88 solo sailors will line up for the start of the single-handed Mini-Transat on Sunday. Among them, Sébastien Guého, GSea Design’s technical manager and partner. Of international ocean racing appeal, the race is certainly no mean feat, but Sébastien’s challenge began a long time ago, on shore.
Alongside Denis Gléhen, the 34-year-old engineer is one of the people behind the Gsea Design success story. In just a few years, the Lorient-based company’s staff has risen from 8 to 18 people. All the while, the engineer was becoming a company manager, allowing himself occasional sunset surfing sessions. “The time has come to think about myself and not to defer my wish to take part in the Mini, even though the project requires considerable investment between managing the company and training.”
Sébastien has competed in five Tours de France à la Voile, but has never taken part in a transatlantic race, nor sailed long distances single-handed. Will this hold him back? No. It is more likely to boost his performance! “I need to work hard to feel comfortable. I trained with Tanguy Le Glatin in Lorient and I’ve become hooked on racing. Sail single-handed? I’d like to see if I’m capable…”
The Mini will force the ultra-connected engineer, who has made team management the core of his business, to have no contact with people on shore. He will try to make this restriction work to his advantage: “I am going to be alone with myself and this should help me find new balance and to relativize. I would like to put all my efforts into sailing at a good pace, following a good course, and finishing among the top ten. I work with a very open team at GSea Design and my colleagues have fully welcomed the project. In addition, my absence from the office could also be an opportunity to improve how the business is managed.”
Sébastien Guého has chosen a production boat that requires less optimization time. “My engineering background means that I understand quite a few things, but when I see sailors who cast off on a prototype, I take my hat off to them.” He will therefore set sail on a 2016 Pogo 3 and will be listed in the “production boat” ranking. He has taken part in eight races on his No. 909 Technique Voile – Gsea Design, finishing five times in the top five, and on one occasion winning on the Chrono 6.50 in 2018.