Photo: Bruno Bouvry

Class40 2013 schedule finalised

Class Association commits to the next three Transat Jacques Vabres

Friday August 24th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

With the aim of creating a long-term race calendar, earlier this year the Class40 Association put out to tender the running of a biennial doublehanded transatlantic race for the class. Since then they have received proposals from a number of race organisers including those of the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Solidaire du Chocolat.

And so, it is the new Transat Jacques Vabre association which has been chosen out of the proposals and the sizeable Class40 fleet will now be heading for Le Havre in October 2013 for the 20th anniversary of the 'Route du Café'.

A typical Class40 season includes a transatlantic race in the autumn. There are also one or two 1000 mile races during the spring/summer (Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables, the Normandy Channel Race, the Atlantic Cup,etc), as well as a few coastal races (the Grand Prix Guyader, the record SNSM, the World Championship…).

In even numbered years, the Class40 fleet races alternately in the Route du Rhum and the Transat Québec-St Malo.

The tender process meant that the Class was able to choose from amongst the different proposals put forward for a double-handed transatlantic race in the autumn of odd numbered years. The decision involves a commitment over three editions of the race, through until  2017. By committing long term, Class40 competitors, sponsors and race organisers alike can plan ahead, thereby to make the most of their investment and preparation.

François Angoulvant, President of Class40 said: “The ultimate decision to select the Transat Jacques Vabre came down to several reasons. The fact that it is a well-known race is obviously a factor. A study of the media coverage generated by the races which had responded to the tender clearly highlight the attributes of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

"Overall, the proposal put forward by the Transat Jacques Vabre association answered the brief well. In particular, we wanted a shorter course, or at least to avoid a race finish in a port far from shipping or in a place where the weather conditions can be difficult: this point has been taken into account. We also took a close look at the efforts made in the previous edition to treat all classes equally, even if there is still room for improvement here, particularly the matter of the elapsed time of the first boats to finish.

"The individuals in charge of the Transat Jacques Vabre are open to proper discussion on these issues with the classes involved in the race (IMOCA, Multi 50 and Class40 in particular), which we see as essential.

"Lastly, we have come to the conclusion that the multi-class format does not harm Class40. The public finds it intriguing and it attracts the press.

"All of these reasons led us to choose the Transat Jacques Vabre. We would nevertheless like to thank all the other race organisers who took the time and effort to respond to our tender.”

Gildas Gautier, Director General of the Transat Jacques Vabre Association said: “We are delighted that Class40 chose the Transat Jacques Vabre. We fought for it and it’s a great outcome, especially since 2013 should be a fine year for the Class40 fleet, since as with every post-Vendée Globe season, we don’t know what competitors in the IMOCA fleet will do. If there is a strong showing from the Class40 fleet, there will a fine media opportunity to exploit.”

In the shorter term, Class40 sailors, many of whom have recently competed in the Transat Québec Saint Malo, are on their way to Caen for the next event, the Normandy Channel Race running over 2-9 September, prior to finishing this long season with the Class40 World Championship in La Rochelle from over 3-6 October.

2013 Provisional Race Schedule

7 – 14 April Normandy Channel Race (double-handed)
3 – 5 May Grand Prix de Douarnenez (crewed)
12 – 26 May The Atlantic Cup (double-handed & crewed)
9 – 12 May Armen Race (crewed)
23 – 25 June Record SNSM (crewed)
8 – 28 July Les Sables – Horta – Les Sables (solo?)
11 – 17 August Rolex Fastnet Race (crewed)
29 Sept – 24 Oct. Transat Jacques Vabre (double-handed)

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