All of the boats which are placed above Burton have a greater performance potential. The only IMOCA of the same vintage is Jean Le Cam's Finistère Mer Vent, which started life as Michel Desjoyeaux's winning Foncia, a close Farr designed sister to Burton's Bureau Vallée, which finished one place ahead this time. The skipper who grew up in Paris and has a Welsh father finishes with the third non-foiling IMOCA. According to Servane Escoffier, who co-manages her partner's project, the only structural changes have been to remove the original moustache spray rails and build in additional strength and structure. Last winter a substantial sliding coachroof was fitted to improve protection. The keel was replaced and a full new electronics system and wiring change made for this race. Burton sailed many training miles solo prior to his Route du Rhum and before his 2012-13 Vendée Globe.
After racing the 2009 Route du Rhum in Class 40 in Bureau Vallée colours, Burton and his brother Nelson debuted in the IMOCA class in the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre. A dream debut, staying in the top three early in the passage from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, saw them finish seventh. His first solo race was the B2B return back across the Atlantic in which he finished eighth.