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The 2023 Défi Atlantique confirmed

by Veronique Largeau 31 May 06:07 PDT
Défi Atlantique 2019 ©

Make a note in your agendas that a new edition of the Défi Atlantique reserved for Class40 crews will be proposed by Grand Pavois Organisation with the support of the Class40 association and will depart from Guadeloupe at the start of April 2023 on its way to La Rochelle (France), with a stopover in Horta (Azores - Portugal).

This return Atlantic race listed officially on the Class40 programme will allow the competitors of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022 to race the return journey with a minimum of two crew members on-board.

Note that Class40 vessels registered for the Défi Atlantique will depart on Saturday 1 April. A stopover is scheduled in Horta, in the Azores, in order to make the most of weather conditions for arriving on the Atlantic facade and allow skippers to change crew members if they wish (note that the participants will be allowed to choose a journalist as a crew member for the second stage, who will report live on the last part of the race). The scheduled arrival date in La Rochelle will be between Friday 21 and Sunday 23 April. A specific welcome will be laid on at the Bassin des Chalutiers, the same as for the last edition in 2019 organised by Grand Pavois Organisation.

Halvard Mabire, President of the Class40 association: "Défi Atlantique, second edition. Class40 is delighted with the announcement of the second edition of the Défi Atlantique. This event, reserved solely for Class40 vessels, confirmed its relevance during the first edition in 2019 and is now regularly included in the Class40 programme. Indeed, what better way for Class40 vessels to return to Europe after the Route du Rhum?

Returns by sea are becoming increasingly common. On the one hand, Class40 are ocean-going vessels designed for navigation, also, returns by cargo are becoming costly and complex and less and less compatible with a certain ocean-racing ethic that aims to be as virtuous as possible in environmental terms. Therefore, a return race from the West Indies offers a great opportunity to turn what is simple individual transport into a thrilling event able to seduce a large majority of the Route du Rhum's fleet, as well as some other boats based in the West Atlantic wishing to participate in the 2023 European season.

The departure of the Défi Atlantique at the end of March allows participants to take advantage of the West Indies' waters after the Route du Rhum and, thus, participate in certain events in the Caribbean season. The arrival in La Rochelle around mid-April pre-empts the 2023 Class40 race programme. Normandy Channel Race, Les Sables Horta, Fastnet, Transat Jacques Vabre, etc.

Also, the route of the Défi Atlantique, with a stopover in Horta in the Azores, offers crews the opportunity to enjoy discovering or rediscovering a place much appreciated by all sailors, but also offers them the chance to change crews and, eventually, to better adapt the chronology of the race to the weather conditions. A safe trip for the Défi Atlantique, soon to become a "classic"..."

The notice of race and the registration documents will be available in October 2021 from Etienne HARDY, Grand Pavois Organisation .

A look back at the 2019 event

12 Class40 monohulls, namely 39 sailors of seven different nationalities, took to the sea on 23 March 2019 for the first stage between Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) and the island of Horta in the Azores, 2,300 nautical miles away. A first part of the return Atlantic crossing won by Aïna Enfance et Avenir, skippered by Aymeric Chappellier in 9 days, 15 hours, 46 minutes and 19 seconds, at an average speed of 9.60 knots. The blue monohull was followed by Earendil skippered by Catherine Pourre, and then Kito de Pavant on Made in Midi. Note that on this first stage, Loïck Fequet suffered damage on Tibco and rerouted to Bermuda to repair a rudder blade before setting off again, and Luke Berry aboard Lamotte - Module Création demasted the day after setting sail, 180 miles from the coast of Guadeloupe.

The departure of the second stage between Horta (Azores) and La Rochelle was given on Monday 8 April for the 1,300 remaining miles. Although Earendil crossed the finish line in the lead for this second stage, Catherine Pourre's Class 40 was unable to make up for the 10 hour delay she had on arrival in the Azores behind Aymeric Chappellier's Aïna Enfance et Avenir, who was crowned champion of this first edition of the Défi Atlantique. Kito de Pavant on Made in Midi finished 3rd for the stage and 3rd overall.

Ranking Défi Atlantique 2019 Guadeloupe/Horta/La Rochelle:

1st- Aïna Enfance et Avenir- Aymeric Chappellier: 15 days, 03 hours, 42 minutes and 48 seconds, at an average speed of 9.67 knots.
2nd - Earendil Catherine Pourre / Pietro Luciani: 15 days, 12 hours, 24 minutes and 15 seconds, at an average speed of 9.44 knots.
3rd - Made in Midi - Kito de Pavant: 16 days, 13 hours, 22 minutes and 05 seconds, at an average speed of 8.85 knots.
12 boats on the start line, 11 boats ranked, 1 withdrawal

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