Edouard Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre, traveled this Tuesday to the Maison de la Radio, in Paris, to attend the press conference for the Transat Jacques Vabre, which will start on Sunday October 29 from the Normandy city and will celebrate his 30th birthday. And he made the room laugh by indicating that in his profession, “when you have friends who are 30 years old, you have to worry. But in sailing it’s not the same.”
For this great anniversary and a sixteenth edition (the race has been held in doubles every two years since 1993), no less than 95 pairs of sailors will race to Martinique. A record field with 44 Class 40 monohulls, 40 Imoca monohulls, 6 Ocean Fifty trimarans and 5 Ultim trimarans.
Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière (For People) will defend their Imoca title during a transatlantic race that the former expects to be "more challenging than two years ago." One year before the Vendée Globe, the boats are ready and the sailors well prepared,” he confides to Le Figaro.
In the Ultims category, these giant flying trimarans which will take off on January 7 for a unique round-the-world race, Charles Caudrelier (Edmond de Rothschild) will put his crown back into play with Erwan Israel and will aim for a fourth victory after those of 2009 (Imoca), 2013 (Mod70) and 2021 (Ultim) for its sixth participation. “I love this race, except for one time I only had good results,” he notes.
His main rivals Gabart-Laperche (SVR Lazartigue) and Le Cléac'h-Josse (Banque Populaire) have been warned. And to prevent the fleet from arriving with too much distance towards Martinique, separate routes have been designed, more or less long and direct. A good idea. And better in any case than choosing as the weekend of departure the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, organized, need it be remembered, in France…