Hubert Savatier, originally from Le Havre, will be the tactician aboard the Next World Energy AC45. A key role for this young, intelligent guy with a strong personality. In his “normal” life, Hubert is an officer in the Merchant Navy.
If you come from Le Havre, you quite naturally look out to sea. To sail, of course, but not merely that. There are all the cargo ships, ferries and container vessels in the huge port in Normandy and that can lead you into a career involving long journeys on merchant vessels. Hubert Savatier did not have to choose between the two, as he has managed to do both. “I am a professional sailor… but on merchant vessels. As for sailing, I am considered as a grade 1 amateur by the ISAF”, explained the young man, who will have a highly important role aboard the Next World Energy AC45 in San Francisco: he is in charge of tactics. “And taking care of the backstays“, he added.
A rigorous all-round talent
His CV seems perfectly matched to the requirements of the Youth America’s Cup: Hubert has come from multihull training with the French Sailing Federation. In particular, he has raced a lot on F18s against the Bellet brothers, who today are his fellow crewmen on Next World Energy. But he also competed in match races and crewed racing, including on a J80 and in the Tour de France Sailing Race. In short, he knows how to go fast on a multihull, masters the subtleties of match racing and loves sailing with a crew. Everything required for the Cup.
Apart from his all-round ability, one of his major assets is his rigour. He found this rigour when racing, but also aboard the huge ferries connecting Calais and Dover. Aboard these floating monsters, he switches between watch on the bridge and the engine room. So there is no room here for any mistakes. This year, he suspended his professional career (back in February) to follow the training courses with the youngsters in the Next World Energy team, with the goal of racing against the world’s best in San Francisco in early September. After that, he will do his fifth and final year at the Merchant Navy School to get his master’s licence. It’s all very well planned and thought through down to the smallest detail.
Antoine Mermod, Director of Energy Team, never tires of praising the lad: “At first sight you would say that Hubert is fairly discreet when ashore. But that is not at all the case, when he is on the boat, where we see what he can really do. At sea he becomes a strong personality. A leader on the boat. He thinks a lot, and sometimes even too much. He is extremely hard-working and rigorous, and takes it all very seriously. He is able to do just about anything on a boat, so his all-round talent is a strength for the crew. He is very reliable and you can always count on him. Physically he has prepared well and is able to make the most of his ability.” Enough. How does the boy himself feel about this? “Well, it’s all very flattering… the Bellet brothers are a bit stronger than me physically, I think, but during the tests, it’s true I didn’t do too badly.” Officer Savatier is ready to kill… but he remains modest. And is already looking forward to the racing, “I have seen that the Kiwis and the Swiss are going to be good, as are the Americans… I can’t wait to set off for San Francisco to show what we can do on this AC45, which offers so much excitement. I’m extremely lucky to be able to experience this.”
His musical tastes: “I listen to a lot of reggae”
Reading: “I am fascinated by my job, so I read a lot of magazines about the merchant navy… and the magazine Course Au Large (OceanRacing) which I love.”
Born on 31st October 1990. Lives in Le Havre.