Then we did it @TeamLmax @ClipperRace

The time is here, we’ve recapped eleven team highlights so today we celebrate the Clipper 2015-16 Race winners – LMAX Exchange.

Led by our first ever French Skipper Olivier Cardin, the team achieved a staggering ten podium finishes which included six race wins and four third places. It also scored 15 Scoring Gate bonus points, more than any other, and two Ocean Sprint points.

Before the race even got underway, LMAX Exchange became the first team to hit its £20,000 fundraising target for official Clipper Race charity Unicef, and by the end of the race it had reached over £34,500, with over £27,000 alone raised by crew member Esha Mehta.

LMAX Exchange’s rock star standard was set from the start when The Who’s Roger Daltrey, a friend of crew member Gary Colt, got on board the yacht in Gosport along with youths from the Teenage Cancer Trust, which he is a patron of, and met some of the crew.

Perhaps channelling inspiration from the band’s hits such as ‘One at a Time’ or “Call Me Lightening”,LMAX Exchange won the opening race from London to Rio de Janeiro in convincing style. Some 24 hours ahead of second place Qingdao, after leading for over half of the 26 days at sea, the team also picked up three points in the Scoring Gate to make a strong impact on the leaderboard.

Speaking on behalf of his team after they enjoyed a Brazilian style welcome with shots of cachaça and a local Samba band, Skipper Olivier said: “We led the race for the past two weeks and I’m really proud of the team effort. I’m very confident in my crew who did a great job.

“I know the teams behind are really competitive so we are certainly not taking this win for granted. We will take time together to study our plan for the next race as we will be pushed us hard again, but for now it is time to celebrate a team victory that we will never forget as long as we live.”

A well-documented incident involving a beach and a delayed start to Race 2 to Cape Town resulted in a sudden drop in form as the team finished tenth on elapsed time however this was soon put behind them as they were back firing on all cylinders in Race 3 to Albany, and Race 4 to Sydney, recording two back to back race victories and stamping itself back at the top of the overall leaderboard.

For the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race the crew were joined by LMAX Exchange CEO David Mercer, the team’s ever supportive sponsor who often met them in the various stopover ports along the route and who welcomed the entire crew into the LMAX Exchange global ‘family’. Never afraid of a challenge David had recently been part of a team of rugby players who set a Guinness World Record for playing the Northernmost game of rugby ever at the North Pole, but this would be his first experience sailing an ocean.

During the race, in which the team came third, David wrote this descriptive blog on what it was like to observe Skipper Olivier, who he renamed during his experience as the ‘majestic ocean cat’, at work.

“Like a big cat eyeing his prey the French magician prowls the boat. A shake of his mane, a flare of the nostrils, an immediate spin of 180 degrees, two twitches of his neck left and right.“He studies and searches and peers out to the horizon. A sharp look back and a glare at his tellytubby red suited crew, a flail of his arm “get high, get forward, now”. We shuffle off and still he prowls. A sudden feline pounce down to the pedestal, a quarter turn on the staysail, his eyes flick up and down the line of the sail, a loosening of the Yankee, maybe three inches of adjustment. He purveys everything …. Again a nostril shiver. He stands, shoulders back, a proud figure of oceanic majesty. “There is the wind…. Looook.”

“He’s lost the plot. There is barely a ripple on the dark misty blue sea. Time for the cat to crawl into his basket for a few hours rest we think. “10 minutes” he utters with a wide eyed look of a lion possessed.

As mentioned in GREAT Britain’s highlights last week, one of LMAX Exchange’s narrowest victory came during the next race, into Airlie Beach, when the team swapped the lead back and forth in the final days and ended up claiming the win by just 42 seconds on its rival.

