The Class40 monohulls of the Transat Jacques-Vabre, the largest fleet entered in the 16th edition of the race with 44 boats, will make an unprecedented stopover in Lorient on Wednesday due to the weather, the organizers announced on Saturday on the eve of the departure. “Given the weather files from this (Saturday) morning, the start of the race seemed very busy from Wednesday morning, at Cape Finisterre. Different parameters called into question the safety of the crews,” explained navigator Jules Bonnier (Nestenn – Entrepreneurs for the Planet).
This is a first in the history of the “Route du Café”, a double-handed transatlantic race which sets off every two years from Le Havre since 1993. The fleet of Class40s, 12 meter monohulls are slower but also more fragile as the Imoca, is expected in Lorient between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the organizers. A new start will be given later from Lorient towards Fort-de-France “when conditions permit”, we learned from race management on Saturday. “The start of this second stage will be given as a fleet and the classification established on arrival in Martinique at the sum of the times of the two stages,” specified the race director, Francis Le Goff.
The Class40s were originally scheduled to complete a 4,500-mile journey across the North Atlantic in one go to Martinique, a shorter journey than the three other classes entered in the race (Ultim, Ocean Fifty, Imoca), for their allow you to arrive at the same time, around November 12. “The important thing is that we have a race, I hope with 44 boats at the start of the second stage, and that we have fun,” said sailor Vincent Riou (Crosscall). The departure of the transatlantic will be given on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. off the coast of Le Havre.