Photo: AFP

Prolonged growth

The latest from the Class40

Monday February 7th 2011, Author: Catherine Ecarlat, Location: none selected

A new president, a new round the world race… the 2011 season will see a few changes for Class40, but overall it is about continuity, with of a full race calendar, stable but progressive rules, and an attractive circuit for competitors and sponsors alike. 'Friendly Class, Fierce racing': the essence of the Class hasn’t changed…

François Angoulvant was elected president of the Class40 Association on 29 January at the class AGM. Jacques Fournier, who had been head of the Class for four years, wanted to hand over the reins. His successor has sat on the Board of Directors since 2006 has been Vice-President for the past two years, and knows the ropes perfectly: he will ensure continuity, with a few changes all the same …

Three key areas

François Angoulvant, President of Class40: “There is considerably less to build than when Jacques took over the presidency. In the past four years, membership has grown from 50 to 120 members and the budget has tripled!... Nevertheless, being President represents a highly motivating challenge, and I just hope that I have time to do everything that is needed …

"We have set ourselves three key areas on which to focus:
- Continue developing the communications aspect to enhance the image of our boats and our competitors’ sponsors,
- Set up a race calendar that appeals to everyone,
- Constantly ensure that the class rules remain stable while taking into account potential evolutions for our boats: we are at a reasonable compromise today, but materials and technology are evolving, as is their cost… For example, a specific material which was forbidden on the basis of cost a few years ago may be authorised in the future if the price were to become competitive.

"Overall, our main concern is to find the best balance between the different boats and the different ambitions of each member … “

Vintage or not vintage?

The desire to make the class fair for all led to the formation of a committee at the AGM, whose role is to come up with ways to enhance first generation boats (which made up half the Class40 fleet in last year's Route du Rhum). The idea had already been floated in 2010. “Outright victory isn’t the only thing that makes a boat”, noted François Angoulvant.

The idea of a 'vintage' or 'Corinthian' subsect within the class was put to members, but the subject, which encompasses not just the performance of boats, but also what qualifies a team, and doesn’t split the fleet, needs further thought. More on this in the future…

Grand Prix, transatlantic, around the World…

The 2011 season will kick off in the Mediterranean with the Roma per due and the SNIM in April. The Grand Prix Guyader will, as ever, open the season in the Atlantic. In the USA, the season will open with the Atlantic Cup in New York in May.

The biennial Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables race is the big summer event for Class40. The Normandy Channel Race will again take place this year - Both events are qualifiers for the Global Ocean Race.

The 2011 calendar features two major end-of-season races: the Transat Jacques Vabre in November and the Global Ocean Race, double-handed round the world race with stopovers, starting from Majorca in September.

“It is important that there are major events in the calendar, but we are also trying to develop shorter events in order to expand the racing opportunities, all year long, and in particular those races in which sponsors can compete on board. A number of competitors are also keen to see more solo events”, the new president confirmed.

With 102 members in over 17 countries, Class40 has continued to grow stably over the last two years. The geographical spread, the aims, availability and budgets of these 102 skippers diverge at times, which is only natural… Finding the right balance is the eternal challenge for Class40, but the class was founded for that very reason: openness, accessibility, conviviality and boat performance were the foundations on which the class was built, and what makes it successful. These will also be the foundations of its future development.

Key figures 2010

The Class40 fleet
In 2008 79 boats in 18 countries
In 2009 91 boats in 22 countries
In 2010 103 boats in 22 countries

12 new boats in 2010
France (8) – Italy (1) - USA (1) - GB (2)
Lombard/MC Tech (3) - Finot/Structures (5) - Farr/Cookson boats (1) - Jim Antrim (1) - Verdier (1) - Canivenc (1)

Stable growth
+19 boats in 2008
+12 in 2009
+12 in 2010

Members: 102 in 17 countries
France (61 of which 4 outside of Metropolitan France) – Great Britain (16) – USA (5) – Italy (3) – Holland (3) – Germany (2) – Belgium (2) – South Africa (2) – Spain (1) – Switzerland (1) – Norway (1) – Finland (1) - San Marino (1) – Austria (1) – Bulgaria (1) – New Zealand (1)

Winners 2010
SNIM – Thierry Bouchard
Roma per Due – Thierry Bouchard
Grand Prix petit Navire – Thomas Ruyant
Normandy Channel Race - Thomas Ruyant
Rund Skagen Race – Mathias Blumencron
Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race – Rune Aasberg
Newport-Bermuda – Michael Hennessy
Giraglia – Thierry Bouchard
Record SNSM - Thomas Ruyant
La Chrono - Thomas Ruyant
Mondial – Gonzalo Botin
Happy Baie – Nicolas Troussel
La Route du Rhum - Thomas Ruyant

President: François Angoulvant
Vice-President: Thierry Bouchard
Treasurer: Jacques Fournier
Secretary: Christian Chardonnal

Rules Committee: Sam Manuard - Oliver Krauss- Marc Lepesqueux
Communications Committee: Christian Chardonnal
Races/ Events Committee: Thierry Bouchard- Oliver Krauss- Michael Hennessy
North American representative: Michael Hennessy

2010 calendar

Roma per 2 10th to 17th April Rome Double
SNIM 23rd to 25th April Marseille Crewed
GP de Douarnenez 28th April to 1st May Douarnenez Crewed
Atlantic Cup Start 7th May New York / Newport Double
Normandy Channel Race Start 22nd May Caen Double
Giraglia 17th to 22nd June St Tropez / Genoa Crewed
Record SNSM Start 19th June St Nazaire Crewed
Les Sables - Horta Start 2nd July Les Sables d'Olonne Double
Rolex Fastnet Race Start 14th August Cowes Crewed
Mondial 9th to 11th September Bénodet Crewed  
Global Ocean Race Start 25th Sept. Palma de Mallorca Double

Promotional events

RORC Caribbean 600 Start 21st February Antigua Crewed
Les voiles de St Barth 4th to 9th April St Bathélemy Crewed
Antigua Sailing Week 24th to 29th April Antigua Crewed
La Chrono 27th to 29th May Lorient Double  
Tour de Belle Ile 7th May La Trinité s/ Mer Crewed
Tour de Corse October Bonifacio Crewed



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