Circumnavigator Stephen O’Connor, described the tension on board during the final 100 nautical mile drag race between the two teams, saying: “We were watching everything that GREAT Britainwas doing; if they were tacking, gybing; we’re looking at their speed, their COG, their Speed Over Ground, we’re looking at everything about them and I’m sure they are looking at us. We were gleaning this information every two to three minutes to get an idea of how they are progressing. If they are catching up on us then we are looking to adjust our sail strategy to compensate for incursions they make into our ground. Luckily for us that managed to hold us in good stead. It was crazy tough but well done to our rivals for making it such a challenge for us.”

Then during Race 7 on the the way from Airlie Beach to Da Nang, Vietnam, the LMAX Exchangecrew stopped racing temporarily to explore an abandoned yacht they had come across in their path. Crew member Pascal Caussil swam aboard where he unfortunately found a lone, deceased male.

“And there it is; the black line in the horizon. By jove he’s good this fella. “Get ready, keep the couuuuurse”. And then as if by magic with only a one minute misjudgement the sails fill and LMAX Exchange gets a kickstart, like the end of an M25 traffic jam without warning. We’re gliding again, we’re back in the game.

“The cat strokes his mane, twitches a shoulder and goes to the helm; where will his next prey come from. Come it will.”

We chose not to release detail on the tragic discovery to avoid unnecessary distress however Skipper Olivier and Race Director Justin Taylor notified the correct people at the US Coast Guard, as the boat was found in Guam’s waters, and the German Embassy as they found corresponding registration details of the boat, so they could start the investigation into his identity. Little did we or the crew know that images of the rather mummified sailor would be broadcasted by newspapers and media outlets all around the world in gruesome detail just over a month later after he was re-discovered by Philippine fishermen.

Writing to us from the boat at the time they discovered the abandoned yacht, crew member Adrian Roberts told us the finding was a poignant and sobering reminder for all on board the competitive team, that the priority and absolute focus of winning a race takes an automatic and immediate back seat when faced with a situation like that.

LMAX Exchange was on the podium again in Race 8 to Qingdao, China and Race 9 to Seattle, USA, taking third spot in both but unsatisfied unless they were tasting gold, Skipper Olivier refused to take their eye off the overall prize.

The team was back on the top of the podium into Panama after scrapping it out withClipperTelemed+ in the final stages, and there were just metres between the two teams after 20 days racing from Seattle along the southern US and Mexican coast line through sweltering heat and wind holes.

It was no easy victory, as many Clipper Race crew will attest, the race from Seattle to Panama tested the crew in many extreme ways. In extracts of her final blog of the race, crew member Lizzie Mercer explained: “Sometimes the highs come thick and fast – a great watch that sees you gain on competitors, a huge pod of jumping dolphins, beautiful sunsets and days of sunshine. The ebb and flow of this race for us, missing points at the Scoring Gate but then pulling ahead to meet the front-runners and ultimately winning has been one of the greatest rollercoasters, delivered in six-hourly instalments with each update.

“But there are various lows to life on a racing yacht, many of which have been well documented in these blogs but to recap a few headlines: The HEAT (did we mention?), life at an angle, the lack of proper shower or flushing loo, the news that we have lost pace or are stuck in a wind hole, bilges with water that jumps up to greet your face as you try to clean them, the 0330 wake up for the 0400 til 0800 watch, something that none of us can seem to adjust to, even round the worlders.

“However these daily hardships are ones that we all share and in that lies one of the biggest highs, which is the sense of community and teamwork on board. We are, quite literally, all in the same boat so anything you go through, another person is too. It’s amazing how funny dripping with sweat and cleaning the heads can be when there are two of you to share in the anti-glamour of the moment. An off-watch of no sleep and the thought of a long, tired shift ahead can be forgotten about when you go to breakfast and everyone is sitting around, laughing and chatting, and singing the egg song of course.

“So this race has shown me the highs and lows to being on a racing yacht but many of us have said that we didn’t sign up to the race for it to be easy. In fact, if it was too comfortable I think we would be disappointed. The truth is that the lower the lows, the higher the highs and in the retelling, we are as proud of enduring the lows as we are of achieving the highs.”

There were no podium celebrations for LMAX Exchange in Race 11 from Panama to New York but after lots of flat, windless, hot sailing, Tropical Storm Colin came along to make things a bit more interesting.

