The official list of race entrants for the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis has now been confirmed. In total, 28 boats from Quebec, France, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and the Sultanate of Oman—with crews ranging from three to 12 members—will be crossing the starting line in front of Quebec City on July 10 and aiming to arrive in French waters eight to 15 days later.
Class40, Multi 50, Open Class, and Ultimate Class
With nineteen Class40 yachts taking part, five Multi50 boats, two monohulls in the Open Class, and two in the Ultimate Class—including the highly-anticipated 131-foot (40-meter) multihull Spindrift 2 and final entrant MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail, this promises to be a thrilling transatlantic race. “An impressive number of classes responded to the call this year and we couldn’t be happier with the list of entrants,” says race director Damien De Pas. Class40 monohulls first earned their stripes some years ago and are constantly pushing the limits when it comes to performance. In this highly homogenous class, professional offshore racers rub shoulders with keen enthusiasts—promising regattas of the highest caliber. Loyal to the Transat Québec Saint-Malo, Multi50 will, as usual, put on a unique show with their fast trimarans.
A staggered start is on the agenda for both Ultimate Class trimarans, which will attempt to beat the crossing record of seven days and 20 hours set in 1996 by Loïck Peyron on Fujicolor II—a 60-foot Orma trimaran. For Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the trimaran Musandam–Oman Sail, this will be his third time competing in this legendary race—an event he says is a memorable one for any sailor taking part.
“The Transat Québec Saint-Malo is a classic,” he says. “It’s such a memorable adventure, this is one of those events in sailors’ careers they’ll never forget.” One of his crew members is Damian Foxall, an Irishman now settled in Quebec who boasts an impressive track record from having competed in the greatest offshore races, including the Volvo Ocean Race (four times), the Barcelona World Race, and the Oryx Quest. He now works for the Canadian Wildlife Federation, an organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and Canadian habitats, such as the St. Lawrence River and its marine mammals. For Damian Foxall, who won the 2004 edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo, this is also his third time competing in the race.
“It’s been extraordinary,” he recalls. “And what’s even better this year is that I’m very happy to say I’ll be taking part as a local, since I now live in the Quebec City area.” Although he’s well aware his crew will be up against the likes of the gigantic Spindrift 2, the adopted Quebecer isn’t put off at all—far from it, in fact. “It doesn’t change a thing when it comes to the caliber of the race and the quality of the route. Both boats share the same challenge: to reach Saint-Malo as quickly as possible and try to set a new benchmark.”
Three villages spanning the continents
From July 2 to 13, spectators will also have the opportunity to visit the Transat Village in the Old Port of Quebec City, where they can rub shoulders with the crews preparing for the big event, feast their eyes on the impressive racing yachts and make the most of the range of activities on site to learn more about the wide world of sailing. Specialist nautical exhibitors, a family zone, and a floating bar are just some of the highlights visitors can look forward to. And let’s not forget the Quai Paquet Village on the Lévis side of the river, which has events planned on July 2 and 3, and from July 8 to 10. Across the ocean in SaintMalo, Place Québec will be a hive of activity from July 18 to 28, waiting to roll out the red carpet for the crews as they sail in from their incredible journey from one side of the Atlantic to the other.
by Veronique Bouille