While offshore racing is more commonly associated with the English Channel and the Atlantic, the Mediterranean also proved to be a superb playground for Class40 sailors this year. The number of Class40s on the shores of the Mediterranean is growing, and with a number of sailors keen to spend time on the water in preparation for the upcoming Route du Rhum, the new Class40 Mediterranean Trophy provided the ideal contest. Three races counted towards the Trophy, and it was Kito de Pavant on his Tizh 40 HBF - Reforest’Action who took overall victory in this first edition. Jean-Pierre Balmes (FullSave) finished in second place. Mikael Mergui (Centrakor) completed the podium.
With already ten or so boats spread out along the coasts of France, Italy, Croatia and Spain, the upcoming Route du Rhum acted as a catalyst for a number of competitors more used to racing under IRC to invest in either new or second-hand boats. The inaugural Class40 Mediterranean Trophy held for the first time in 2022 was eagerly awaited.
A total of seven Mediterranean races, most of them classics, featured in this year’s race calendar, and for the first time, Class40 was given its own class. Three of these races were chosen to count towards the Mediterranean Trophy ranking: the Corsica Med, Au Large de Saint-Tropez and the Duo Max.
Ten or so Class40s were able to compete against each other from April to October and make the most of the varied but always superb conditions that are to be found in Corsica, the Aeolian Islands, the islands of Porquerolles, the Bay of Marseille, Sicily, the Balearics, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, Barcelona, and Malta, to round off a packed season.
There was plenty of competition with fierce battles on the water between the new boats, Centrakor, Groupe Berkem (Glaces Romanes) and Everial, and the older Pogos and Akilarias which perform particularly well in light airs, as well as the intermediate generations which ultimately came out on top.
Kito de Pavant, racing his HBF - Reforest’Action, proved to be the top performer, and also competed in the most events. He won two out of five races, including the Corsica Med with venetian sailor Pietro Luciani, and Au Large de Saint-Tropez racing solo, and also scored 3rd place in the Duo Max with Brice de Crisenoy.
The runner up for the Trophy was none other than a sistership, the Tizh 40 n° 148 fullsave skippered by Jean-Pierre Balmes, thanks to his consistent performance. The brand-new Lombard-designed Centrakor placed 3rd, having demonstrated its potential with a fine victory in the Duo Max.
Of note also was Mathieu Claveau’s first-rate performance on the water on his vintage Akilaria, Prendre la Mer, Agir pour la Forêt, which was outstanding in light airs. This should hopefully encourage a few other owners to come and join the Mediterranean circuit on older boats, which if well-prepared can aim for the podium...
Season 1 in the Mediterranean culminated with the Rolex Middle Sea Race, one of the region’s most stunning offshore racing courses.
We are looking forward to 2023 and season 2 of the Class40 Mediterranean Trophy, and to being joined by Italian, Croatian and Spanish sailors, and, we hope, turning this Trophy into a major Class40 and offshore racing event.
Kito de Pavant, skipper of Class40 HBF – Reforest’Action: “I am delighted to be the first winner of the Mediterranean Trophy. I think everyone found what they were looking for. The new boats were able to progress a lot by racing against the others, and equally the old boats proved competitive in certain conditions against far newer designs. On a personal level, it has been a real revolution, being able to finally race solo, double-handed or fully-crewed in elapsed time, in sunny conditions in magical places, and being able to forget the torture of the IRC rating…
I would like to warmly thank all the race organisers involved who really backed the Trophy and gave our Class40s a superb welcome, be it in Civitavecchia, Marseille, Macinaggio, Porquerolles, Saint-Tropez, Barcelone or Palermo...“
General ranking : Mediterranean Trophy 22.xlsx (class40.com)