The Transat postponed

Four yearly cycle of solo sailing's oldest transatlantic race broken for the first time in 50 years

Tuesday June 7th 2011, Author: Lou Newlands, Location: United Kingdom

The oldest solo ocean race of them all, The Transat, originally known the OSTAR in 1960, has been rescheduled away from its 2012 slot. The event has been organised every four years since its inception, and has been the breeding ground for both technology like the multihull itself, and the heroes that have made the sport what it is today, such as French legend Eric Tabarly. Rescued at the last minute for the 2004 edition by OC ThirdPole, in 2008 the event became a monohull only race with a strong commitment made to the 60-foot monohull IMOCA Class, with the exclusion of all multihulls. With Artemis as title sponsor, the event was a great success and in particular a real result for sailing in the UK with a very well attended pre-start village in Plymouth, the historical ‘home’ of the event.

Following the postponement of this year’s Istanbul Europa Race scheduled for July, due to insufficient entries, OC ThirdPole, a long time supporter of the IMOCA circuit, has acted to help solve the difficult position of this IMOCA race. By offering to release to it’s organiser Olay Nautic it’s long established May slot in the pre-Vendée Globe 2012 calendar, it has permitted the rescheduling of the Istanbul Europa Race to 2012 with hopefully a stronger fleet.

OC ThirdPole will now re-evaluate, along with its partners, the future timing and format of The Transat, with potentially a biennial event alternating between the historical solo and duo formats, supporting IMOCA’s key pillars of a round the world race every two years (Vendée Globe, Barcelona World Race).

OC ThirdPole hope that IMOCA will now work on a much needed long term strategic marketing plan and vision, in order that the Class can once again attract new sponsors at both team and event level.

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