Two Class40s for Campagne de France

Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire to go head to head in the Route du Rhum

Monday March 17th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Campagne de France, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron’s sponsor since 2011, is to enter two Class40s in this autumn's solo transatlantic race, the Route du Rhum, starting on 2 November.

Having competed together for the past few years, Halvard and Miranda will be lining up against each other on their respective Campagne de France Class40s, both backed by the dairy products marketing company from the Cherbourg peninsula. Miranda will race on their current Pogo 40S2, while Halvard will charter one of Structures’ latest creations, a new Pogo 40 S3.

The increasingly competitive Class40 fleet will be by far the largest fleet in the Route du Rhum, with more than 50 boats expected.

“I’ve never managed to beat Halvard in a Class40 race” admits Miranda. “That’s why I race with him… We are incredibly lucky to be able to enter two boats in the Route du Rhum, both flying the colours of our sponsor Campagne de France whom we have had the privilege and pleasure of representing on the water over the past few years. I’m also delighted that I will be racing on this boat – we’ve covered a lot of miles together!” (Around 40,000 in fact...)

The duo have both previously competed in this classic solo race from Saint Malo to Pointe à Pître. Mabire competed in 1990 aboard a 60ft catamaran on which he finished sixth. In 1994, he survived losing the keel and subsequent capsize of his Open 60 Ville de Cherbourg, followed by an epic rescue in difficult conditions. Miranda finished eighth in the 2002 Route du Rhum: “The 2002 race was the year of the big storm. I was racing on UUDS, the former Bagages Superior. It was my first solo race, and even if my boat was outdated and slower than the newer boats, it was an adventure to be racing solo. The first few days were extremely rough and windy, and then us slower boats had to sail the long route around the expanding Azores High. I finished eighth and was thrilled.

”So I know the course a little. Compared to some of the longer races we have done on Campagne de France, it’s not that long. I also raced in the solo Artemis Transat in 2008. I found that I was more balanced than in the Route du Rhum, and it was much more enjoyable… it must be an age thing!”

From here Miranda will be taking part in the Trophee SNSM, a 1000 mile race for the Class40s entered, taking place in June. "This will be my first solo race on board Campagne de France 1. In the meantime, I'll continue with my physical training and swimming. There are still things I need to learn about this boat. One always has to learn on a racing boat and it is always possible to take steps forward and improve performance. We are already working on some 'secret weapons'. "

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