Loïc Venance wins Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image awards its main prize to AFP photographer Loïc Venance for his image of French skipper Jérémie Beyou on his Imoca 60 monohull "Charal" before crossing the finish line of the 2021 Vendée Globe off Les Sables d'Olonne coast.

Loïc Venance says: "It was early February 2021. Skipper Jérémie Beyou arrived in sight of Les Sables d'Olonne after almost three months of racing. There are only a few miles to go and the race leaders have been crossing the finish line for several days, but Jérémie, as usual, doesn't give up and arrives at full speed. I was lucky to be in a semi-rigid boat with a very good pilot, otherwise, we would never have managed to keep up with him.

"I am very happy to have won this prize, which is a worldwide reference in the world of sailing photography, and very honored that the jury chose my image among so many other high-quality shots," he added.

Loïc Venance holds a master's degree in information science and a photo diploma from the Ecole des Gobelins. He joined the AFP photo department in 2001 as an editor and then as a photographer. In 2016, he was appointed to the Rennes regional office and seconded to Nantes, where he covered daily news, notably the demonstrations on the labor law, Notre-Dame-des-Landes, and the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement. He also covers sports news, including Ligue 1 football and offshore sailing races. Over the past 20 years, he has also covered numerous international events including the Tokyo, Pyeong Chang, Sochi, London, and Beijing Olympics, Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Euro football championships, and many editions of the Cannes Film Festival.

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image is a professional photo competition that rewards the best photo of a sailing race that the jury believes represent the essence and passion of the sport.