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Sébastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye win the Transat Jacques Vabre yacht race onboard their GDF SUEZ Class 40

November 30, 2013

GDF SUEZ congratulates Sébastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye for their brilliant victory skippering the GDF SUEZ Class 40 on their first attempt at the Class 40 category of the Transat Jacques Vabre yacht race. Sébastien Rogues (only 27) and his co-skipper Fabien Delahaye (29) celebrate one of their greatest victories with this major race, which is particularly tough and demanding as demonstrated by the small time differences between the first three competitors, despite the course being 5 450 nautical miles long (10,090 km). This is a symbolic victory for the Group which has extensive operations in Brazil. GDF SUEZ has been supporting the young skipper Sébastien Rogues through its “Young Talent” program since 2009 and has backed his progress all the way to top rankings.

For Valérie Bernis, Executive Vice President of GDF SUEZ responsible for Communications, Marketing and Sustainable Development, “Sébastien has shown a lot of nerve, determination, and commitment in this very high-level sailing event. He thrilled the Group’s employees and sailing fans right up till the end, as nothing can ever be taken for granted. We are delighted with his well-deserved victory in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre, flying GDF SUEZ colors. We are very proud of sharing our own key values with Sébastien, including a respect for local regions, commitment, high standards and surpassing oneself, and to share this victory with La Voix de l’Enfant. We also wish to thank co-skipper Fabien Delahaye from the Lower-Normandy Region whose talent and experience were a great addition to the crew.”

GDF SUEZ and Sébastien, a developing story

Sébastien was 21 when he came knocking on GDF SUEZ’s door. The Group was charmed by his charisma and his deep convictions, and decided to support him for one season. GDF SUEZ was impressed by the determination of the young sailor, who was getting ready for a solo crossing of the Atlantic in a Mini 6.50 series skiff, the smallest racing boat in the world, and decided to renew its trust in him for the following two years, 2010 and 2011, still in the Mini 6.50 series, but this time in a prototype. GDF SUEZ increased its support for Sébastien in 2012 by backing him in another category, the Class 40. This was a monohull twice as big as anything he had used before, and a major step that opened the door for him to top racing.
GDF SUEZ watched the young skipper, who was gaining experience, and who charmed the Group’s employees during meetings and events organized at the company. This is why the Group decided to continue the Class 40 partnership for a further two years in 2012, following a year spent learning the ropes, so as to enable Sébastien to take part in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre, and then in the legendary Route du Rhum in 2014.

Every sporting season has featured charitable sponsorship: in 2013 Sébastien Rogues supported La Voix De l’Enfant

This year, Sébastien Rogues wanted to share his adventure with underprivileged children, and to promote La Voix De l’Enfant, an organization that the GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation has supported since its creation in 1992. As an ambassador for the organization, Sébastien Rogues will fly its colors on his boat, in order to raise awareness of crimes against children, in France and elsewhere. The children cared for by the organization are invited to visit the GDF SUEZ Class 40 during the season, in the company of the skipper, enabling them to discover the world of sailing.

GDF SUEZ is a major player in French sports, and is primarily present in football and women’s tennis, as well as in judo and in outdoor and adventure sports. The aim of the Group’s sports sponsorship policy is to:
- encourage local roots and a local presence, and to invigorate socioeconomic life in the French regions: as a local player, GDF SUEZ supports over 1,000 sporting partnerships and over 200 events throughout France, encouraging over 3 million registered members to play sports.
- contribute to the spread of sport, and support team spirit and performance: supporting sports bodies and playing a driving role in founding and promoting international, national, and local events.
- support sportsmen and women over the long term, and at every stage of their career.
- promote social inclusion through sport: supporting organizations like “Fête le Mur”, “L’Agence pour l’Education par le sport”, “la Fondation du Football”, “Un but pour l’emploi, un but pour la vie”, “ l’Académie Bernard Diomède”, “L dans la ville”, and the OL “sOLidaire endowment fund”.

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