44 Class 40s for the Route du Rhum

Young, old, Corinthians and professionals, the Class 40 represents half the fleet in next month's transatlantic race

Tuesday September 28th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Four years ago, the Class40 set out on their first major race - the 2006 Route du Rhum. Even then the Class40 was the largest fleet in the race with 25 boats, of one third of the boats competing. Among them, were newcomers to the world of offshore racing, international skippers, the young and the old.

And today? The Class40 will again have the largest fleet in the 2010 Route du Rhum but with 44 boats, this time it represents half of the fleet. The skippers range in age from 25 to 60 years old. They include a cabinetmaker, a surgeon, a journalist, a naval architect,

“Class40 has always been an open class bringing together extremely different people from all walks of life to compete offshore,” comments Jacques Fournier, President of the Class 40. Class founders and newbies, among the former competing this year are François Angoulvant (Fermiers de Loué – Sarthe), Damien Grimont (Monbana), Yvan Noblet (Appart City)... Among the newcomers are German Jorg Riechers (Mare.de), at 25 years old the race's youngest skipper in Louis Burton (BG Yachting/Bureau des mers) and the former Mini skipper, Kiwi Conrad Colman (40 Degrees).

Among the Corinthian competitors are Gilbert Cholet (Chimirec-EVTV) Dutch sailor Hubert Swets (AK9 Fuji), surgeon Bertrand Guillonneau (Ville ed Douarnenez) and Marc Behaghel (Tekka). But they will be up against some serious professionals such as double Velux 5 Oceans winner Bernard Stamm (Cheminees Poujoulat), double Solitaire du Figaro winner Nicolas Troussel (Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne), Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkirk)…

“The Class40 for me was the only possible class in which to take part in the Route du Rhum," says Gilbert Chollet, who aged 60 is the oldest in the class. "The class is very active and the boats are a good size. The Route du Rhum has been a dream but, with my professional life, I had never had the time to devote to it. I retired in July, so I rented a Pogo40… and here I am!”

Ville de Douarnanez skipper Bertrand Guillonneau adds: “The Route du Rhum - I have been thinking of it for a long time, but i got hooked in 2006, with the arrival of Class40. The boats are physical and powerful… If I can find some partners, I would like to continue on this circuit, even to be on the start line of the Global Ocean Race in 2014!”

The fleet is also truly international with German, English, Belgian, Spanish, Finnish, Italian, New Zealanders, Norwegian, Dutch, Swiss competitor.

In four years, the performance of the boats has improved but not run away thanks to the limitations of the class rule. Some skippers are racing the same boats as they were four years ago. They include Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit-Caen la mer) and François Angoulvant (Fermiers de Loué-Sarthe).

Three skippers competing actually come from Guadeloupe - Willy Bissainte (Tradition Guadeloupe), Jimmy Dreux (Voiles 44 Région Guadeloupe) and  Philippe Fiston (Territoires Attitude).

The line-up


Skipper Boat Nat
Conrad Colman 40 Degrees NZ
Davide Consorte Adriatech ITA
Hubert Swets AK9 FUJI NED
Yvan Noblet Appart City FRA
Eric Galmard Avis Immobilier FRA
Louis Burton BG Yachting / Bureau des mers FRA
Marc Joly BINIC un port dans la ville FRA
Bernard Stamm Cheminées Poujoulat SUI
Gilbert Chollet CHIMIREC - EVTV FRA
Thierry Bouchard COMIRIS - Pôle Santé Elior FRA
Pete Goss Concise GBR
Nicolas Troussel Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne FRA
Damien Seguin Des Pieds et Des Mains FRA
Thomas Ruyant Destination Dunkerque FRA
Eric Defert Drekan Energie - Groupe Terrallia FRA
David Augeix EDF Energies Nouvelles - VESTAS FRA
François Angoulvant Fermiers de Loué - Sarthe FRA
Fabrice Amedeo GEODIS FRA
Olivier Singelin Gonser Group - Cambio FRA
Olivier Grassi Grassi Bateaux FRA
Denis Van Weyn Bergh Green Energy 4 seasons - Diabetics Challenges BEL
Jean-Edouard Criquioche Groupe PICOTY FRA
Patrice Bougard Kogane FRA
Pierre-Yves Lautrou Le Web prend le large FRA
Pierre-Marie Bazin Les 3 caps FRA
Jorg Riechers Mare.de GER
Marc Lepesqueux Marie Toit - Caen La Mer FRA
Damien Grimont Monbana FRA
Tanguy De Lamotte Novedia / Initiatives FRA
Christophe Coatnoan Partouche FRA
Régis Guillemot Regis Guillemot Charter FRA
Rémi Beauvais Routes du Large FRA
Rune Aasberg Solo NOR
Gonzalo Botin Sanz De Sautuola TALES "Villa Esperanza" ESP
Arnaud Daval Techneau FRA
Marc Behaghel TEKKA FRA
Philippe Fiston Territoires Attitude FRA
Jouni Romppanen Tieto Passion FIN
Willy Bissainte Tradition Guadeloupe FRA
Marco Nannini UniCredit ITA
Samuel Manuard Vecteur Plus - NC FRA
Bertrand Guillonneau Ville de Douarnenez FRA
Jimmy Dreux Voiles 44 Région Guadeloupe FRA


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