Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

Transat Jacques Vabre - Grouped start tomorrow at 1200 GMT

by Kate Jennings on 7 Nov 2013
Oman Air and Edmond de Rothschild in earlier action on the La Route des Princess 2013 Lloyd Images http://lloydimagesgallery.photoshelter.com/
The Transat Jacques Vabre will set off from Le Havre tomorrow, Thursday, at 1300 hours local time. Following the delayed start for the Class 40s, the IMOCAs and the Multi50s, all the competitors will finally set sail with the two 70’ trimarans: Edmond de Rothschild (Josse-Caudrelier) and Oman Air-Musandam (Gavignet-Foxall).

The duo on the boat fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is very keen to get going on this sprint from the North to the South Atlantic, especially as the weather is promising a rather tactical first leg through the English Channel before linking onto a fine drag race across the Bay of Biscay.

'We have a favourable weather window to leave on Thursday,' explains the skipper Sébastien Josse. 'We’ll have 15 to 20 knots of headwinds to negotiate our way out of the Channel. We’ll have to put in some solid tacks in heavy seas and current to make Ushant (Friday morning) in the best possible position. The wind is then set to build so we’ll have a series of sail changes to perform, the idea still being to sail the tightest possible trajectory as each mile in the wrong direction will cost dearly aboard a multihull. As such the start of this transatlantic race promises to be both tactical and physical right from the off. It’s going to be a thrilling ride and Charles and I are keen to get going.'

Edmond de Rothschild will leave the dock in the Bassin Paul Vatine at 1054 hours local time, before making for the race zone. Two crew will initially be aboard the trimaran with the Josse-Caudrelier duo so as to hoist the sails and ensure the manœuvres are performed in complete safety prior to kick-off. The mile-long start line will be set between Le Havre and Sainte-Adresse. A cold front is due to roll through in the morning leaving in its wake a variable breeze, which is likely to settle into a westerly position over the ensuing hours. 'Even though there are 44 boats at the start, ourselves and ‘Oman’ will set off from the northern end of the start line with the current,' explains the skipper. 'If the wind is well established we should quickly be able to get ahead of the rest of the fleet.'

Of note is the fact that Race Management are alluding to the possibility of a safe haven pit-stop for the Class 40s and the Multi50s in Roscoff, due to another gale offshore of Brittany. The Multi70s should already be clear of that zone beforehand, though conditions are likely to be boisterous: 'We’re going to traverse the Bay of Biscay on what will be a direct route towards Cape Finisterre in principle,' Charles tells us. 'It will be the first real test of our piloting skills in cross seas with four to five metre waves and the conditions may well throw up some considerable differences in speed between the boats.'

Given the amount of time they’ve been lining up for race starts, the sailors have got into certain habits before casting off. 'I systematically go to the barber’s,' Sébastien reveals. 'There’s nothing better than having short hair at sea, both under a hat and under the tropics.' There’s some good cohesion going on with the crew too as Charles succeeded the skipper this morning with a set of clippers.

'I have various clothing, hats, balaclavas, gloves and other gear I like to have with me at sea and on the evening before the off, I prepare my bag with a thought for the start and the weather in the initial hours of racing,' explains the co-skipper. For Sébastien, the most important thing is that everything has its rightful place aboard the day before. 'I have my head torch within arms reach and the spoon is in position with the first soup for the evening, that’s the only details which haven’t been seen to yet. You have to be able to take your mind away from the equipment so you can concentrate solely on getting the boat making headway and the race.'

For the final evening, the crew will get together for a good steak after a weather briefing with their routers Jean-Yves Bernot and Antoine Koch (view the article 'a pair of experts' by clicking here). Like downhill skiers or racing car drivers, the idea is to visualise the circuit beforehand, the English Channel in this case, with all its bends and the tricky sections that will need negotiating.
Mackay BoatsZhik ZKG 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
One great challenge for Transatlantic Race 2019
Greatest challenge has confirmed the start date for its next edition; and this time every competitor will depart Newport A virtual gate off Lizard Point will enable teams to challenge the course record for this historic passage, but the official finish will take place off the Royal Yacht Squadron's waterfront castle in Cowes, England.
Posted on 22 Mar
Less than a month to go to 8th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth
To date, 66 teams have signed up for the event, which bodes well for an exceptional vintage Péan will be casting an expert eye over the event that occurs 10-15 April. A seasoned and talented sailor, he boasts one of the most prestigious track records in French sailing, with victories logged in the Solitaire du Figaro in 1983, then the Whitbread (a crewed around-the-world race with stopovers) in 1986.
Posted on 22 Mar
Transat Jaques Vabre – Oman Sail takes on Class 40 challenge
The new campaign is the latest stage of the relationship between Al Hasni, one of Oman's most promising sailors Oman Sail has revealed a new adventure for 2017 as the pioneering national initiative takes on a double-handed Class 40 challenge pairing up mentor and long-term skipper of various Oman Sail projects, Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, with his protégé and Oman Sail’s most successful offshore sailor, Fahad Al Hasni.
Posted on 22 Mar
RORC Easter Challenge – Free expert coaching
A coach can optimise practice time, provide detailed analysis via both stats and video, can examine specific issues If you want to do better out on the race course, you could buy yourself a newer, more competitive boat. Or sail with a better crew. Or could buy some new sails. Or put in some practice. But keelboat crews frequently forget that one of the best value methods is to employ a coach.
Posted on 22 Mar
Vestas 11th Hour Racing launch Volvo Ocean Race campaign
Vestas are returning for a second edition, after launching their 2017-18 campaign in partnership with 11th Hour Racing Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. The team are the fourth to announce for the upcoming edition, which begins on 22 October, and they will use the race to promote a sustainability message around the world.
Posted on 21 Mar
St. Barths Bucket Regatta – More action shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 21 Mar
St. Barths Bucket Regatta images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 21 Mar
Antigua Bermuda Race welcomes schooner Eleonora
The Antigua to Bermuda Race starting on Friday 12th May is proving highly popular with a huge variety of competitors The Antigua to Bermuda Race starting on Friday 12th May is proving highly popular with a huge variety of competitors eager to take on the challenge of a true ocean race to Bermuda; the home of the 35th America's Cup.
Posted on 21 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series heads to Mexico for the first time in history
SAP has been Official Technical Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series™ since 2012, providing cutting edge insights Today the owner and organiser of the Series, OC Sport, is delighted to announce that the German software giant SAP – a longtime supporter of the world's leading Stadium Racing Series - will be the Host Venue Partner for the Mexican Act.
Posted on 20 Mar