Botin Partner's first Class40

James Boyd Photography /
We get the guided tour to the Spanish rocket
The Class40 race will certainly be the one to watch in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which is now due to exit Le Havre on Monday with the starts for the Class40 and IMOCA 60 monohulls, before the Multi50s and MOD70s set sail later in the week. Among the impressive fleet of 26 Class40s are a number of not only new boats, but new designs and new designers to class. Alongside the new offerings from Jason Ker and Tom Humphreys, a boat which is also expected to be among the frontrunners is Gonzalo Botin’s Tales Santander 2014, being campaigned in the race by Spanish duo Alex Pella and former 470 sailor Pablo Santurde. This is Gonzalo Botin’s second Class40 having previously owned a modified Akilaria which subsequently became the second generation RC2. The boat has been designed by the elder Botin brother Marcellino, who runs Botin Partners out of Santander (from where his family’s famous banking dynasty heralds). Botin Partners were responsible for the Camper VO70 and this is their first foray into Class40, the new boat built by Longitud Cero near Valencia, where most of their TP52s have been constructed. It was built to Cat 0 so that it can be raced around the world. Antonio Piris (left) with Gonzalo Botin. TJV crew - Alex Pella (left) with Pablo Santurde Antonio Piris, one of Spain’s leading project managers and sailors (including Whitbreads on Galicia Pescanova and Chessie Racing and a Barcelona World Race doublehanded), managed the build of the new boat, and says its first conception came after the Tales crew had blown away by some of the newer designs: “We were quite amazed by the speed of the Manuard boats especially GDF Suez and its earlier sisterships, mare and particularly Jack in a Box. Two years ago at the Worlds, that boat just