal destination? Perhaps a trip back to Istanbul where this time he would like to take his wife after having taken Foncia there. Their daughter Alix, 15 years old, just started her second year at high school in Concarneau.


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The Istanbul Europa Race is not just a story of French sailors, or even Brittany sailors, participation is not even limited to Europe as onboard Veolia Environnement, the American, Ryan Breymaier has a preponderant role.
During the talks with the boats on the 2nd September, when the sailors were seriously short of wind in the Mediterraean and were consequently considering spending much longer onboard than anticipated, Jena Luc Nèlias warned us "if we have a shortage of food we shall eat Ryan Breymaier who is young and American!" The ex-student of St Mary's University, MD, close to Washington DC is apparently edible. In any case, at 34 years old he is the man with all of the least delicate chores. If someone has to go to the bow during maneuvers its Ryan who runs forward, if someone has to go up the rig, its him again.

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Ven 11 Sept : Seb Audigane, the fastest man of the seas

Sébastien Audigane is a wanted man. He one of those sailors without whom breaking a record would seem impossible. "the fastest man on the planet", the nickname affectionately given to him by Kito de Pavant, he is an essential element of Groupe Bel, as he was for Orange with Bruno Péyron or more recently for Pascal Bidégory onboard Banque Populaire. He has amassed a surprising amount of experience which he plans to put to use as he works towards being skipper of his own project.

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Jeu 10 Sept : Wouter the Router, a Viking spirit but science comes first

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Presentation Presentation
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Report General ranking 2009
1. : Foncia16 points
2. : Groupe Bel13 points
3. : 187610 points
4. : Veolia Environnement10 points
5. : Paprec Virbac 29 points
6. : DCNS2 points
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