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Réunion Island a new destination for the GLOBE40 2025/2026

by Sirius Events 13 Oct 2023 02:41 PDT
Réunion Island is the new Indian Ocean destination for the 2nd edition of the GLOBE40 © GLOBE40

Réunion Island is the new Indian Ocean destination for the 2nd edition of the GLOBE40. Indeed, in November 2025, the urban area of Territoire de L'Ouest will play host to the event's competitors in Pointe des Galets Marina.

A first for the island, it joins a rather special club of major international offshore racing destinations, in the wake of Lorient, Auckland, Polynesia and Brazil in the previous edition... Part of a crew project, preparations are already under way to enable Réunion to bring to the world stage the exceptional natural heritage that embraces both the maritime and mountainous assets of the aptly nicknamed Intense Island.

A return to the Indian Ocean after a long Atlantic leg

Within the general scope of the course outlined in the Notice of Race published on 1 September, the Indian Ocean destination will play host to the second leg of the event, after a lengthy Atlantic leg (35 days at sea and 7,200 miles in 2022 along the Cape Verde / Mauritius course). Along the way, the skippers will experience the first southern hemisphere leg and round the first of 3 legendary capes, that of Good Hope. The main difference on a nautical level will relate to the season as this 2nd edition of the GLOBE40 sets off from Europe 2 months later than the first. This will enable the fleet to round the dreaded southern tip of Africa in the more favourable conditions of late spring in principle, with a scheduled finish in late October and the leaders completing the leg in around 3 weeks. Following on from the prologue in Lorient, the Official Start and the 1st Atlantic leg, this second leg will be the first serious offshore clash for the skippers with the passage of the equator, the rounding of the Azores High, and a drop down to 34 degrees South to negotiate the Cape of Good Hope, before climbing up Africa's eastern seaboard, leaving Madagascar to the west. As such, it's a very attractive introduction to the epic legs that await the competitors in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

Réunion Island otherwise known as Intense Island

The urban area of Territoire de l'Ouest groups together the main tourist towns to the west of the island, the coast to leeward of the trade wind (La Possession / Le Port / Saint-Paul / Trois Bassins / Saint-Leu). Here, nature exults amidst its seascapes, its extensive marine reserve, its 22km lagoon where the water temperature ranges between 24 and 30 degrees according to the season, as well as its upper reaches and its amphitheatre of mountains like the famous Cirque de Mafate, a trekking paradise and Unesco World Heritage site. Together with its nature reserve, its national park, its classification as one of the world's top 35 biodiversity sites, and its still active volcano Piton de la Fournaise, Réunion Island takes the wonders of the natural world to a whole new level. The skippers will have it all at their fingertips for this stopover!

Thibaut Lefevere, a company director lucky enough to be based in Réunion, is naturally keen to have his business represented by a crew circumnavigating the globe. As an experienced skipper himself, who already successfully organised a project for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021, Thibaut has signed up for the GLOBE40 with a project aimed at mobilising all the island's marine energies. In addition to the sporting aspects, by hosting an event that has worldwide media coverage, the Territoire de l'Ouest is shining a spotlight on boating as a key driver in the promotion of the island's tourism and economic development.

The GLOBE40: active preparation and upscaling of the competition

Having officialised the prologue and the finish in Lorient, plus a stopover on Réunion Island, discussions are well under way across multiple continents for the other legs, with more venues set to be announced as the details are finalised. On a sporting level, 4 Class40s have been purchased and the sale of a fifth is in progress with a view to participating in the event. Furthermore, Belgian skipper Jonas Gerckens has announced this week that he plans to take part in the GLOBE40 with one of the latest 'scow bow' Class40s (n degrees187) which illustrates the event's appeal for some of the most talented skippers on the European circuit, with very modern craft. As such, there is an increased shift towards performance, whilst staying true to the original spirit of the event, where competition marries wonderfully with adventure.

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