François SERUZIER, Transat Classique LAGASSE Race Director. Competitor in the Solitaire Le Figaro 1994, 1995 and 1996, in the sailing tour de France from 1986 to 1993, and several RORC races as a crew member; he also competed in the 1992 Olympic Games.
In a few words, what does the Argos beacon represent for you?
Pour moi, la balise Argos évoque avant tout le souvenir de cette course mythique qu’est la Solitaire du Figaro. I competed in this race three times: in 1994, 1995 and 1996. For a sailor, this race is equivalent to a climb of more than 8,000 metres for a mountaineer!
Although I had previously competed in many other ocean races (sailing Tour de France, RORC team race, 1992 Olympic Games), it is the Figaro race that truly represents the fulfilment of several years of investment, training and work. It was also the first race in which I participated where the boats were equipped with Argos beacons.
I think that the Argos beacon system is terrific! We often hear about satellites without really thinking about their exact role. The Argos beacon is the perfect concrete example of how these ultra-modern engines that are flying around above our heads can be used effectively. Traditionally, it is a high-tech means to position any type of vessel, wherever it is located on the Earth’s surface. This is why all our boats will be equipped with Argos tracking and assistance request beacons during the first edition of the Transat Classique LAGASSE, especially since it can also be used to record the race rankings.
When was the last time that the Argos assistance request was of use to you?
Happily I have never needed to trigger the assistance request on my Argos beacons, and I hope that the skippers in the Transat Classique LAGASSE will not have to either. Even if it is not used as a safety beacon, it can be very useful for requesting assistance from the race organizer.