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Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 preview

'Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50'    La Charente-Maritime /Bahia Transat 6.50

Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 starts on Sunday 25th September 2011 at 05:17 pm and will head to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil via Funchal, Madeira / Portugal.

There will be six women to set sail for the 18th Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50. Six women out of 80 sailors! There are a very small number of women in offshore sailing race’s world yet the most famous women have participated in the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50; two French, one American, one Italian, one British and one Dutch.

The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 will gather skippers from all over the World. Also 35 foreigners from 16 countries will be at the start: Germany, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States. The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 is the most international single-handed transatlantic and it is a fabulous gateway to the world of racing, regardless of your origins. Note that the Spanish, Italian, English, Dutch and Swiss are among the most represented and that, for the first time, a Chinese competitor will participate.

Since 1977, the prototypes have become real racing over-sailed machines able to head precisely on the wind and feel downwind like overpowering sledges. With almost 50m² upwind and 100m² downwind, prototypes want to gain weight and to concentrate the maximum ballast in the floor and the bulge. To centre weight and to lower it increases the sails surface, reduces the wet surface and keeps an efficient anti-drift plan. The Mini is a great playground for architects and sailors who manufacture their own toys. As for innovations, still remember that Minis have contributed to the adoption of canting keels, ballast (water being counter-balanced to one side or the other of the boat), the lateral drift (to optimise the anti-drift plan), double rudders, the bowsprit for genakers and asymmetric spinnakers use, the big roaches mainsail... The small monohulls are laboratories of which the Class Open 60 now adopts each innovation. The 2011 edition will welcome the last Bertrand designs and many Lombart, Finot Conq, Manuard designs 'customised' by the sailors. Also keep an eye on the Cossuti, Twister and Fermin new models. A wonderful duel at sea for these super motivated sailors!

Some fascinating chases are to come for the series boats. The Chantier Structure will be widely represented with 24 Pogo (1 and 2), as well as the Marée Haute’s Dingo 2 (D2), Chantier PIxis’s Nacira 6.50 designed in collaboration with Corentin Douguet (2005 edition winner), Sam Manuard’s Tip Top, Sébastien Magnen’s Ginto and Chantier Nivelt’s Mistral... That is a huge and unique Minis 6.50 meeting that give both sailors and boats the opportunity to excel in a magical and atypical race.

Do we need to introduce Bernard Stamm? Two times winner of the round the globe race, Imoca and Fico World champion, Trophée Jules Verne co-holder… Bernard has, in addition to his CV, a very atypical and sympathetic profile. Born in Switzerland, he was the family’s enfant terrible; Bernard firstly was in search of solitude and chose to be a lumberjack. After six years of hard work, he started travelling, and he crossed and crossed again the Atlantic on merchant marine boats. The sea got him and won’t let him go anymore!

His first personal project started in 1994, when he decided to build his own Rolland design boat with his friend Frédéric Boursier. The aim was to take part in the Mini Transat 1995 (Brest – Funchal – Fort-de-France). Both of them built their boat in Lesconil’s premises (Finisterre). The Rolland design has the number 138 and a hotel from Zematt in Switzerland gave her his name… Bernard crossed the Atlantic on Hotel Albana, on a cream coloured boat… And what a race! He ended fifth on the first leg and fourth on the second leg. He finally ended third after Thierry Fagnent second and Yvan Bourgnon (prototypes category). Partick Leroux – Libération newspaper journalist – quotes on the 31st of October 1995: 'My life is a succession of challenges. I was a lumberjack then I worked in the merchant marine. I've been boats conveyor and now I am racing. These are just steps towards an absolute that I cannot control.' His following records do not contradict this success. Bernard continued the season in 1996 on the 138 prior to the building of the famous and popular, 60-foot Superbigou in 1997 followed by Armor Lux, Bobst Group and Cheminées Poujoulat.

Scott Cavanough 797 (Australia) will sail while giving his name to an Australian charity for children with brain tumors. The goal is to get a 10,000 Australian dollars donation for the children. Louis Mauffret also runs for Amnesty International with his boat 'Solidaires', the sail will be painted by the artist Paul Bloas who has carte blanche to illustrate the theme of human rights...

For the record...
- There are 39 years between the Italian Giacomo Sabbatini - 21 years old - and Jean-Claude Guilloneau the Dean of the fleet.
- For his 30th birthday, Jean-Baptiste Daramy gave himself a transatlantic, a great gift!
- Simone Gesi celebrates his 41st birthday on September 29th and Aurélien Ducroz, Robert Rosen Jacobson and Aymeric Chappellier, will celebrate their birthdays at sea during the second stage, on the 20th, 24th and 26th of October.

Rendezvous to the Bassin des Chalutiers from Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th September!
School visits, meetings with the skippers, boats christening, exhibition and animations, bar and restaurant, Race HQ and press centre…

Charente-Maritime / Bahia Transat 6.50:

Start Date: Sunday 25th September 2011 at 05:17 pm
Race village: from 21st to 25th September from 11 :00 am to 07 :00 pm at the Bassin des Chalutiers - La Rochelle
Presence of boats: from Thursday 15th September
Course: Departure from Fort Boyard (Charente-Maritime/France) / Funchal (Madeira / Portugal) / Salvador (Bahia / Brazil)
Number of nautical miles to go: 4,200 or 7,800 km
Number of boats: 80 skippers

Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 website




by Pierrick Garenne and Véronique Largeau

  

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1:10 PM Tue 6 Sep 2011 GMT






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2011 La Charente Maritime Bahia Transat 6.50

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