Antoine Carpentier and Pablo Santurde opened the finish line of the Class40 Transat Jacques Vabre yesterday morning. With the first rays of the Martinique sun, and after 21 days and 22 hours of racing, their Mach 40.4 Redman has outpaced the finish, hour by hour, even minute by minute already, of 19 competitors. The small gaps, but above all worn out faces and slimmed down figures, testify, behind the joyful intensity of the looks, to the bitterness of the struggle waged for over three weeks by each protagonist. Redman's victory takes on its full meaning in the light of the accounts of each duo, whose commitment to each crucial phase of the race was total. As Brian Thompson (Tquila) describes it, "The density and quality of the 45-boat fleet gives each competitor something to strive for and keeps the race interesting at every level of the leaderboard."
This is what we will remember about this Transat Jacques Vabre with its new course and destination. The battle has been, and still is, raging at all levels. Many of the favorites are at the top of the rankings, and the Swiss sailors on Banque du Léman, Simon Koster and Valentin Gautier, were among the favorites at the start in Le Havre. But there were many pleasant surprises. The third place of the Le Havre duo Cédric Chateau - Jérémie Mion Seafrigo Sogestran), pure products of the Ligue de Voile de Normandie, is one of them. Pierre Casenave-Péré, associated with Kevin Bloch (Legallais), the Vikings Nicolas Jossier - Alexis Loison (La Manche#EvidenceNautique) as well as the 100% feminine duo Amélie Grassi and Marie Riou (La Boulangère Bio) enter the Top 10 at the end of very high level performances.
Behind Clown Hop, expected shortly, there are still 24 Class40s still n the race, of which ten or so are in a position to finish today, driven by a slightly revitalized trade wind. The ranking currently being established perfectly reflects the specifics of the Class. For example, in the internalisation section, we note the victory of the Spaniard from Santander, Pablo Santurde, but also the place taken on the second step of the podium by the Swiss project of Banque du Léman. It is a Franco-Belgian duo, Jonas Gerckens - Benoit Hantzperg, who sits in 4th place, after having animated the whole race. Brian Thompson and Alister Richardson are not to be outdone; 11th aboard Tquila, a 2014 Mach40, old generation. The women are there as mentioned above, with Amélie and Marie who, on their very first race, took full advantage of their brand new Max 40 La Boulangère Bio launched this year. The contribution of the "Figarists" during this race with such an atypical profile has been underlined. This is reflected in the general ranking where the names of Jonas Gerckens (Volvo), Achille Nebout (Lamotte Module Création), Nicolas Jossier and Alexis Loison (La Manche#EvidenceNauutique), Pierre Quiroga (Edenred) and Eric Péron (Serenis Consulting) appear in the Top 10.
George Guiguenn and Morgann Pinson on the venerable Class40 N°1 Terre Exotique logically close the gap, some 1 100 miles from Fort de France. The two men will close the line in 4 to 5 days. We salute for history the triple achieved by Antoine Carpentier who comes for the third time, in three participations and on two different supports (Class40 and Ocean Fifty), to gather the laurels of victory. His luxury co-skipper, Pablo Santurde del Turco, after his second and third places in 2013 and 2017, reached this year's consecration in a transatlantic race that was definitely made for him.
Long by its distance, 4,600 theoretical miles, and by its duration, this Class40 Transat Jacques Vabre has kept all its promises of sporting intensity, performance, but also stories of sailors, men and women, immersed in the magic, in the wonders of this Atlantic Ocean,rich in so many climatic and geographical panoramas, that these men and women of the sea have been able to, in humility, respect and often humor, narrate to us during 3 weeks.