Mexico bound

We look at the Class 40 fleet heading out tomorrow on the Solidaire du Chocolat
Hull Boat Skipper Nat Co-skipper Nat Designer Builder Type Launched 9 Vale Inco-Nouvelle Calédonie Yves Ecarlat FRA Lionel Regnier FRA Groupe Finot Structures Pogo 2005 17 Jardin Bio Benoît Parnaudeau FRA Stanislas Maslard FRA Axel de Beaufort Ecole Sup du Bois Nacira 2006 19 ORBIS Stephen Card GBR Shaun Murphy GBR François Lucas Amateur 2006 20 Groupe Picoty Jacques Fournier FRA Jean-Edouard Criquioche FRA Groupe Finot Structures Pogo 2006 22 Crédit Maritime Patrice Carpentier FRA Victor Maldonado MEX Groupe Finot Structures Pogo 2006 25 Appart City Yvan Noblet FRA Damien Guillou FRA Julien Marin FR Nautisme 2006 26 Conquérants de Normandie Marc Lepesqueux FRA Jean-Charles Monnet FRA Pierre Rolland Jumbo Composites Jumbo 40 2006 29 Cargill-MTTM Damien Seguin FRA Armel Tripon FRA Julien Marin FR Nautisme 2006 30 Initiatives-Novedia Tanguy de Lamotte FRA Adrien Hardy FRA Rogers Yacht Design CMI Bangkok 2007 31 PHR Pascal Douin FRA Laurent Mermod FRA François Lucas Amateur 2007 39 Amhas MacKenzie Davies USA Brian A. Harris USA Marc Lombard MC-TEC Akilaria 1 2006 42 Keysource Mike West GBR Paul Worswick GBR Marc Lombard MC-TEC Akilaria 1 2006 43 Palanad 2 Tim Wright GBR Nicholas Brennan AUST Marc Lombard MC-TEC Akilaria 1 2007 55 Telecom Italia Giovanni Soldini ITA Pietro d'Ali ITA Guillaume Verdier FR Nautisme 2007 59 Cheminées Poujoulat Bruno Jourdren FRA Bernard Stamm SUI Rogers Yacht Design CMI Bangkok 2007 65 Tales Villa Esperanza Gonzalo Botin SPA Javier de la Plaza SPA Marc Lombard MC-TEC Akilaria 1.5 2008 68 Plan les enfants changeront le monde Denis Lazat FRA Frédéric Nouel FRA Groupe Finot Structures Pogo 2009 69 Adriatech David Consorte ITA Arnaud Aubry FRA Groupe Finot Structures Pogo 2008 70 AXA Atout cœur pour Aides Erik Nigon FRA Marc Jouany FRA Jacques Valer JPK Composites 2008 76 Desafio Cabo de Hornos Felipe Cubillos CHI Daniel Bravo Silva CHI Guillaume Verdier FR Nautisme 2008 77 ORCA Richard Tolkien GBR Neal Brewer GBR Humphreys Design Ocean Technologie 2008 82 Tieto Passion Jouni Romppanen FIN Sam Ohman FIN Marc Lombard MC-TEC Akilaria 1 2009 83 Pole Santé Elior-Mistral Loisirs Thierry Bouchard FRA Olivier Krauss FRA Marc Lombard MC-TEC Akilaria 2 2009 90 40 Degrees Peter Harding GBR Miranda Merron GBR Owen Clarke Design Jaz Marine 2009   The second in this autumn’s trio of French trans-Atlantic races gets underway tomorrow with the start of the inaugural doublehanded Solidaires du Chocolat for the Class 40s. The unusual name of the event is down to it having a vaguely similar concept to that of this autumn's third event, the Transat Jacques Vabre/Route du Café, only instead of the route to Columbia/Brazil celebrating the old trade route for coffee, in this case - you guessed it - it is the trade route for cocoa, between St Nazaire on the west coast of France and Progreso on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Feeling a lack of love from the organisers of the Transat Jacques Vabre two years ago, so the Class 40 have branched out to arrange their own event this year, spearheaded by the former skipper of the Chocolats Montana Class 40, Damien Grimont. The fleet moored up opposite the monstrous nazi-built concrete submarine silos in St Nazaire is a truly impressive one – 24 boats, only 13 of them French, with sailors