Circumnavigator Adrian Roberts, a teacher from Jersey reported his satisfaction during the storm as he said: “When I began this Clipper Race voyage I had no experience of sailing and absolutely detested helming. I struggled to keep the boat straight, struggled to understand the winds and struggled to make the boat go fast. I was therefore delighted to have successfully helmed through Hurricane Colin as this was a demonstration of my progression. I’m proud.”

LMAX Exchange’s sixth and final race win came into Derry-Londonderry in Race 12 after crossing the Atlantic for the third time and returning to British waters. The win came whilst rounding Rathlin Island after duelling together for the final two days. In a nail-biting conclusion, LMAX Exchangefound the stronger winds approaching the Greencastle finish line and crossed just 5NM ahead of the home town team.

Although a little heartbroken to see their team lose out on the win at the last moment, the people of Derry-Londonderry were as hospitable as ever to the winners as Clare MacAdam, 29, on board for Legs 7 and 8, said: “Everyone has been incredible and is so friendly. There is a little moment when we say what team we are on and they say, “Oh you beat us” and we apologise but we always laugh with them. Everyone has been so good about it. Obviously Derry~Londonderry~Doire is the favourite boat here but the people are making all of us feel special.

LMAX Exchange only managed fifth place in the penultimate race into Den Helder but withDerry~Londonderry~Doire only one point ahead in fourth, the margin was not changed much.LMAX Exchange was then penalised two penalty points for Race 12 sail damages, reducing the margin between the two teams to just seven points going into the final race. The pressure was on. Make a mistake and finish in the back of the fleet and the title could be lost at the last moment.

With all eyes on the final 36 hour sprint from Den Helder to London, Derry~Londonderry~DoireSkipper Dan Smith went all out to cause an upset, winning the final race and safe in the knowledge they had done all they could in their last effort. However LMAX Exchange also put in a strong, determined effort and took third place, and so won the Clipper 2015-16 Race by five points.

Circumnavigator Dominque Hausser from Switzerland said: “A short, intense race and just an hour and a half of sleep had; the rest of the time being spent in the “nav station” to route the boat between all the obstacles on the course, such as oil and gas platforms, TSS, wind farms, various prohibited areas, but also in narrow channels between the sand banks that we have to borrow to reach the finish line.

“Passing this last finish line of the last race of this long race around the world, my dream came true – to complete this round the world sailing event, and participate on the winning team. It’s just awesome and I do not regret a thing.”

As the crew arrived back into St Katharine Docks, Ana Maria Estruch, 62, added: “It has been pretty overwhelming to be honest. When we left St Katharine Docks 11 months ago I never imagined how it would feel to return as winners. I will never forget that day, or the memories we have made along the way. I’m so proud. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet I don’t think but I’m sure it will over the next few days and weeks.”

Thank you to Olivier Cardin and the crew of LMAX Exchange whose competitive drive was clear from the very start, focused day and night and second by second on winning the race, and still managed to smile and party hard along the way.

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS once again to Adrian Gunn, Adrian Roberts, Albert Lagneaux, Ana Maria Estruch, Andy Bishop, Anthony Clifford, Axel Budde, Benjamin Simatos, Boris Dosseh, Brigitte San Quirce, Bruno Roussennac, Carlos Arimón, Cathy Lorho, Chris Miles, Christian Sager, Chris Talago, Clare Macadam, David Mercer, Dominique Hausser, Elizabeth Mercer, Esha Mehta, Francois Raux, Fred Dankers, Gabrielle Barthelemy, Gary Colt, Glenys Plant, Haude Morel, Helen Appelboam, Iain Grist, Isabelle Cornet, Jean-Maurice Favre, Jens Peters, Jonathan Byfield, Judy Hilton, Juliana Ericson, Junior Hoorelbeke, Karen Weston, Kristof Bostoen, Leo Meijaard, Marc Geffrault, Marine Prat, Mark Tunney, Nigel Cook, Olivier Thomas, Pascal Caussil, Paul Lee, Peter Watson, Philippe Mazon, Robert Tschiemer, Sarah Down, Stephanie Ockenden, Stephen O’Connor, Steven McDowall, Thomas Beattie, Thomas Loffet, Valerie Phakeovilay, Vanessa Jubenot, Vaughan Tansley.

