Sail Canada Sailor of the Month

Published on June 14th, 2017

Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Here is the latest recipient.


There was an unexpected change of course for Groupe Esprit de Corps (GEDC) on May 17th when Canadian Gilles Barbot and his crew turned their race efforts into a rescue mission. The Volvo 60 was in the midst of sailing in the Antigua Bermuda Race – a 935 nautical mile course from Antigua to Bermuda.

Barbot and his team veered in the direction of the distressed ship to assist skipper Les Crane and the crew of Monterey who had to abandon their sinking Farr 56 in the early hours of May 17th, 200 miles from the finish in Bermuda. “When the first orange safety flare appeared in the sky, illuminating Groupe Esprit de Corps foredeck, the bearing to take was for once, very obvious,” says Tristan Péloquin, GEDC crew.

Groupe Esprit de Corps and Monterey were approximately four or five miles apart and were unable to establish radio communication for about 20 minutes. Eventually, Les Crane’s voice emerged on the static radio confirming that they were taking on a lot of water but were okay and boarding the rescue raft. The Monterey sank minutes later.

Groupe Esprit de Corps welcomed six new crew members aboard and from there a friendship emerged, sharing race duties, bunk beds, food and lots of philosophical reflexions. “Gilles (Barbot), Maxime (Grimard) and the crew from Montreal are a fabulous bunch of guys,” said Les Crane. “They made us feel so welcome on board and got us all involved in racing the boat. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done.”

“It’s in the highly emotional moments like these that relationships tend to crystallize,” said skipper Gilles Barbot. “These new friendships will definitely remain strong, for a long time.”

We applaud such heroic efforts by Gilles, Luc, Simon, Maxime, Philippe, Karen, Tristan, Charlotte, André and Tiberius!

Congratulations to Helly Hansen Sailor of the Month – Atlas Ocean Racing powered by Groupe Esprit de Corps – Montreal, QC.

Groupe Esprit de Corps Crew List: Gilles Barbot, Luc Dubois, Simon DuBois, Maxime Grimard, Philippe Lefebvre, Karen Marshall, Tristan Peloquin, Charlotte Rousselot, André Roy, Tiberius Trifu.

Monterey Crew List: Les Crane, Cam Macrae, Jock Macrae, Bob Medland, Kit Tatum, and James Watlington.
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Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to sailorofthemonth@sailing.ca.

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