by Anne Millet
The 2013 edition will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Transat Jacques Vabre, marking a step forward for the race and at the same time honouring its long heritage. The organizing body, Association Transat Jacques Vabre, has thus decided to elect Manfred Ramspacher and Sylvie Viant from Sirius Evénements, as the new race directors.
Transat Jacques Vabre 2011
'For its 20th anniversary the Transat Jacques Vabre has chosen a new race direction, an important step forward for the event and the first move towards the 2013 edition which will feature a brand new format. Besides safety, which stands at the centre of its mission, the Race Direction will aim for a better relationship with sailors, classes and owners to help establish the Transat Jacques Vabre as a leading-edge sailing event. We have made the choice by taking into consideration experience, scrupulousness and the will to further develop the race from a sports point of view. Moreover, the organisers’ consultant Alain Gautier, has helped us in the selection process.' Explained Jacques Rosio, Director of the Coffee division at Kraft/Mondelez Europe.
Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, vice-mayoress of Le Havre declared: 'The choice of a new race direction is the results of a long process that started in 2011 with the creation of the Association Transat Jacques Vabre that is in charge of the event’s organization. It will thus be the company Sirius Evénements in the person of Manfred Ramspacher and Sylvie Viant to take over this important role. We can well say that the Transat is a key event in the offshore sailing calendar, and as much as five proposals have been examined before taking a decision. Also, in Le Havre we already know Sirius Evénements as the organizing company of the Normandy Sailing Week and Sylvie Viant is a well-respected professional among skippers. We needed to have a strong team to start working on the event at the highest level.'
The 11th edition of the double-handed transatlantic race that will start in the autumn of 2013 is taking a new route, the first step being the appointment of Manfred Ramspacher and Sylvie Viant as Race Directors.
'Our mission will be: to prepare and manage carefully the sports aspects of the race, to establish a good relationship with the various classes to have an excellent lineup and to oversee the technical aspects of race direction. It’s undoubtedly a huge responsibility that we will share with the other directors under the authority of the Association Transat Jacques Vabre' underlined Manfred Ramspacher. 'When we were informed we had been appointed I felt contented and a great sense of responsibility for the task we are called for and that has already started: to keep the race’s heritage alive, to give it a new spirit and be able to answer the organizers’, the sailors’ and the sponsor’s needs in the best possible way.'
'I’ve first worked for the Transat Jacques Vabre back in 1995, it was the second edition. At that time there was no real race direction but being the president of the race committee I had a role in running the race too. I’m happy and delighted to be working with the organizers and with Manfred, with whom I co-operated in the past for the Tour de France à la voile and whose human and professional qualities I appreciate highly.' Declared Sylvie Viant, the newly appointed Transat Jacques Vabre 2013 race director.
The first rendezvous of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be at the Paris Boat show on Saturday, December 8th 2012.
Transat Jacques Vabre website