After almost a month of lockdown, the different ocean racing divisions are spending a lot of time working with race organizers on the possible reprogramming of their 2020 or even their 2021 calendar, while at the same time trying to reassure their members, affected to varying degrees by this new turbulent economic crisis. Tip & Shaft goes round the houses, speaking to different key classes.
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.
There was another step forward in Februray in World Sailing’s selection process for the equipment to be used in the new mixed double offshore event in the Paris Olympics in 2024. The international federation published a list of the twelve boats presented by builders, who will be able to compete for the bid to tender when it is launced. For the yards, it is time to move their pawns forward as they look ahead. Tip & Shaft looks at what is going on.
After taking part in early February in the “Barrés de la Yole” in Martinique, it was in the garden of a sumptuous villa in Falmouth Bay, Antigua, from where he takes the start this Monday of his first RORC Caribbean 600 with the crew of the Multi 70 PowerPlay (ex MOD70 Paprec Recyclage), that Loïck Peyron replied to some questions from Tip & Shaft for its 200th French issue. The skipper from La Baule, now 60, looked back at his busy 2019 and talked to us about his latest news.
After four seasons in the Figaro circuit, Justine Mettraux will only be competing in 2020 in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale, in order to hand over her Figaro 3 TeamWork to her fellow Swiss sailor, Nils Palmieri. Mettraux, now 33 years old, was discovered in France in the Mini 6.50 (2nd in the 2013 Mini-Transat). She tells us why she is moving on, talks about her projects, in particular The Ocean Race, and looks back at the start of her career on Lake Geneva.
The Figaro season will kick off on 13th March with the Solo Maître CoQ, which comes before the big event of the season, the Transat AG2R La Mondiale. Both these events are part of the French elite offshore racing championship along with the Le Havre All Mer Cup and the Solitaire. Changes to the Figaro 3, the new programme and line-up… Tip & Shaft looks at the key features for 2020.
After a difficult end to 2018 with the loss of Banque Populaire IX in the Route du Rhum, the 2019 season has been busy for Armel Le Cléac’h, with events in the Figaro and Imoca circuits, ending up with tenth place in the Solitaire and sixth in the Transat Jacques Vabre with Clarisse Crémer. Not forgetting the work being done with the Banque Populaire Team on the future Ultim (due to be launched in the first quarter of 2021, as they observe what is happening in the Brest Atlantiques. The skipper from St. Pol de Léon talks to Tip & Shaft about everything that is going on.
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.
The Transat Jacques Vabre was a resounding success for the Finistère ocean racing training centre, as all three IMOCAs on the podium were skippered by sailors who train in Port-la-Forêt. This was a pleasing outcome for the director, Christian Le Pape, who examines what is happening in the world of ocean racing and at the Centre for Tip & Shaft.
French based Irish skipper Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) will sail the Tour de Bretagne à la Voile with aspiring young Turkish solo racer Ediz Onen. In the new Figaro Beneteau 3, the Smurfit Kappa skipper had a mixed La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, showing many bright moments, but was ultimately disappointed to come away with 32nd. Tip & Shaft caught up with Tom in between training sessions with the Lorient group.