Transat Jacques Vabre: there’s the storm of the century, but when does it start?


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Dark weather on the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet.

Meteo France’s anemometers tonight, as Storm Ciarán passed through, showed westerly winds of more than 80 knots in Le Havre, Lorient, and the surrounding area, heavily conditioning the restart of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

The Imoca 60s have not yet moved out of Le Havre, the Class 40s and Ocean 50s faced a mini-treegasque leg to Lorient, and the green light awaits them once the gale passes. But when will it be possible to leave? Only the Ultim trimarans have been in race mode since the beginning, and now they are already sailing south in the Trade Winds.

Transat Jacqes Vabre – The departure is moving away

It looked as if a weather window might open on Sunday to at least get the Imoca 60s going, but the possibility no longer seems to be there, as Regatta Director Francis Le Goff recounted:

“The possibility of seeing the IMOCAs start on Sunday is no longer viable due to the strengthening westerly wind, which will heavily affect the coast around Le Havre. Race management is working on possible scenarios, the first option at the moment being Tuesday, Nov. 7 early in the morning, with IMOCA leaving the docks before dawn. Other scenarios after this date are also studied. For the Class40 and Ocean Fifty, for which nothing was considered possible before Monday, there are no changes. The goal is always to leave at the first opportunity next week,” Francis Le Goff concluded.

Allagrande Pirelli opens a wave in the reaching toward the first mark of the Le Havre-Lorient prologue

The reason for this forced stop is the exceptionality of the weather conditions, with waves estimated at even more than 10 meters, and the direction of the wind, which pushes the boats toward the coast and in case of failure would trigger situations as dangerous as ever to handle.

There will still be waiting ashore in short, trying to manage the tension and taking advantage of it to rest the skippers and fix the last details on the boats. Italy restarts from Beccaria’s first place in the Class 40s, just over 1 hour ahead of the pursuers. The roll call will unfortunately be missing Alberto Riva, who was injured during the “prologue” and forced to retire.




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