No announcement yet.

A Blustery Start For The Transat Jacques Vabre


  • A Blustery Start For The Transat Jacques Vabre

    29 October 2023 - 16h33

    Three classes enjoy great start to Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, IMOCAs remain in port.
    Strong, gusty winds and choppy seas made for a spectacular start to the 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre for three of the four race fleets today. While the ULTIM, Ocean Fifty and Class 40 races set off on time, in 20-25kts the 40 boat IMOCA fleet remain in Le Havre after their start was postponed due to forecasted storm force winds.

    But only the five giant, foiling ULTIM trimarans will sail a course to Martinique heading out of the Channel this afternoon before turning to their first marks at the San Paulo and San Pedro islands off Brazil before heading to Ascension Island. Capable of sustained speeds of over 40kts they should outrun the deep depression which is forecast to bring gusts of up to 80kts and 10-12 metre seas Finisterre on Tuesday.

    After starting in sequence from 1307hrs this afternoon the ULTIM, six Ocean Fifty and 44 Class 40s revelled on the tough, gusty conditions on the Bay of Le Havre but they will just race a 320 miles passage to Lorient on the French Atlantic coast where they will re-start when the weather outlook improves. Their race to Martinique is likely to be on a shorter course distance. But it is unclear when their re-start will be.

    The IMOCA 60 fleet remain on standby for a start but it is not likely to be for several days at least.

    British skipper Pip Hare (Medallia) commented, “For us it was not looking so bad, we would have seen six hours of heavy breeze and then a further three to six hours of heavy sea state but then. We were looking at risk profile and it was OK, but I am speaking to Szabi (Hungarian IMOCA skipper Szabolcs We?res) and he was going to be 150 miles or so behind on a slower boat. I think the decision of the race officers reflects the fact we have a diverse IMOCA fleet and that is one the great things about the IMOCA class and something we should not lose. And that is someone who is lucky enough to have a high performance foiler now but came up in the second oldest boat in the fleet in the Vend?e Globe I value and respect that decision.”

    The 320 miles passage to Lorient for the Ocean Fifty and Class 40 fleets is expected to still see winds gusting to 30 knots tonight. And with strong tides and contrary winds big seas are still expected.

    SVR Lazartigue, the giant blue VPLP design of Francois Gabart and Tom Laperche – the newest in the fleet - was leading the ULTIM class by over four miles, making steady speeds of 25-29 knots set to pass the tip of the Cherbourg peninsula before mid-afternoon.

    In the Ocean Fifty class the early leader was newcomer to the class Pierre Quiroga – winner of the 2021 La Solitaire du Figaro – racing with Ronan Treussard on VIABLIS OC?ANS, a 2017 boat which was previously Sam Goodchild’s Leyton.

    The first miles for the Class 40 race was impressive with 44 boats close reaching at high speeds – up to 18-20kts at times for the latest scow designs. Italian favourite Ambrogio Beccaria on Allla Grande-PIRELLI, which finished second in last year’s Route du Rhum solo race to Guadeloupe, set the pace on the short circuit, despite hitting the only turning mark and having to take a penalty. They were leading Credit Mutuel – sailed by the highly favoured Ian Lipinksi and Antoine Carpentier, the 2019 race winners. Britons Brian Thompson and Alister Richardson were fourth and showing good speed on Tquila.

    At the mark there were two collisions. One between Curium and Bertrand Guillonneau and Kito de Pavant’s Movember which saw the boom damaged.

    The other was between Figaro ace, local Le Havre favourite Guillaume Pirouelle and Cedric Chateau’s recently launched Seafrigo-Sogestran and Caf? Joyeux. Three boats Caf? Joyeux, Seafrigo-Sogestran, and Movember had to make a U turn and return to Le Havre to try and effect repairs.

    Follow the race tracking 24/7 on
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • 2024 DH Farallones: Taming The Beast!
      by Photoboy

      The Doublehanded Farallones Race was a true test of mettle this year, dishing out 25-35 knots of southerly storm winds, which gradually turned offshore, meaning that it was sort of a reverse Farallones race – off the wind on the way to the island, and upwind on the way back. Boats that were able to reduce sails and remain in control found that they had a record-fast sail out to the island in rough conditions, but had a slower return back against the wind. The winds eventually
      Today, 11:26 AM
    • ETNZ Reveal, Splash, Rig And Sail New AC 75 On Single Day!
      by Photoboy
      12 APRIL 2024

      With the weather clearing in Auckland, Emirates Team New Zealand took advantage of a window to quietly launch the raceboat that will defend the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona in October. The hopes of this sailing-mad nation rest on a progressive and heavily refined design, a (big) step-on from their America’s Cup winning boat ‘Te Rehutai’ of AC36. The
      04-12-2024, 11:20 AM
    • Spring Keel And Wheeler Welcome The Return Of Winter Weather!
      by Photoboy
      There are times when universes collide, bringing various masses hurtling together in a semi quantum chaotic stew that can only be attributed to timing, weather and the pull from planetary forces... Saturday's racing in the waters off Treasure Island was one of them.

      The St Francis Yacht Club was hosting the Spring Fest, with some of the fleets starting of the western edge of T.I. and simultaneously, the Berkeley Yacht Club was hosting the Annual Rollo Wheeler Regatta off the Berkeley
      04-09-2024, 12:57 PM
    • Worth The Wait: The Breeze Returns To Mallorca
      by Photoboy
      5 Apr 2024

      The best winds came in late at the 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar today but the wait was worth it, especially for Britain’s ILCA 7 racer Micky Beckett and Italian Nacra 17 Olympic and world champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti who won their events with a day to spare at the Mallorca’s emblematic Olympic classes event which has drawn a record entry for an Olympic year.

      Beckett’s victory is his third back-to-back
      04-05-2024, 01:59 PM
    • Easter Weekend Raid Puts Estuary Pirates Behind Bars
      by Photoboy
      Police sink suspected San Francisco Bay bandits after seafaring pirates terrorize houseboats, yachts

      Chris Eberhart:

      Police sink suspected San Francisco Bay bandits after seafaring pirates terrorize houseboats, yachts
      Suspected seafaring bandits terrorizing San Francisco Bay residents are now landlocked in jail cells.

      Three suspected maritime burglars accused of breaking into a
      04-03-2024, 04:26 PM
    • Nuking Day One Conditions At Trofeo Princesa Mallorca
      by Photoboy

      With gusts to over 30kts at times and a big, untidy swell which has been built up by nearly two weeks of strong winds in the Balearica Islands, of the ten Olympic scheduled events only the Formula Kite Men and Women, the ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 singlehanders and the redoubtable 470 Mixed were actually able to race and open their accounts on schedule at the 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar.

      “It was nuclear today and I was loving it! We don’t
      04-02-2024, 11:23 AM