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.
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.
Fifth overall twice in the Volvo Ocean Race, on Alvemedica in 2014-15 and on Vestas 11th Hour Racing in 2017-18, Charlie Enright, 35 (Rhode Island, USA) opens a new chapter in his sailing career when he competes in the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre across the Atlantic to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Partnered by the hugely experienced Frenchman Pascal Bidégorry aboard the VPLP-Verdier designed former Hugo Boss on which British skipper Alex Thomson finished second on the last Vendée Globe. Tip & Shaft talked to Enright in Le Havre…..
After last week’s look at the Multi50 and Class40 on the Transat Jacques Vabre this week it is the 29 boat IMOCA class which comes under scrutiny at virtually one year before the start of the Vendée Globe.
Charlie Dalin is docked this week in his original home port, Le Havre, with the dream ticket, a new Verdier designed IMOCA Apivia ready to race their first big transoceanic race. Dalin was graduated from Southampton with a degree in naval architecture in 2006 and from 2015 he has been in the Skipper Macif programme until early in 2018 Apivia, a new Macif brand, announced their support for Dalin on a four year Vendée Globe programme. After finishing third on the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre as co-skipper to Yann Eliès, Dalin pairs up again with Eliès for the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre. Tip & Shaft spoke to Charlie……
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.
With a professional career which now stretches to nearly 15 years Christopher Pratt has known the highs and the lows. But Pratt, whose mother is from London, now feels life is on the ‘up’. He has worked with long time friend Jérémie Beyou on the IMOCA Charal since the first testing and training now with successive wins in the Défi Azimut and the Rolex Fastnet Race, Pratt is one half of a partnership which is considered favourites to win the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre. Tip & Shaft caught up with him.
Now at just on one year after the launching of Charal, the first of the new-generation IMOCA to be built, in early August Jérémie Beyou won the Fastnet Race sailing with Christopher Pratt. This was his first win on the VPLP design. So, now at a little more than a month and a half before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the pinnacle event of the season, we meet up and take stock of past and future developments of his 60 footer, we talk about the newer boats and the development of his company BeYou Racing.