Transat Jacques Vabre: Beccaria is already leading the way toward Lorient

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The Class 40 fleet after departure from Le Havre

Lashing foam on a greenish sea, 40-knot gusts, an epic storm on the way: these are the conditions under which the
Transat Jacques Vabre
, the 4500-mile double-handed transatlantic that will end in Martinique.

Because of the nearly 100 knots expected in 24-36 hours, the Class 40s will call at Lorient along with the Multi 50s, the Ultim goes on the direct route (the only class), and the Imoca 60s wait in Le Havre for the gale to pass. Indeed, the port of Lorient could not contain all the boats in the regatta.

Transat Jacques Vabre – Beccaria is already in the lead

Allagrande Pirelli opens a wave in reaching toward first buoy

We said it on the eve, Ambrogio Beccaria, paired with Nicolas Andrieu on the Musa 40 Allagrande Pirelli, is one of the favorites to win the Jacques Vabre among the Class 40s. And he is proving it right away in these first 24 hours: monstrous start upwind of the entire fleet, rolling his opponents in the first side of reaching toward the course buoy set below the coast.

He took the lead of the race within minutes of the start and never let go. The only blemish was contact with the buoy at the end of the first side, with a mischievous wave moving the buoy as the Italian boat passed. Beccaria will serve the penalty, but he already has a lead of over 5 miles and seems in a solid position for the approach to Lorient.

Acrobatics, by Alberto Riva, one of 3 Muse 40s in the race.

The Musa 40, built by Sangiorgio Marine of Genoa and designed by Gianluca Guelfi and Fabio D’Angeli, is confirmed as the boat of the moment. Alberto Riva, on Acrobatica, and Andrea Fornaro, on Influence 2, are also doing great things with the sisterships of Beccaria’s boat, racing in the top 10 despite the few weeks of preparation they have had since the launch. Confirming that the design is as apt as ever and will give big problems to the French Class 40s.

The harsh conditions of these first 24 hours have already caused problems: Lipinski’s Credit Mutuel has dismasted, Dekuple where he figures as co-skipper Pietro Luciani has hit a ufo and is calling at Cherbourg.

The finishing times in Lorient will be very important because they will be added up with those of the stage to Martinique to determine the winner.

Ultim at full throttle

The Ultimates immediately after departure

The 30-meter Ultim trimarans are the only class in the regatta that will cover the original course, without stopovers or postponements. The speed of these vehicles, averaging around 25 or more knots, allows them to anticipate the arrival of the storm, being able to escape south earlier. By the time the huge depression front hits Biscay, the Ultim will have begun its descent down Portugal.

In this class, the level is legendary: competing are Armel le cleac’h, winner of a Vendèe Globe; François Gabart, a Vendée won and the solo round-the-world record; Thomas Coville, a legend of world sailing who has signed record after record in his career; Charles Caudrelier, winner of a Volvo Ocean Race and the last Route du Rhum; and Anthony Marchand, perhaps the least experienced but nonetheless with two round-the-world races behind him.

Tracking

Mauro Giuffrè

 

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