Over the past fortnight, the Covid-19 pandemic has led many race organisers to modify their plans. Among them, OC Sport Pen Duick which postponed (currently the situation) the Transat AG2R La Mondiale and is looking at various options for The Transat CIC, but remains confident about the Solitaire du Figaro. Tip & Shaft talked to the Managing Director, Hervé Favre.
The World Championships of the 470 class (March 16-21), the giant Trofeo Princesa Sofia Olympic regatta (March 27-April 4), the Sailing World Cup Genoa (11-19 April), the 44Cup Portoroz (22-26 April), the GC32 Racing Tour in Oman (25-29 March), the ACWS Cagliari (22-26 April), these events are all either cancelled or postponed. In France the list of events to be rescheduled include Easter’s Spi Ouest France, the Massila Cup, the SNIM, the Solo Maitre CoQ The coronavirus outbreak is affecting the whole of the competitive sailing world. Tip & Shaft takes a view.
2019 will be remembered for the arrival of the first Class40 scows and the victory of one of them, Crédit Mutuel, in the Transat Jacques Vabre, The 2020 Class40 season will see the launch of at least two new 40-foot boats, while many others have changed their name. Tip & Shaft looks at this lively market and the programme that lies ahead for this season.
Sam Manuard is no stranger to success in Class 40 with his Mach series of designs and in the Mini class in which he cut his teeth as a designer and sailor. Recently he has been pushing the design envelope with his rounded chunky bowed Class 40 Banque du Leman which debuted with fourth in the Transat Jacques Vabre just weeks after it was launched. Manuard was chosen by his long time Mini class adversary Armel Tripon to design L’Occitane. Seeking a more radical, clean sheet of paper approach the Multi 50 winner of the last Route du Rhum seems to have just that, according to the images released November 25th.
One year ago it was a disappointed Sam Goodchild who had, again, suffered a Transatlantic breakdown – losing the mast of his Class 40 whilst among the leaders of the Route du Rhum. So when he finished the Transat Jacques Vabre on his third attempt in Class 40, second place on Leyton with Fabien Delahaye felt particularly sweet for the sailor who turned 30 in November. Goodchild, whose career best on the Solitaire was 11th in 2013, confirms he will return to the Figaro for next year, racing in the Leyton colours.
As they are now along Brazilian coasts, Crédit Mutuel (Ian Lipinski / Adrien Hardy) is still leading the Transat Jacques Vabre in Class40. This is already a step change performance for the scow bowed 40 footer which was only launched on August 13, showing very well against Mach 40.3, the benchmark design in the class to date. Designer David Raison talks here of the new boat’s performances but also of Maximum Team BFR Marée Haute Jaune sailed by François Jambou, which at the same time is in the lead in the Protos in the 2nd leg of the Mini Transat while his new Series built Maxis are not having it quite as easy.
The Transat Jacques Vabre started on Sunday from Le Havre. After five days of racing by Friday, the leaders were Primonial (Sébastien Rogues/Matthieu Souben) in the Multi50s, Charal (Jérémie Beyou/Christopher Pratt) in the Imocas and Aïna Enfance & Avenir (Aymeric Chappellier/Pierre Leboucher) in Class40. Tip & Shaft looks at the weather strategies chosen by the sailors with three routers, Christian Dumard, Jean-Yves Bernot and Dominic Vittet.
As before each and every major race, Tip & Shaft gathers a panel of experts to discuss who represents the best prospects to win the Transat Jacques Vabre which starts next Sunday from Le Havre to Salvador de Bahia. So here we are looking at Class40 and Multi50 classes.
When they won the 2019 Tour Voile last weekend in Nice, Team Beijaflore, who are led on the water by skipper Valentin Bellet and on shore by Pierre Mas, fulfilled the primary goal of the project which was set up in late 2016, to win the event within three years. Now, what is next for the team and for the company, more ambitious projects in terms of goals and budgets? Beijaflore also supported the Class40 of William Mathelin-Moreaux on the last Route du Rhum.
They’re like buses. You wait seven years for another Class40 race around the world to appear and two come at once: first to show was the Globe40 round the world. Now Class40 has The Race Around, revealed by British Sam Holliday and New Zealand Hugh Piggin last week. How did we get here? What do skippers think? Tip & Shaft tries to understand…..