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.
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.
When the announcement came in March 2018 that the Barcelona World Race was to be suspended, held over until 2022-23, there was disappointment among the IMOCA racing community, especially among the up and coming sailors for whom the two handed round the world race served as an entry level opportunity, and indeed some sailors had already sold the race to their sponsors. But it also proved body blow to the Spanish solo and short handed racing fraternity.
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.
On Sunday, September 22 at 2:15 pm in La Rochelle 90 solo racers representing 13 different nationalities and including 78 rookies (bizuths) will start the first of two stages of the 22nd edition of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère. As before every major race, Tip & Shaft confers with specialists about the favorites.
It does not happen so often in racing sponsorship: an equipment manufacturer gives its name to a sailing event. After a successful first experience last year, Plastimo is teaming up again with Lorient Grand Large, the organiser of the first Atlantic-side Mini 6.50 race in the season in France, and names the event the Plastimo Lorient Mini 6.50. For the french company based in Lorient, it means much more than simply lending a hand.
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Climbing the mast can become something of a sailors’ obsession, particularly solo racers heading to desolate, lonely areas. It is very physical, risky and complicated. From Mini 650 sailors to IMOCA skippers it is probably the task feared most of all. But it happens quite frequently, gennaker hooks get jammed, halyards are twisted or tangled, or when…