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#VVOR: Interview with the Winner of the 2nd Leg of the Volvo

Par Virtual Regatta - December 18 2014


He flies the American flag on his profile, but Edouard is actually a Frenchman who lives in Marseille. Last week, Edouard aka Ava Gardner AVL crossed the finish line of the second leg of Volvo Ocean Race victoriously.

The win comes as a nice reward for a hard-working university art professor managed to battle his way through 6125 miles from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi – not an easy feat. It’s his first victory on Virtual Regatta and he was constantly challenged by the Polish skipper Dar_bob_63_Zegluj (2nd place) but kept it together until the end.

VR: Could you tell us about your race and the choices that you made early on?

Edouard: The first few days of the race the weather was variable and it was difficult to choose a definite option. So I made my choices on a short-term basis depending on the weather conditions. I did this for this first three days until I saw that there was an opportunity to use the anticyclone DES MASCAREIGNES to the west. So I decided to go upwind until Madagascar, then head east to negotiate the Adjali depression that was predicted to be strong. It was a decisive choice because the first group was blocked by the depression. Another important decision would be to negotiate the doldrums by the east, which would be the best angle than the rest of the fleet, which would help me to improve the lead.

VR: Since when have you been playing, and what were your first races on VR?

Edouard: Like a lot of current players, I’ve been playing since the Vendée Globe 2012, it seems like we all started this way. I played off and on, but fully committed every time with pretty mediocre results at the beginning, especially with the Vendée where I think that I finished 25,000th. I kept get better, but my best result before this has been in 19th place in the first edition of the Nautic Race.

VR: Do you prepare for your races in any particular way?

Edouard: Not really… I watch the weather attentively because it’s what interests me the most. This navigation zone is quite delicate and we don’t have the same reference points in the Indian Ocean as we do in the Atlantic.

VR: Are you proud that your boat is now recognized in the race like XC Race?

Edouard: Yes without a doubt. I don’t know. If I mess up it’s a risk for other sailors who follow me.

VR: And so why the Star-Spangled Banner?

Edouard: I’m sorry if the Americans who followed me are disappointed if they thought that Ava Gardner AVL was giving it to the French. The flag is part of the persona that I’ve created with the name of my boat. Ava is paying homage to the group Avalon, a bit of sauciness that the game allows, because it is just a game…

VR: What is your prediction for the outcome of the Volvo and who are your favourites for the overall winner?

Edouard: It’s difficult to make any predictions at this point. I guess Darek, who finished second is really good. He seems to be a serious prospect. A few of the TPN are pretty good too, there’s a few others who came dangerously close and a few of the Avalons. There are really good players in this race, it’s really open.

VR: Are you a fan of Ava Gardner?

Edouard: I like to think that this is a bit like famous actors from the movies, and I like the actresses who take photos on their boats. And that is the case with Ava Gardner…


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