To read more about the LMAX Exchange crew’s experience in the Clipper 2015-16 Race click hereto read the crew diaries sent back while they were racing.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you could become a Clipper Race crew member in the 2017-18 or 2019-20 editions click here.



Team Lmax Exchange won #CantStopWontStop #EverythingIsAboutLove 

LMAX Exchange, Skippered by 1st Frenchman Olivier Cardin in Clipper’s history, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the Clipper Race. 

The team’s victory came despite finishing the final race of the 14-stage series behind long standing rival for the titleDerry~Londonderry~Doire, which was first across the Race 14 finish line, but not by a large enough margin to knock LMAX Exchange off the top of the overall leaderboard.

A big congratulations to Ichor coal which arrives 5th. After all they’ve been through it was a beautiful race.

In the end, we all did it. At Clipper we are a BIG familly. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Gary and Sarah the trophy will be yours.

See you all today for the Price giving from 12:30 at St Katherine’s docks



Clipper Race_The End @TeamLmax #EverythingIsAboutLove

Dear followers,

Tomorrow Sat 30th July, Clipper round the world, sailing competition will finish. Hopefully Team Lmax Exchange will finish 1st!!! But to be honest we already won. Clipper is a big familly. We meet wonderful people, we stick together, we love each other.
I never sailed before and I crossed the South Atlantic from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town. It was short, though but we did it. Despite all the troubles, injuries and sad loss of our mates, we achieved it because we were together. At Team Lmax we trim to win. Whatever how life could be hard we shall never stop trying to achieve our dreams.

We’ll be happy to see you all on the Pontoon to welcome us. Familly and friends are more than welcome feel free to bring as many people as you want.

Fleet arrival at 9:45am, Price giving from 12 am
Venue : Clipper Race Village, St Katherine’s docks (Tower hill tube station).

Thank you for your support.
Boris Dosseh Team Lmax Exchange



Boris Sails for Wonder foundation @ClipperRace @TeamLmax

Dear followers,

Saturday 21st May, Wonder foundation received £1,000 cash and a painting representing a woman from Ivory Coast who is crying because she lost her baby due to preventable desease such as diarrhoea. With the additional transfers and online links it will be more than that in total. Thank you all for your donations, thoughts and prayers. Last year I didn’t know how to sail, I didn’t know the meaning of words such as “apparent wind, Spinnaker, etc”. I will not call myself a sailor yet, even if I crossed South Atlantic ocean. But despite the accidents I will cross North Atlantic again 20th June with the best team ever, Team Lmax Exchange which just finished 1st in the race Seattle – Panama. Thank you all for your support and especially Dosseh’s familly, friends, Pumeza Matshikiza, Sir Charles Dunstone, Geoffroy Dalloz, NDF community, ChristChurch community, Dixons-Carphone HQ’s colleagues and all other anonymous donators.

Since 2002, Wonder foundation, through Ilomba Centre, has treated on average 3,500 people per year, in Ivory Coast while also providing educational programs for women in regards to health and sanitation. With your help, it has been possible to help few of them to make their life less difficult.

Everything has been possible because of you.

Feeling more generous? Follow the below link:

Thank you



Singing for Charity #CantStopWontStop #EverythingIsAboutLove

Saturday 28th May at 6pm will takes place a fund raising event featuring a Children Catwalk displaying the Summer 2016 Collection especially designed by Soizic Quentin de Coupigny, and a Theatre Play (“The Magic of the Baobab Tree”) for children by children under supervision of Candice Desmet.

Tickets avalaible on :

The Charity, Hope Meets Art will implement art workshops given by professional and passionate volunteers; these will be held throughout the year. While discovering their own talents, the children will help to provide an education for those who are in need of a future.

The artists:

Soizic Quentin de Coupigny believe that a detailed knowledge of the structure and fabric of historical costume is integral to both the modern recreation of period costume and successful contemporary couture design. Soizic also draws on her extensive knowledge of period portraiture, literature and music to research and design her costumes, believing that fashion is not only about ‘design’, but also about research and observation.

Candice Desmet after main role in Naboru (released in France in 2015) wrote the play “The Magic of The Baobab Tree” in collaboration with Anton Yavorsky.

The singers conducted by Salomon Bakoa, with Stella Assoumou, Cindy Zandronis and Boris Dosseh will perform during both catwalk and theater play.

Venue: Baden-Powell House

65-67 Queen’s Gate, SW7 5 London, United Kingdom

You can’t miss it.

You won’t miss it.

Troubles in the house of Zeus @ClipperRace @TeamLmax


The longer I travel the seas, the more I’m convinced that there is no such thing as one almighty and good God. More and more I tend to believe that we are just put here to entertain the old Gods.

During these last months we have been thrown around like old rags from left to right, being half submerged and ready to be swallowed whole by the all powerful God of the sea.

Often my thoughts go to those who sailed these seas hundreds of years ago. Not knowing half of what we know, not having the tools to predict weather that we have. Being stuck on wooden boats that could break in half with sails made of cotton that could rip with the slightest gust. The men wearing clothes that if you look at it too long start to fall apart.

The Merino sheep was only used for eating somewhere on the other side of the world and Gore-Tex was only something a visionary witch could dream of. Any sane man would need less to believe he needs to pray for the mercy of something beyond his understanding to hope for a safe travels.

However last night it seemed that we were being entertained by the Gods themselves. After a beautiful and extremely hot day with not a single cloud in sight, the night brought refreshment. With the moon half lit, the sky seemed to be clear.

However on the horizon we could see an amazing lighting show. And only when the lightning hit , you could see the ominous clouds surrounding us. Because the light night was not hitting the earth. It looked like the gods, each on a different cloud, were going at each other hard. Probably Hera found out about a new affair Zeus was having or was it just a furious sisters feud between Aphrodite and Venus or maybe Apollo was angry about sharing his powers with half gods such as Achilles. One thing was certain, there were troubles in the house of Zeus. Let’s hope they do not need to cool down by letting their frustrations go wild on us, mortal sailors.

Todays’ riddle:

I am a child and a simpleton at once – all are born with me, but rarely am I possessed at death



A Horror Story by Peter Watson @ClipperRace @TeamLmax


I trembled as I climbed the unsteady staircase. My eyesight barely able to distinguish anything before me. On the top step I paused to adapt to the dimness. What I saw was beyond comprehension. To my left there was nothing but deserted machinery, redundant and unused with a vast emptiness beyond. Behind me, more of the same. To my right however was a ghastly sight that overcame me. Grotesque figures, twisted forms, darks silhouetted against the paler floor beneath them. Bodies twisted, still and silent.

Hesitantly I stepped off the staircase and on to the sloping and equally unsteady floor I nervously edged my way forward. Above me the whole of the structure rocked in the breeze, it’s eerie canopy gently moaning to the strain it was under. One by one I picked my way over and through the lifeless forms until I froze in panic. In front of me stood a hooded statue, it’s arms spread widely and rested on a pulpit as if in sermon.

Was this to be my end? Would I soon be a lifeless form like the rest of these poor soles?

‘Evening Peter’ the statue said, breaking the eerie silence, ‘you’re bloody late we’ve been on deck in these boiling temperatures. Take hold of this wheel as I need a pee.” Then in an instant I came out of my drowsiness and it dawned on me that this was no massacre, no Armageddon, but just another night shift on this wonderful round the world yacht race.

Other News:

The crew are absolutely delighted to have got through gate 2 in first position (0.9 miles ahead of ClipperTelemed+). It was close with ClipperTelemed+ in sight, a lot of tight angles and swift tacks.

