Gilles Martin-Raget / Groupe Bel

IMOCA 60 class' Europa Race canned

No major event for the IMOCA 60 this year until the Vendee Globe

Wednesday March 28th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: Turkey

This year's Europa Race, the fully crewed race for IMOCA Open 60s, has been cancelled. The event has been in the balance for several weeks as the organiser Olay Nautic has attempted to stage this event.

However Olay Nautic has found itself in a deadlock after the French Government proposed a law criminalising denial of the Armenian genocide in 1915 by Turkey even through a few weeks later, the French Constitutional Council refused to ratify the bill.

With the uncertainty over the event, only eight IMOCA 60s were entered rather than the 10 expected and as a result the race format were amended to three legs, two fully crewed and one solo)are amended. Despite all efforts being made all the race's partners have not yet confirmed their financial commitment. As a result with six weeks to go until the start date - 5 May in Istanbul -and too many uncertainties exist for Olay Nautic to organise the event in optimal conditions for all partners and competitors.

The race was to have visited Barcelona and Cascais before a final singlehanded leg ending in La Rochelle. In an earlier iteration the event was to have visited Gosport.

The line-up had included Acciona, Banque Populaire, Cheminées Poujoulat, Groupe Bel, MACIF, Safran and Virbac-Paprec 3.

As a result the IMOCA class' only major event this year (and one which was in part responsible for the cancellation of this year's The Transat) prior to the Vendee Globe is no more and we wonder if any organiser will step in to fill the void.

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