Joe Lacey has been based in France for the past few years where he has sailed on many of the best-known French boats that are currently dominating offshore racing under IRC. For 2019 he has moved into the Mini fleet with the aim of winning the Series Division of the Mini Transat on his new production-built David Raison-designed Maxi scow
Seahorse: First of all, Joe – and before we get on to the Minis – why have French crews been so dominant in modern Fastnets, as well, frankly, as in all the other big RORC offshore races?
Joe Lacey: There are just more French owners who are really trying to win. There are some great British teams but they are mainly racing inshore in Fast40s, Dragons, Etchells and J70s – if those owners were French they would be winning offshore IRC races instead. There is no rocket science to it, the French teams buy good offshore boats, pick good amateur crew and put the time and effort into training and learning to sail their boats fast. The pool of top sailors who have come through the Mini and Figaro classes helps as well.
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