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Clarisse Crémer refutes Vendée Globe cheating accusations

Clarisse Crémer

Yacht Racing Podcast

A story published by France’s international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) has named French yachtswoman Clarisse Crémer as the Vendée Globe skipper accused of cheating in the 2020-21 edition of the high profile solo non-stop around the world sailing race.

Crémer is quoted as vehemently denying the accusation in a joint statement she issued with her husband Tanguy Le Turquais in response to an anonymous e-mail sent to the French Sailing Federation (FFVoile) last Sunday.

In that email Crémer was accused of using information relayed to her by the land-based Le Turquais to help plot her route during the 45,000-kilometre 2020/2021 Vendée Globe aboard her 60-foot IMOCA-class yacht.

Outside assistance of this nature is strictly forbidden in the rules of the mythic race that sets out and finishes at the French port of Les Sables-d’Olonne every four years.

An international jury has been established to investigate the affair based on screenshots of WhatsApp conversations between the couple sent to the federation in Sunday’s tip-off.

“During our chats which essentially concerned the intimacy between a couple, Tanguy never gave me the slightest bit of information that I didn’t have already,” Crémer said.

The 34-year-old, who skippered her yacht Banque Populaire into twelfth in the 2020-21 race, added: “No chat with him contributed to me changing course or making a strategic decision that would have had an impact on my race.

“All my performance decisions I made alone and without any assistance according to the rules.”

The couple questioned the motive and timing of their anonymous accuser with the pair among the 44 candidates for the next Vendée Globe starting in November, with only 40 allowed to take part – and are reported to be considering legal action.

Meanwhile, the IMOCA class association has issued a statement about the matter:

“This situation is currently in the hands of the competent institutions responsible for regulating and monitoring competitions within the Fédération Française de Voile. We express our full confidence in their ability to carry out impartial and thorough investigations.

The use of personalised weather assistance and routing from sources external to the boat is prohibited in the context of IMOCA racing. This rule is a fundamental pillar of our commitment to fairness and sporting integrity.

With this in mind, we stress the importance of a procedure that is carried out with a good knowledge of our races and their rules, in a calm and exhaustive manner.”

Clarisse CrémerBanque Populaire withdrew its sponsorship last year over concerns that Cremer’s pregnancy would prevent her from qualifying for the 2024-25 Vendee Globe. However Cremer has since secured financial backing from French luxury retailer L’OCCITANE en Provence and technical support from British five-time Vendée Globe competitor Alex Thomson.

Should she go on to qualify for the 2024-25 Vendée Globe Cremer would race solo around the world for the second time aboard a newer, higher-performance IMOCA yacht that – as Charlie Dalin’s Apivia – finished second in the last edition.

 

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