Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Multifaceted fleet prepare for battle

by Carla Anselmi on 21 Jul 2012
Transat Québec Saint Malo 2012 Xavier Dachez / VIQ © http://www.xdachez.com
Since its inception, the Transat Québec Saint Malo has always attracted a number of international sailors keen to put themselves to the test in the classic route and this eighth edition is no exception. Could a non-French skipper become the winner of the Transat Québec Saint Malo for the first time even in the 28 year long history of the classic transatlantic race?

It could well be more than a mere hypothesis this time. Suffice to say that in the Classe40 no less than seven boats fly a non-French flag, with teams coming from Germany, the USA, Canada and Belgium. Analysing the fleet and the sailors involved, multifaceted as ever, one thing is clear: the 2012 winner could be non-French. Halvard Mabire skipper of Campagne de France and current title holder as well as respected sailor and designer Sam Manuard agree that Joerg Riechers’ Mare is one of the race’s favourites.

Fresh from the success in two of the most relevant races of this year in the Class40, the Solidaire du Chocolat and the Atlantic Cup, Hamburg based Joerg Riechers looks more than determined to follow his winning streak on his Manuard’s designed Mach 40 Mare. As a matter of fact, on paper, the sailor/boat mix look to possess all the necessary ingredients for yet another success and Joerg picked up some of the best available crew to help him achieve his goal: boat designer Sam Manuard, American all-rounder Ryan Bremeyer (recently sailing across the Atlantic in record time on MOD 70 Musandam Oman sail) and French expert Rémi Aubrun.

'Mare is an excellent boat, very well optimized and Joerg has prepared her with the utmost attention. His crew are all top sailors and I consider him as the favourite number one to win this Québec Saint Malo,' says Halvard Mabire who over the last year has been racing his Pogo 2S Campagne de France on the most important events around the planet.


Mabire also reckons that there is another German team that has good chances to get on the podium, Roger’s designed Red skippered by sailor/journalist Mathias Blumencron and three strong fellow countrymen. 'They will undoubtedly aim at the top three spots.' But Mabire is sure that the French will not make life easy for their German adversaries. 'Stéphane le Diraison has a very strong crew who comes from the Mini650 class. He and Bertrand Delesne, Vincent Barnaud and Eric Mézières know perfectly well their Pogo 2.' Yet, as Mabire emphasizes this is one of this year’s race characteristics.

'The level is very high, and apart from Joerg Riechers, whose latest triumphs speak for themselves, there are no less than five or six boats that can fight for victory.'

Thierry Bouchard’s powerful Akilaria RC2, Aloys Le Claquin who sails on Mare’s sistership Jack in the box and Sébastien Rogues on another Akilaria RC2 Eole Génération GDF Suez. 'But one can’t count out Fabrice Amédéo and Armel Tripon’s Geodis who surely will be fighting in the front pack' continues Mabire, who himself is one of the 'big names' in the class as he has demonstrated on many occasions and who, with the help of his two crew Miranda Mirron and Christian Bourroullec, will no doubt battle for leadership to Saint Malo.

'The American Dave Rearick and Belgium’s Michel Kleinjans on their Farr designed boats are also to be taken into consideration. Rearick was extremely fast during the Atlantic Cup and has a very strong crew, with young but experienced Emma Creighton who also comes from the Mini class.' For his Pogo 40S Groupe Picoty Jacques Fournier also selected some of the best sailors available as Jean Christophe Caso and Vendée Globe veteran Arnaud Boissières. 'If the weather forecast is confirmed we will start in light airs. In those conditions and with the boats at the upper limit of the class rule, there won’t be much difference in the fleet’s performance. It’s very even.'

This quote from sailor and yacht designer Samuel Manuard, says it all about this Transat Québec Saint-Malo, despite the boats looking so different as they receive the admiration of fans on the pontoon of Québec’s Bassin Louise. Between the 2006 Pogo 40 and the new Mach40 launched over the last two years, the boats have not become longer or beamer. On the other hand, the hull design, the bows, the deck arrangements and the cockpit setting have changed largely.

'The idea in designing the Mach 40 was to have a fast reaching boat that would not be too handicapped in light wind with an ergonomic setup of the cockpit that could well protect the crew, because to race these boats well you also have to keep the men’s safety and comfort in mind.'

Manuard has his favourites too 'For me Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty 2 is very dangerous, he has a new boat and an incredible offshore experience. He has just finished the Twostar in pretty hard conditions; he’s one to watch out for. Then there are some French teams, Thierry Bouchard on Comiris Pôle Santé who is very fast. If the conditions are not going to be too harsh, they clearly have a chance in light breeze.

But let’s not forget Fabrice Amedeo and Armel Tripon on their Akilara or Stéphane le Diraison on IX Blue, they all have good boats and are excellent sailors. So far the strategy does not look very clear and if it is not going to be a drag race in strong conditions, then it could be anyone’s game. On the newest boats, it will be the men to make a difference.'

The Class 40 fleet competing in this year’s Transat Québec Saint Malo represents also in full the level offshore racing has reached, boats and crews get better and better and the more international the class becomes the level goes up another notch. The legendary French hegemony could well be threatened, spicing up the race even more. There will be plenty of opportunities for everyone, the battle will no doubt be fierce and yet the winner’s name will only be known in Saint Malo.


Transat Quebec Saint Malo website

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearZhik Dinghy 660x82T Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted today at 6:40 pm
Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted today at 6:40 pm
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted today at 4:28 pm
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted today at 3:46 pm
Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul