Winners revealed for photo competition
Published on November 24th, 2020
French photographer Gilles Martin-Raget and his image of the Orma 60 Fujifilm II trimaran, taken during the Course des Phares 2002, has won the 2020 Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest.
When the coronavirus pandemic limited activity in 2020, the 2020 contest pivoted from highlighting the best images of the past year to celebrating the best sailing photos taken since January 1, 2000. One hundred thirty-one professional photographers took part in the special edition of the competition.
Martin-Raget won the main prize while the public chose the photo of Alfred Farré (ESP). A special prize was awarded to Dan Towers (GBR) for his photo of Bernard Stamm facing a terrible storm in the Bay of Biscay in 2006 during the Velux 5 Oceans Race.
A sailing photographer since 1986, Martin-Raget is based in Marseille and regularly contributes to the most prestigious sailing publications in addition to being the official photographer of several sailors and teams.
“I am elated and very, very happy!” said Martin-Raget. “I have entered a photo nearly every year since the creation of the contest, and like in any competition, it is good to win from time to time. Of course, being able to choose in 20 years archives gave a bit of bonus to the old foxes like me as many entrants are rather young guys – this is good news – but the future belongs to them.”
The winning photo shows the famous French sailor Loïck Peyron, in a very special stretch of water called “Le trou du diable”, located south of the island of Ushant, in Brittany. Martin-Raget won ahead of Antoine Dujoncquoy (FRA) and Dallas Kilponen (AUS).
“Another story behind this photo is that it was taken with a digital camera, one of the real first good ones (35 mm slides were still the standard at that time),” explained Martin-Raget. “The jpg original file is 2,70 mb only, and, after a necessary reduction in size and weight, it was sent through the internet few minutes later, after the helicopter had landed on a beach nearby, with one of those external modems that was much more noisy than anything else, certainly not quick!
“But it worked, and it was probably the beginning of a new era, though it took another three years to abandon definitively the slides and shoot with digital cameras only.”
Alfred Farré (ESP) benefited from the biggest number of votes on Internet and wins the Public Award thanks to his beautiful photo of two Minis fighting the storm in a breathtaking landscape during the Mini Med 2009 in Spain.
The Special Award goes to Dan Towers (GBR), who is rewarded for his stunning picture taken in the Bay of Biscay, after the start of the 2006-2007 VELUX 5 Oceans.
Gilles Martin-Raget will receive a prize-money of €1000 as well as an Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic watch offered by Skippers magazine.
The jury, consisting of Jen Edney, Chris Museler, Justin Chisholm, Loris von Siebenthal, Luca Rizzotti and Nicolas Mirabaud, initially narrowed the field from 131 submissions down to 80 photos, and then selected the following photographers (in alphabetical order) for the top 20:
• Pierre Bouras (FRA)
• Thomas Campion (FRA)
• Michael Chittenden (NZL)
• Tom Coehoorn (NED)
• Brett Costello (AUS)
• Alexis Courcoux (FRA)
• Antoine Dujoncquoy (FRA)
• Bertrand Duquenne (FRA)
• Thomas Eibenberger (GER)
• Richard Gladwell (POL)
• Félix González Muñiz (SPA)
• Sören Hese (GER)
• Martin Keruzoré (FRA)
• Dallas Kilponen (AUS)
• Gilles Martin-Raget (FRA)
• Elena Razina (RUS)
• Ivo Rovira (SPA)
• Benoit Stichelbaut (FRA)
• Eloi Stichelbaut (FRA)
• Junxing Zhong (CHN)
Here were the top 20 images: