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    X. Macaire / A. Beccaria
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    A. Riva / I. Lipinski
  • 3
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    PL. Attwell / F. Delahaye
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TJVNLH: Class40, 40 reasons to follow it!

© Ronan Tholimet / Alea
© Ronan Tholimet / Alea

It may not be the class of all the superlatives that ocean racing often feasts on, but Class40 ticks all the boxes that have made the magic of ocean sailing for over 40 years. Mixed, internationalization, high technology, but also human adventure, sometimes family stories, it concentrates quite an astonishing diversity of sporting and sailing experiences, from Olympism to the purest amateur. With 45 units at the start next Sunday, it offers not only the number but the absolute diversity of maritime experiences, welded by a powerful conviction of its coherence, its legibility. Far from technological and budgetary gigantism, the Class40 blossoms in sporting fairness, with an exponential level of performance, in accessibility and in the controlled development of its technologies. For all these reasons, it offers race after race, single-handed, crewed or short-handed, all the ingredients of suspense, upheaval and the unknown that have built the legends of the great ocean crossings. It writes for each of her sailors slices of majestic adventures for which sentimental crowds inevitably flock to each transatlantic departure. At the great rendezvous of pure emotion, there is something for every taste. Choose your flavor.

Family affairs

"I knew very quickly that I would participate in my next Transat Jacques Vabre with my father".  Simon Kervarrec, 22 years old, embarks his father, Yannick (Leclerc Samsic N°141). They are three father / son tandems, to set off towards Martinique in Class40 and thus make this race an extraordinary family adventure. And when it comes to complementarity, the father-son relationship is without equal: "I spent a good number of years on cargo ships, so I mastered navigation," explains Jean-Jacques Le Borgne (Recycleurs Bretons -Navaleo N°88). His son Kieran is more familiar with the new models of fittings and the technological part. The Magré family duo also affirms it: "On board, my father has a very good knowledge of offshore sailing" explains Antoine Magré (E. Leclerc Ville La Grand N°160), "I am more involved in maneuvers and weather analysis". Trust, respect and, yes, let's say it, love, seal unique complicities on board the Class40s of the Transat.

The women too

"It is an objective that we are looking for with the project, to create 100% female crews and to give ourselves the means to perform". Amélie Grassi forms with Marie Riou (La Boulangère Bio N°170) one of the three women's tandems engaged in the Class40 race. The declared objective is to perform with a 100% female crew. Morgane Ursault-Poupon and Julia Virat on UP Sailing N°30 share this ambition, while the twins Julia and Jeanne Courtois (Saint James Biscuiterie de l'Abbaye N°139) are setting off for the first time on this transatlantic race. They are the winners of the "Cap pour Elle" program, supported by the Transat Jacques Vabre and Saint-James, aimed at encouraging a new female crew. Anne Baugé will share the helm of Milai (101) with Japanese sailor Masa Suzuki, while Canadian Mélodie Schaffer will take part in the ocean race with her compatriot Ryan Barkey on Stormtech N°128. Clara Fortin is also teaming up with a fellow countryman, Martin Louchart from Normandy, for a more than initiatory transatlantic race aboard Randstad-Ausy (N°155). In total, 8 women among the 90 sailors in the Class.

Contrasting ambitions

At the start of a transatlantic race as demanding as the Jacques Vabre, with such  strong entries, the ambitions are naturally as varied as the number of crews. Among the contenders for victory in Martinique, the names of Banque du Léman (Valentin Gautier - Simon Koster N°159), Serenis Consulting (Jean Galfione - Eric Péron N°163), and Crédit Mutuel (Ian Lipinski - Eric Péron N°163) are all in the running, in no particular order of preference, as the battle between the most recent and the latest generation of yachts promises to be fierce, Crédit Mutuel (Ian Lipinski - Julien Pulvé N°158), Crosscall (Aurélien Ducroz - David Sineau N°166), Lamotte Module Création (Luke Berry - Achille Nebout N°153), Project Rescue Ocean (Frédéric Denis - Axel Tréhin N°162), or Redman (Antoine Carpentier - Pablo Santurde N°161), Volvo (Jonas Gerckens Benoit Hantzperg N°164)... 

A number of top outsiders are knocking on the door of this antechamber of victory, such as Edenred (Emmanuel Le Roch/Pierre Quiroga N° 165), La Manche #EvidenceNautique (Nicolas Jossier and Alexis Loison N°154) or Seafrigo - Sogestran (Cédric Chateau/Jérémie Mion N°172), the Max40 La Boulangère Bio (Amélie Grassi/Marie Riou) or the Clak40 Emile Henry Happyvore, of Nicolas d'Estais and Erwan Le Draoulec N°167, Entrepreneurs for the Planet (Audigane -Jambou N°151)... .

En route to the great adventure of a lifetime...

A major competition, a complex and demanding transatlantic race (4800 miles), this Jacques Vabre 2021 will also be the baptism of oceanic fire for a number of sailors in Class40, like Renaud Courbon and Guillaume Pirouelle (Clown Hop N°133). Ivica Kostelic, like Jean Galfione, has been on the Olympic and world podium in his specialty, Alpine skiing. The Jacques Vabre will be his first crossing. From the snow to the sea, Mathieu Crépel, professional snowboarder, shares the same universe and the same approach as Ivica. His thirst for adventure led him to Stan Thuret's Everial (N°147). Adventure and friendship also go hand in hand in Class40, like the Exploring Tech for Good project of two engineers, Victor Jost and Enguerrand Granoux. Stories of men, sailors, friendship... the one of Thibaud Lefevre and Thomas Bulcke (Free Dom 157) is worth the detour and joins those of Nicolas D'Estais and Erwan Le Draoulec, old friends from the Mini, or Maxime Cauwe and Jules Bonnier (Avanade N° 98), Jean Pierre Balmes and Laurent Camprubi (fullsave N°148) good-natured amateurs on their way to the great adventure.

International...

The audio vacations will resound with the accents of the ten or so nationalities represented in this eminently international class: Belgian (Jonas Gerkens), American (Alex Mehran), Canadian (Ryan Barkey - Melodie Schaffer), British (Merfyn Owen, Alister Richardson, Brian Thompson), Dutch (Ysbrand Endt - Frans Budel), Italian (Andrea Fantini), Spanish (Pablo Santurde del Arco), Swiss (Valentin Gautier, Simon Koster) but also Croatian (Ivica Kostelic) and Japanese (Masa Suzuki) are the emeritus ambassadors of a class that attracts all eyes outside of France. Without forgetting the Mediterraneans... Kito de Pavant, Achille Nebout, Jean Pierre Balmes, Laurent Camprubi, Pierre Quiroga....

The war of the round noses!

With the great diversity of architects and designers bent over their cradles, David Raison (Max 40), Sam Manuard (Mach 40.4), Marc Lombard (Lift 2), Guillaume Verdier (Pogo S4) or VPLP (Clak 40), there are no less than 12 scows of post Route du Rhum 2018 generation at the start on Sunday out of the 45 enlisted. These hulls called scows were very popular in the early 20th century on the American Great Lakes. With a bulky and spatulate bow like a ski, and a moderate width, these sailboats do not nose dive. They stay on top of the waves and take on less water on deck. They are formidable in crosswinds, at 60 and up to 110° from the true wind. 

The Class40s in the Transat Jacques Vabre in figures:

4 800 miles between Le Havre and Fort de France via Sal in Cape Verde

45 boats at the start

10 nationalities

8 women including three 100% female crews

7 boats vintage 2021

Presence of the N°1 listed boat, launched in 2004, Terre Exotique of Georges Guiguen and Morgann Pinson

 

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