Class40 round the worlds until 2016
In La Rochelle, France, on Wednesday 15 September, President of the Class40 Association, Jacques Fournier, and Directors of the Class40 Association, Thierry Bouchard and Sam Manuard, met with Josh Hall, Director of GOSV - organisers of the round the world, double-handed, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 - and agreed on the schedule for Class40 circumnavigation races through to 2016. Hall and the GOSV team have extended their contract as official organisers of Class40 round the world races for the next six years with three circumnavigation races exclusively for Class40s in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2015-16.
For the President of the Class40 Association, the formal agreement and race schedule is of immense benefit to Class40 sailors: “Since the huge success of the first Global Ocean Race in 2008-09, interest in round the world racing on Class40s both from within the class and from offshore sailors outside Class40 has been immense,” confirms Fournier. “We have been impressed with the GOR Team's organisational capabilities and their vision for the future which mirrors our own and, therefore, we are proud to extend this contract for the next six years.”
With just over a year until the start of the GOR 2011-12, there are already 15 confirmed entries for the race and Fournier is confident that the number will increase: “While we are convinced that there will be 20 – or maybe more – Class40s on the start line in Mallorca next September, announcing the schedule for the next six years will provide invaluable planning and preparation-time for teams who want to taste round the world racing,” he continues. “We are also deeply committed to continued development and growth of the class and the Global Ocean Race is the perfect, competitive platform for our sailors and our boats.”
The agreement is of significant importance to the GOSV Director: “We identified Class40 as a dynamic and popular racing class very early on and it’s a great pleasure that our partnership is now guaranteed through to 2016,” comments Hall. “For the GOR Race Organisation Team, this six-year arrangement gives us the opportunity to offer our competitors, our sponsors, our stop over ports and the race spectators with continuity and a great legacy,” he continues. “We have already received enquiries from potential entries for our races beyond the 2011-12 event and we can now encourage and assist these teams.”
For Hall – a serial solo circumnavigator – there are exciting possibilities for the future of the GOR. “We have discussed with Jacques and his team about the potential for a single-handed round the world edition in 2013-14 with just one stop over,” he confirms. “This is a very interesting prospect and the Class40 Association and the team at the Global Ocean Race are creating a series of round the world races that are attainable and attractive to all sailors,” says Hall. "We are currently gauging competitor enthusiasm for these events and we welcome skipper enquires for all of these three races".