Bruno has devised a wind diversion funnel through the galley hatch …its not quite air conditioning but anything is welcome.

The crew are enjoying lots of social meals whereby both watches eat at the same time on deck.

Bannanageddon is over with the final bunch holding on to add further flavour to the chocolate cup cakes.



Crepes on a flat boat by Bruno Roussennac @ClipperRace @TeamLmax

Crepes on a flat boat by Bruno Roussennac

I joined in Leg 6 and will carry on until London. Before starting this new leg from Seattle to New York via Panama, I got used to a very wet boat, cold weather and a lot of heel that was basically my only experience of ocean sailing.

I am now pleasantly surprised that sailing does not always involves wearing five layers of clothing under a dry suit and boots! I calculated that I am now wearing about 8 kg (20 lbs) less clothing. Finally I am enjoying the warm weather in my shorts and t-shirt! Everything take less time now, you can be ready in 5 min since there is no more need to climb down your bunk nor to wrestle your dry suit while being half awake.

Today I officially retired my sleeping bag and I don t even know where my dry suit is anymore!

A flatter boat also means that it is way easier to cook crepes (my last blog in leg 6 was about crepes at 45 deg).

However, lighter weather sailing also comes with its challenges. We now have the spinnaker up for about 1 week! Every movement of the helm is counted, as it can negatively affect the boat speed.

That also means that we are gybing with the spinnaker up, which can sometimes go wrong.

We have been working hard to keep boat speed and we are working better as a team after every watches. So far my watch has gybed about 25 times without major problems

In other news:

Answer to yesterday’s riddle:

I can be half, without getting thinner
I can shine with no fire
I can be hidden but never taken,
I can stay dry whilst moving oceans

Answer: The moon.

Today’s riddle:

Although I’m always in a corner I can travel around the world. What am I?

Bruno Roussennac



We keep going and going @TeamLmax @ClipperRace

This morning one my friends was texting me all about her difficult times (relationship with her boyfriend, very bad treatment at her office, etc). Life isn’t easy. We endure a lot. All of us.

Last year I’ve decided to take part of this @ClipperRace even if I knew, I could be injured or worst. But remember, we are alive. Life can be very tough. But you’re not alone. Don’t give up. WE ARE SURVIVORS !! We are on a boxing ring for life. So YES you will be tired sometimes. YES you will fall. But don’t go out of the boxing ring. Keep going and going. We fight to live and we fight hard. In the end YOU will SUCCEED!!

155,079 people were refugees or asylum seekers in 2014 in UK, Notre Dame Refugee center try to help them. Babies are dying by lack of education on health and safety in Africa and other part of the world, Wonder foundation try to help them in Ivory coast. Young people under 25 years old are in distress situations in UK, Get Connected try to help them.

The only thing you have to do is dry your tears, stand up and carry on your good job.

Keep going




1. Funds for NDF Refugee Center @TeamLmax @ClipperRace

Dear followers,

Yesterday NDF Refugee Center received £1,000 cash. With the additional transfers and online links it will be more than that in total. Thank you all for your donations, thoughts and prayers. Last year I didn’t know how to sail, I didn’t know the meaning of words such as “apparent wind, Spinnaker, etc”. I will not call myself a sailor yet, even if I crossed South Atlantic ocean. But despite the accidents I will cross North Atlantic again at the end of June with the best team ever, Team Lmax Exchange. Thank you all for your support and especially Dosseh’s familly, friends, Pumeza Matshikiza, Sir Charles Dunstone, Geoffroy Dalloz, NDF community, Christ Church community, Dixons-Carphone HQ’s colleagues (by the way you will see me again in few days with macaroons) and all other anonymous donators.

In 2014, 155,079 Refugees, Asylum seekers was registered in UK. With your help, it has been possible to help few of them to make their life less difficult.

Everything has been possible because of you !





Next week end another charity: “Get Connected”

Thank you