While the finish line has just been crossed by Charles Caudrelier, Louis Burton will not see Pointe-à-Pitre. Victim of a dismasting on Saturday when he was at the forefront, the skipper of Bureau Vallée was forced to retire and then backtrack. Equipped with a jury rig, the navigator is today off La Coruña (Spain).
In a first video of a few seconds posted shortly after the incident, Louis Burton, 37, immediately expressed his incomprehension, especially since the performance of his boat was there.
“I am terribly disappointed, he said again on Tuesday. Everything ends very abruptly. There is this wind of energy that carries you and in a single moment everything collapses because of a technical problem. It’s hard to face but you have no choice”.
It’s also hard for him to saw off the remains of his mast to prevent it from damaging other parts of the boat. A freshly repaired mast which, however, should have been replaced before the start of this 12th Route du rhum without a delay in delivery.
The general manager of Bureau Vallée took “the mast on the head”
For its sponsor, “the disappointment is up to the challenge”. This is indicated by the general manager of Bureau Vallée Adrien Peyroles, who says he has “received the mast on the head”. However, “the main thing is that Louis is safe and sound, underlines the manager of the company based in Clayes-sous-Bois. Saturday, he was at the bottom of the hole. There, he picked up some colors. The boat is also saved even if there are major repairs”.
Firstly, the navigator and his team will try to “explain this new breakage”, the second after dismasting at the start of the last Vendée Globe. Then it will be a question of planning for the many races to come. “It’s part of the race, continues Adrien Peyroles. In sailing, that’s how it is. The path to victory is made of failures”. The contract between Louis Burton and Bureau Vallée currently runs until 2026 with two Jacques Vabre transats and a Vendée Globe on the calendar.
At the start, nothing predestined the Yvelines family business to display itself in this way on the oceans. “We are not at all veiled at the start”, recognizes Adrien Peyroles, whose father, Bruno, created the sign in 1990. Then former director of Auchan in Mantes-la-Jolie, the one who lives in the small village de Villette had taken advantage of a trip to the United States to draw inspiration from the concept of a “superstore” dedicated to office equipment. The first Bureau Vallée store then opened its doors in Maurepas.
“There was talk of starting in the Chevreuse Valley, hence the name Bureau Vallée and the logo with nature,” says Adrien Peyroles. Bureau Vallée is also a nod to the Silicon Valleys that were flourishing at the time. “Thirty-two years later, the company is flourishing with nearly 400 stores throughout France and around the world for “an average opening every ten days”.