Jean Le Cam, memory and the sea

Such a high figure could not travel around the world without decorations: three victories in the Solitaire du Figaro, a Transat AG2R, a Jacques-Vabre, a Barcelona World Race (double-handed round the world on a monohull) and a shipwreck in 2009 in the Vendée Globe. Rescued by Vincent Riou, the same one who had beaten him by just over six hours in the 2004-2005 edition, after eighty-seven days at sea. Here is Jean Le Cam in the running (with his boat Yes We Cam!) for a fifth participation in the Vendée Globe, the start of which will be given on Sunday, November 8, in Sables-d’Olonne.

Read also The Vendée Globe, a flight around the world

The career of sailor – which stretches over nearly forty-five years – of Jean Le Cam, 61 years old, needs to be unfolded in soap operas, as with Alexandre Dumas.

Chapter 1: first victories in the 1970s in 420 with Hubert Desjoyeaux, elder brother of Michel.

Chapter 2: debut in the Solitaire du Figaro (sixteen editions in total). Jean is then still a high school student. The community crowns him and gives him the nickname of “King John”.

Chapter 3: crewed around the world in 1981 with Eric Tabarly, aboardEuromarché – Pen Duick IV : “I’m not going to add a layer to Eric’s portrait. I leave the painting as it was hung by those who told it », says Le Cam, which cuts short the veneration.

Chapter 4: 1984, beginning of the long multihull period and the first Atlantic records aboard the catamaran Jet-Services II du Concarnois Patrick Morvan, fisherman and offshore sailor. Here really begins the construction period of Le Cam. He founded the CDK shipyard in Port-la-Forêt, with Hubert Desjoyeaux and Gaëtan Houérou, specializing in composites.

Chapter 5: 1986-1989, begins the Formula 40 period, these twelve-meter dragonflies (catamarans or trimarans).

Chapter 6: that of the ORMA multihulls (18 meters), these exceptional but terribly fickle trimarans. The serial breakage in the Route du Rhum 2002 will precipitate the end of this architectural adventure.

Period 7, that of the Imoca monohulls, those of the Vendée Globe: “Never in our sport have we experienced such acceleration in speeds for three years thanks to foils. At 28 knots, a shock with an UFO [objet flottant non identifié] is likely to destroy the boat. I’m afraid there is some damage to this edition. “

“He cleared and groomed the track for those who followed”

The Cam is an oracle but above all the last representative of the gallery of the evolution of the profession of ocean runner. “He cleared and groomed the track for those who followed”, says Roland Jourdain, double winner of the Rum in monohull and three participations in the Vendée Globe, at the same time friend, neighbor and long competitor.

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