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The Race Around - Jacques Caraës and Claire Renou appointed as Race Directors

by Sam Holliday 5 Dec 2021 02:56 PST
Jacques Caraës and Claire Renou appointed as Race Directors © The Race Around

The Race Around, Class40's official round-the-world yacht race, has named its race management team. The event, co-founded by Sam Holliday and Hugh Piggin, will start in the late summer of 2023 and can be raced either solo or double-handed.

The traditional course follows the route of the 1973 Whitbread and the BOC Challenge - two races steeped in history. The organisers have chosen an experienced team, which notably officiated the last Vendée Globe, and is made up by Jacques Caraës and assisted by Claire Renou.

An experienced race management team for an ambitious race:

For Sam Holliday, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Race Around, it was obvious to choose the pairing that officiated the last Vendée Globe: "When you have the chance to work with the best, you take that opportunity and ask questions later! For a new event like The Race Around, we needed a world-class race management team because although boats have been circumnavigating the globe for decades, this is relatively new for Class40. In addition, I know how Jacques and Claire work, how they communicate and the level of trust that competitors place within them. I know them personally, and I know that outside of the race they'll bring their good humour and sense of adventure to every stopover. That too is key!"

For Jacques Caraës and Claire Renou, this new project is also exciting:

"Class40 is a class that we know less about, and this race will be a great opportunity to discover it. It's a class that has matured a lot, the boats are very interesting and have progressed enormously over the last few years, so it's the right time for them to compete on a global race course. This race will allow new generations of sailors to sail around the world on a smaller budget. It also offers the possibility for small and medium-sized companies to get involved in this adventure, which broadens the horizons! The first contacts with the organisation team have been very pleasant and constructive. It's a young team that wants to do things (very) well, we can already feel that the atmosphere will be both motivating, friendly and professional."

Deciphering the specificities of The Race Around:

Although Jacques and Claire have already overseen many major ocean races, in particular the last Vendée Globe together, this round-the-world race with stopovers will be a first for them.

"The playing field on which the Class40s will compete is immense, and even if the weather is similar to a 'classic' round-the-world race, the stopovers allow competing teams to repair and to leave each time with boats at, or as close to, 100% as possible. This will allow the race to bounce back, the sporting level will be very high," explains Caraës.

"Even with stopovers, you have to realise that it will be a committed race, competitors are going to race big legs. The Class40s are smaller boats than the IMOCAs (the Vendée Globe boats), so they will be more exposed to the elements, and perhaps less comfortable than in the Southern Ocean, but they're solid, well built vessels," added Renou. "The participants in The Race Around will have the choice of sailing around the world solo or double-handed, but it's the same job for the race management, whether they are single or double-handed, for us it's a question of following the boats and the sailors. The difference for them will be the fatigue they accumulate at the end of the stages."

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