How cities invest in offshore racing

The recent story of the Fastnet moving its finish from Plymouth to Cherbourg (You can read the full story from Tip & Shaft here) followed the exodus across the Channel of The Transat which changed its start from Plymouth to Brest both prove that in Ocean and Offshore Racing nothing is guaranteed. As they search for tourism and investment profile and direct economic benefits, towns and cities are deploying different strategies, some of them very proactively such as Les Sables d’Olonne which has just added the Mini Transat to a growing roster of Vendée events. Here is a look at the state of play in France and in Portsmouth, the only English waterfront city which is pressing ahead with investment in sailing events, most notably June’s Emirates America’s Cup World Series event which will see the AC75s racing in England for the first time. 

Brest Atlantiques Actual Leader

Brest Atlantiques: On first analysis

After the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finished into Brest on Wednesday morning to win the inaugural Brest Atlantiques race, Macif and Actual Leader arrived Saturday, ending this first ever stand alone Ultim race. Tip & Shaft makes a first analysis along with the input of skipper, organisers, teams and journalists. 

Banque Populaire X, Armel Le Cléac'h

Armel Le Cléac’h: “Brest Atlantiques taught us a lot”

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.

Charles Caudrelier: “I would love people from outside of France to join the Ultim class”

In late April Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper Charles Caudrelier was announced as co-skipper, along with Franck Cammas on the Gitana Team Ultime Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. After six months of intensive training and a short refit to the Verdier design, Caudrelier and Cammas took the start last Tuesday of the Brest Atlantiques race, being the leaders after 3 days. The 30 day 14,000 nautical miles triangle course into the south Atlantic, to marks off Rio and Cape Town, is a test of reliability and endurance as well as speed for the four Ultimes entered, Gitana, Sodebo Ultim 3, MACIF and Actual Leader. Tip & Shaft spoke to Caudrelier in Brest……

Philippe Facque: “Our build schedule is full for the next year and a half at least”

With two Ultimes currently in build (Macif and Banque Populaire) and four new Imoca (Charal, Arkéa Paprec and Apivia, already recently launched as well as the new Corum to come), the CDK Technologies yard is on the crest of a wave during this pre-Vendée Globe year. We pressed for the chance to speak with CDK’s managing director, a very discrete Philippe Facque.

Pascal Bidégorry: “I am looking for money to buy Macif”

In the wake of victory in the Volvo Ocean Race with Dongfeng Race Team, Pascal Bidégorry spent the latter part of last year helping young French skipper Arthur Le Vaillant prepare his Class40 for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. He is continuing that collaboration with Le Vaillant right now as they train on the Figaro 3 Leyton. And the duo will sail the Sardinha Cup at the end of March But at the same time the Basque bred sailor Bidégorry is looking for sponsoring partners to back him on an Ultim. But he is also cited as one of the potential successors for Sébastien Josse in the Gitana Team hot seat. He covers all these topics for Tip & Shaft.

Banque Populaire Voile sponsorise des bateaux en Figaro, Imoca, et Ultim

How Banque Populaire decides to continue its sailing sponsorship until 2024

From the fateful day, November 6th, when their Ultime Banque Populaire IX capsized on the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe it took just over one month, until December 12th before the green light was given for an ambitious new three cornered project. Such is the success story which links sailing and Banque Populaire and which now sees the seemingly unwavering relationship extend past the 30 year anniversary now into 2024.