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Class 40s in the first 48 hours of the Transat Jacques Vabres

Posted on 25th September 2019

Three classes: Multi 50, IMOCA 60 and Class 40 set off on the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabres from Le Havre on Sunday. Starting in light airs the fleet raced around the ‘inshore course’ before setting off down the channel in a rising downwind breeze. Stiff downwind conditions brought the first casualty, one of the pre-race favourites Lamotte-Module Creations #153, dis-masted 18 hours after the start while sailing under A4 spinnaker and double reefed mainsail.

Owen Clarke Design are represented in the Class 40 fleet by #157 Linkt (ex Cape Racing Yachts ), which is once more sailed by Jorg Riechers and Cedric Chateau.  All is reported to be well onboard, both sailors having rested after the intense first 24 hours of the race dealing with the fast sailing conditions and the usual tactical decision for this event, west or south after Ushant? The lead boats are currently spread 140 miles across the TJV course with 7 th place Credit Mutuel to the north-west and 3 rd place Made in Midi , skippered by the immensely experienced Vendee Globe competitor Kito de Pavant to the south east, 180 miles from Cape Finisterre.

Currently in upwind conditions which are due to increase in severity as a warm front passes over the fleet tonight Linkt is in 5 th place, twenty-five miles behind the current leader, #151 Aina Enfance &Avenir. Jorg and Cedric are positioned on the leader-board between the two ‘scow bow’ designs, Louis Duc/Aurelien Ducraz onboard #150 Crosscall Chamonix Mont-Blanc in 4 th and the newly launched David Raison designed #158 Credit Mutuel , sailed by Ian Lipinski and Adrien Hardy.

Among the 27 starters are the winners of the last Route du Rhum, Normandy Channel Race and the previous Transat Jacques Vabre. Much interest has been focused before the race on the potential relative performance of the conventional new designs such as the Manuard designed Mach 3’s and Owen Clarke’s #157, in comparison to the ‘scow bow’ designs of Lombard (#150), Raison (#158) and Manuard’s new Mach 4 (#159 Banque du Leman ), currently in 9 th position. For the time being at least, the two current lead boats are #151 and #156, both Mach 3s.

Photo credit: Lois Van Malleghem

Owen Clarke Design also have two of our non-foiling designs competing in the IMOCA fleet: Ariel 2 (ex Aviva ) Ari Huusela/Michael Fergusson and Campagne de France (ex Temenos/Mirabaud ) sailed by Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire. Both boats are working up towards next years Vendee Globe and are currently trailing the newer foiling boats by 160 miles.
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