Class40 selection
  • 1
    A. Riva
  • 2
    Vogue avec un Crohn (FRA 195)
    Vogue avec un Crohn (FRA 195)
    PL. Attwell
  • 3
    La Manche Evidence Nautique
    La Manche Evidence Nautique
    N. Jossier
Next races


2017 Class40 Championship: Phil Sharp crowned champion

Imerys Clean Energy skipper Phil Sharp has won the 2017 Championship following a creditable 3rd place finish in the final race of the season, the Transat Jacques Vabre.

© Marine Laurent

This well-deserved title is the prize for consistently impressive results, and rewards a true champion who has been on the circuit for many years. Massimo Juris’ Colombre XL and Maxime Sorel’s V and B complete this decidedly international podium. A spectacular end to the season.

The races that counted in this year’s Class40 Championship were Trophée Guyader, Normandy Channel Race, Les Sables Horta, Rolex Fastnet Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre.  With a mix of fully-crewed and double-handed events, ranging from short course to long-distance racing, being consistent and versatile were essential for success.

From this perspective, the coefficient 4-scoring Transat Jacques Vabre was the highlight of the season. The compact, evenly-matched fleet, the low number of retirements, and the exceptional level of competition, are signs of the maturity of the class.   

At the front of the fleet, the battle was fierce and the outcome uncertain to the very end, with no less than 15 changes of leader over the 4350 miles of race track covered in 17 days between Le Havre and Salvador de Bahia. Even though Phil Sharp, racing with Pablo Santurde, were unable to match the pure speed of their immediate competition after the Doldrums, they were unquestionably the main players of this double-handed transatlantic race. The winners V and B (Maxime Sorel, Antoine Carpentier) and runners-up Aïna Enfance et Avenir (Aymeric Chappellier, Arthur Le Vaillant) openly acknowledged the fact at the finish: known for his radical approach to competition and his appetite for windy conditions, Phil Sharp once again set an incredible pace all the way down the North Atlantic and was hard to keep up with.

The average speed of the winners (10.4 knots) is close to that of the older generation Imoca boats. Proof of the advances in design in Class40, and proof that these boats can be pushed hard in difficult conditions. From there to aspiring to a major round-the-world race for Class40s is but a small step. Expect 2018 to feature much debate and announcements on this subject. 

Phil Sharp : “It really is fantastic to lift the 2017 Class 40 Championship trophy after such an exciting season of diverse and challenging races. We have had some tough competition and it was been far from straightforward! From the inshore racing at Grand Prix Guyader to the ocean marathons of the Les Sables – Horta and Transat Jacques Vabre, we have had some memorable battles for the lead in all five championship events. Such close racing demonstrates the strength of the Class 40 currently as well as the level and quality of the teams. 

The Energy Challenge has importantly shown that we can deliver consistent results with top 3 finishes in every championship event. It has also prototyped some cutting edge solar technology to help fulfil our zero emissions objectives, in its aim to accelerate a shift to renewables in marine.  Our success this year is testimony to the dedicated support and technical collaboration of all of our Energy Challenge partners to whom we are very grateful, together with a tireless effort from our shore, technical, and performance team. Everyone involved can be proud of this result! »

Phil Sharp - an exceptional season:

-          Winner of the  Trophée Guyader (coef 1)

-          Winner of the Normandy Channel Race (coef 2)

-          2nd place in Les Sables-Horta (coef 3)

-          2nd place in the Rolex Fastnet Race (coef1)

-          3rd in the Transat Jacques Vabre (coef 4)

Class40 Championship

1.      Phil Sharp (Imerys) – 871 pts

2.      Massimo Juris (Colombre XL) – 624 pts

3.      Maxime Sorel (V and B) – 620 pts

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