Transat Jacques Vabre – In the main hall of the Arlequin cinema in Paris’ 6eme arrondissement today the 84 sailors who are signed up as entries for the 12th edition gathered to enjoy the first formal function of the race.
The occasion effectively sets the countdown to the big start from Le Havre on Sunday, October 25th at 1330hrs (local). That means it is just 40 days now before the crews set sail for Itajaí, Brazil on the longest Transatlantic race course.
The official Press Conference took place at the Cinema Arlequin which was founded in 1962 by Jacques Tati. It mustered the full Transat Jacques Vabre cast, skippers, sponsors, journalists, gathering to set the race in motion. This two-up race promises to be a great story, human and sporting, with a whole range of suspense and twists written into the plot lines.
Two times as intense
22 years of history for this race is there to be built on, a new version and two is the significant number for this 12th edition, 42 pairs of duos, there are two classes of multihulls (Ultime and Multi50), two classes of monohulls (IMOCA and Class40), the race links two cities (Le Havre and Itajaí) and of course two countries (France and Brazil) and two main Partners (Le Havre and Jacques Vabre) which all combine to allow the race to continue to ride the wave of success. And of course there are two sailors on each boat.
A full-bodied 2015 vintage
The recipe of a good movie is the same as that of a good coffee or an ocean race. A dream setting: the seas of the Atlantic. Natural light: the sun and the moon. Exhilarating conditions: wind, waves slamming against the carbon hulls, the soundtrack of ropes screaming on on winches. And especially actors from all over. The 42 duos will form a great roll call of actors, an exceptional cast line up.
Among them are stars like Michel Desjoyeaux, François Gabart, Kito de Pavant, Marc Guillemot, Armel Le Cléac’h, Jean-Pierre Dick, Vincent Riou, Yann Elies, Sébastien Josse, Alex Thomson, Yvan Bourgnon … or young rookies with sharp teeth and big ambitions in the form of Morgan Lagravière Paul Meilhat Jack Bouttel, Charlie Dalin, Alan Roura … Not to mention the great regulars of the event. The cast list is long!
Facts and figures
Distance to sail: 5400 miles
four classes of boat, comprising 14 Class40, four Multi50, 20 Imoca, four Ultimes
592,000 visitors in 2013 (Le Havre – Itajaí)
1200hrs on 16th October: Time when the boats have to be moored up in Le Havre
Edouard Philippe- Member of the French Parliament and Mayor of Le Havre
‘Le Havre has been host to this amazing race since 1993. A double-handed sporting challenge, which offers a fantastic sight every two years. Our city beats to the rhythm of the skippers as they prepare for the race. This is a must attend event. Take advantage of this opportunity to invite your friends and family. Discover a city which looks out towards the sea, has a rich maritime history and huge ambitions.”
Philippe Schaillée – General Director of JDE Trading France
“Coffee offers you moments to share with others so you can enjoy their company. It stimulates our mind and our curiosity. Today, with the Jacques Vabre brand, it brings together 42 pairs of exceptional sailors, who will go from Le Havre, France’s leading coffee port, to Itajaí, a major port in Brazil, following the famous coffee route. Between the two ports, there will be an exceptional human and sporting adventure, thanks to some charismatic skippers, who share a lot of common values: respect, passion, solidarity and a determination to raise the bar. I hope all the sailors have an excellent crossing and look forward to seeing them in Itajai in Brazil.”
Célio bernardino, general secretary of AMFRI
“Today, Itajaí looks outwards towards the sea, both to welcome those who arrive here, and to look towards the future. In this context, hosting the Transat for the second time is a reward for all the work done back in 2013 and a good reason to offer an even warmer welcome to the visitors. Although Itajaí only recently entered the world of maritime events, its inhabitants welcomed the Transat with open arms. We believe that this warm welcome encourages those who come here, to want to come back again, offering new economic opportunities for the future.”
by Transat JaPaulo C. de Oliveira Campos, Brazilian ambassador
“I’m very pleased to be involved with this event, which brings together 84 skippers and 42 boats, including two Brazilian skippers. This Atlantic crossing with almost 10,000 km to sail is a huge challenge. Apart from the race itself, I admire the way it is organised with two partner cities. Brazil is well known for its football, but Brazil doesn’t only live on football. This is the second time the race has come to Itajaí after a great success back in 2013. The region has invested a lot and people are very enthusiastic over there. The Transat Jacques Vabre offers two ways to discover Brazil: during the Brazilian Culture Week in Le Havre and then again at the finish in Itajai.”
Gildas Mahé, co-skipper on Team Concise (Class40)
“There are a lot of new things here for me. My first Transat Jacques Vabre, my first race on a Class40, my first crossing of the Equator… On paper it looks long with 5400 miles to sail, but in fact, it is about the same length of time it takes to do a Figaro transatlantic race, which is so much shorter in distance. There is a wonderful atmosphere in Class40. Things remain on a manageable scale, so this is a pleasant discovery for me, with the race, the boat, my fellow crewman and the course.”
Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of Arkema (Multi50)
“We’ve just taken the boat out of the water to giver her a thorough check-up before the start. We’ll be ready in Le Havre, as I have already sailed a lot with César. I’m pleased to be setting off with him, as we work really well together, with everything falling neatly into place. I love the Transat Jacques Vabre, and this will be the ninth time I have taken part. It all began back in 1995 for me. I love this sprint across the Atlantic, as there is always a wonderful story to tell afterwards.”
Philippe Legros, co–skipper on Maître CoQ (Imoca)
“I’ve sailed a lot with Jérémie particularly during the training courses with other competitors. We get on well together and enjoy sailing. This transatlantic crossing is long, very long, starting with the way out of the English Channel and then the crossing of the Bay of Biscay, which can be complicated and tough. You have to get it right from the off. But there is the reward of finishing in warm weather, after a first week with everything being thrown at us.”
Roland Jourdain, co-skipper of Prince de Bretagne (Ultime)
“So far, so good. I have been getting ready with Lionel (Lemonchois) and it’s really enjoyable sailing with him. He knows his boat like the back of his hand, and I just do what I’m told… This will be the seventh time I have taken part with one win on a monohull and one on a multihull and quite a few second places. This time we’ll be one of the little guys in amongst the big boys, but we’ll do like they do in basketball. The quick ones just go through the legs of the tall ones! I haven’t been to Itajaì before, but the course is very similar to the first part of the Vendée Globe… It’s likely to be extremely complicated over the final stretch.”cques Vabre