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Swan 59


Nicolas Abiven

We are ‘Mad Atao by Yes we Cam’.

Our story begins with the creation of Mad Atao, which means ‘always valiant’ in Breton, a team that was built as a start-up of seniors who are passionate about sailing, racing and always up for an adventure.

This dream took shape when Jean Le Cam agreed to prepare ‘Alegria’, a Swan 59 and become our technical director with the promise to share some of his immense knowledge; out of this agreement came ‘Mad Atao by Yes we Cam’.



The skipper of our team is Nicolas Abiven. This architect, engineer and sailor started windsurfing, hobby-cat and laser sailing in Northern Brittany and discovered the world of regattas in La Trinité (France) as a teenager. The passion has never left him as he became a professional sailor and boat builder.

Nicolas has participated in many competitions across the world, he won the Fastnet in 1991 and finished 3rd in 1993, he came 2nd at the World Championship of Match Racing in 1995, won the World championship of Mumm 36 in 1996 and came 2nd at the world championship of 50′ IOR in 1994. He also has more than 10 French sailing national titles, won the Spi Ouest France 3 times and the Tour de France à la Voile in 2001.

Nicolas is also the winner of the 2003 Transat Jacques Vabre on an IMOCA 60′ with JP Dick. In addition, he was also technical director of JP Dick’s IMOCA team in 2001-2003 and 2009-2012. To conclude, he combines a prestigious pedigree of multiple industrial nautical experiences across the world and bring a unique know-how as an operational manager serving the development of the team.

First Mate

François-Christophe Abiven (Nicolas’ older brother) has been passionate about sailing since his childhood, he did a lot of Optimist and Vaurien sailing in Northern Brittany and as a teenager discovered cruising on the family Challenger Europe. He also cruised and raced on many different boats from one-design to ocean racing trimarans. He is a former owner of a Beneteau First 50 GTE. He has lived and sailed in many countries and covered about 1500 miles a year on different seas. He participated in the ARC 2016 on a Lagoon 450. After several round-the-world trips by plane, he now wants to do it by boat.

No.Name, NationalitySex, AgeLeg 1Leg 2Leg 3Leg 4
1François-Christophe Abiven, FrenchMale, 61
2Nicolas Abiven, FrenchMale, 57
3Audrey Abiven, FrenchFemale, 41
4Marc Gareton, FrenchMale, 55
5Maëlys Chardon, FrenchFemale, 23
6Frédéric Schneider, FrenchMale, 56
7Laurent Granjon, FrenchMale, 56
8Nicolas Leclerc, CanadianMale, 22


Our boat is a Swan 59 called ‘Alegria’, which belongs to Mer Vent, Le Cam’s company in Brittany, France. This Swan 59, hull number 14, was built in 1986. She changed owners in 1996 and had a refit in 2011-2012. With its previous owner, Alegria was mainly a family cruiser in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Mer Vent acquired her in 2021 and started a complete refit.