13 IMOCAs in the fight for the Transat Jacques Vabre
The double-handed Atlantic crossing is the second race in the IMOCA World Championship 2017-18 which will culminate in the Barcelona World Race 2018/19. 10 former competitors from Spain’s two-crew, round the world race set off from Le Havre with the Brazilian port of Salvador de Bahía in their sights. The FNOB joined them for the start.
On Sunday 5th November Normandy’s port of Le Havre was buzzing with activity as crews took their places on the starting line this great classic and double-handed Atlantic crossing, the Transat Jacques Vabre. The boats set off on their 4,350 nautical mile voyage across the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean, which will take them to Brazil’s port of Salvador de Bahia. Following on from tradition, the fleet has been divided into four classes: the monohull IMOCAs and Class40s and the multihull Ultimes and Multi50s.
13 IMOCA crews are in the battle for victory and also looking to smash the record for the run, set in the previous edition of the race by Vincent Riou abd Sébastien Col at 17 days and 22 minutes. Among the racers, are some old friends of the Barcelona World Race, such as Jean-Pierre Dick, Servane Escofier, Boris Herrmann and Kito de Pavant in the IMOCA class; Sébastien Josse, Jean-Luc Nélias and Bernard Stamm in the Ultimes; and Alex Pella and Vincent Riou in the Multi50s.
The Transat Jacques Vabre is the second race in IMOCA’s 2017-18 season calendar, following the Rolex Fastnet Race and ahead of the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race. The TJV and the BWR are the two double-handed races on the calendar, and many of the skippers involved have already started to plan their Barcelona World Race campaigns. Some of those who have already spoken of those plans are Alan Roura, Fabrice Amadeo, Giancarlo Pedote, Kito de Pavant and Vincent Riou, who are all hoping to be on the starting line in Barcelona on the 12th January 2019.