Staggered starts for Transat Jacques Vabre
Further details have been announced of the 20th anniversary, Transat Jacques Vabre.
Almost everything is new with this year's running of the biennenial doublehanded transatlantic race with the exception of the start port that as ever remains Le Havre and the doublehanded format of the race.
This year event has a new race organisation in Manfred Ramspacher's company Sirius Evenement and a new course - back to Brazil again, but this time to the Volvo Ocean Race stopover port of Itajaí in the south of the country. At 5,450 miles, this year's race is also longer than it has ever been before.
The fleet will be divided into four classes of monohulls and multihulls offering the public one week to see the fleet in Le Havre prior to the start and three weeks in Itajai upon the arrival of the competitors.
As ever perennial problem with the race is to narrow the arrivals times into the finish port. In the past this has been achieved by sending the multihulls on a longer route (on one occasion, they had to leave Ascension Island to starboard en route to Salvador de Bahia)
To achieve this the Transat Jacques Vabre this year will feature staggered starts. This has come about followed extensive meetings between Manfred Ramspacher, Race Director Sylvie Viant and representatives of the four classes.
As a result the monohulls, the Class40s and IMOCA 60s will set sail on Sunday 3 November. On that date the Multi 50s and MOD70s will sail their prologue race before returning to Le Havre's Paul Vatine Basin, to await their starts on 5 November for the Multi 50s and 8 November for the MOD70s.
Alongside the pure sports competition and the human challenge, the Transat Jacques Vabre is also an event with a very strong eco-friendly message: since 2007 effective measures have been put in place to limit and to offset its carbon footprint by encouraging the support of sponsors and stakeholders in the event.
The reduction of CO2 emissions has been a major objective for all participants of all types who are associated with or in the race. A comprehensive system for sustainable development was established by the organisation and very discrete initiatives on transport, energy, water, waste management, use of recycled or recyclable materials as well as developing educational programmes and public relations communication.
CO2 emissions have also been offset (100% of CO2 emissions of the organization) through reforestation operations in tropical forests. In 2013, this action for environmental progress continues with the same intensity and breadth of actions.
October 26: Grand opening of public village Le Havre
October 26-27: Exhibition race in the basin of the Eure
November 3: Start of the Transat Jacques Vabre
November 18: Grand opening of village public Itajai
3rd week of Nov: Estimated finish date of the first boats
November 30: Postlogue and first prizegiving in Itajai
December 7: Official Prizegiving in Itajai