VIDEO LIVE at 9 p.m. with Alberto Bona and Ciccio Manzoli. The heroes of OSTAR


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alberto bona and ciccio manzoli

On April 28, the Transat CIC will depart from Lorient. A new regatta? Far from it: it is the evolution of the legendary Ostar. Originally known as The English Transat, or even OSTAR, later to become 1 Star and now simply known as The Transat, the Transat CIC has a legendary history and a roll of honor studded with sailing legends. At 3,500 miles (this year) from Lorient to New York solo, it is one of the toughest challenges in the North Atlantic Ocean, a crossing as famous as it is tough in terms of wind, sea and current conditions.

The legendary Ostar – Livetalk with Alberto Bona and Ciccio Manzoli

This year’s regatta will feature Italian sailors such as Alberto Bona, Ambrogio Beccaria (Class 40) and Giancarlo Pedote (IMOCA 60). Just with Alberto Bona, reigning Class 40 world champion and among the favorites in this year’s edition aboard IBSA and Ciccio Manzoli, the first Italian to win the regatta in 2005, we will talk live this evening what it means to take on a solo North Atlantic transatlantic, 3,500 miles on the route that enshrined such sailing monsters as Tabarly and Chichester, Colas and Peyron. Moderated by Eugenio Ruocco of the Journal of Sailing and Luca Bertacchi, team manager of Team Alberto Bona!


Don’t miss it, you can ask live questions and interact with our guests! Are you missing the episode? Don’t worry, you can see it whenever you want at the links above!

But in the meantime, let’s brush up on OSTAR, which never hurts….

What you need to know

The Transat CIC is nothing more than the evolution of the legendary Ostar: in this edition, it sets off solo from Lorient for a total of about 3,500 miles, but the “historic” route is the one from Plymouth (Great Britain) to Newport (Rhode Island, USA: 3,000 miles from east to true west, against prevailing winds and in the frigid North Atlantic.

Who invented the regatta?
The regatta was conceived in 1959 by Colonel Herbert George “Blondie” Hasler and organized by the Royal Western Yacht Club (RWYC). However, the lack of sponsors caused the regatta to start in 1960 once a sponsor was found.

Francis Chichester

Who won the first edition?
The first edition of OSTAR (1960) was won by Francis Chichester, whose Gipsy Moth III took 40 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes, ahead of race inventor Hasler (48 days, 12 hours and 2 minutes) and David Lewis (55 days and 50 minutes). In total, there were five participants.

How come it was called OSTAR?
Because the race was initially sponsored by the British newspaper The Observer, the name of the event was an acronym: Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race. In 1980 and 1984 the regatta changed its name to 1/OSTAR. Since 1988 following a change of sponsor, the regatta has been named CSTAR (1988), The Europe 1 STAR (1992 and 1996), The Europe 1 New Man STAR (2000). Then the Royal Western Yacht Club decided to split the regatta into two separate events, a professional edition in 2004 called The Transat with arrival in Boston, an event that will also take place in 2008, and a classic edition in 2005 called Faraday Mill OSTAR following a change of sponsor. Since 2009, the race has gone back to the name OSTAR (but now the acronym stands for Original Singlehanded Transatlantic Race). It is now The Transat CIC.

Has the OSTAR ever been won by an Italian?
Yes, twice: Franco Ciccio Manzoli won it among the streetcars, with Cotonella, in 2005, taking 17 days, 21 hours and 41 minutes. Andrea Mura, on the other hand, won the 2013 edition in the Gipsy Moth category, again on Vento di Sardegna, with the (compensated) time of 17 days, 11 hours and 12 minutes (so in this edition he starts from Defender). Also worth mentioning is Roberto Westermann ‘s excellent third place finish on Spinning Wheel in 2009, with a time of 19 days, 3 hours and 14 minutes.

What great sailors have been featured in OSTAR?
Eric Tabarly won it twice, in 1964 and 1976, but it is Loick Peyron who is the most titled with no less than three victories, in 1992, 1996 and 2008. Other notable winners include Francis Chichester and Alain Colas.

Has the Ostar ever been won by a woman?
Yes, Ellen MacArthur triumphed among IMOCA 60s in 2000 with her Kingfisher. And not only that, at 23 years old, the British “lady” is to date the youngest sailor to have succeeded in the feat.

Who has been, to date, the fastest skipper at OSTAR?
Michel Desjoyeaux, aboard the ORMA 60 multihull Geant, finished the 2004 race (it was then called The Transat) in just 8 days, 8 hours and 29 minutes.

Who was Phil Weld, the perfect unknown who won the 1980 OSTAR?
The elderly American editor showed up at OSTAR aboard Moxie, a 51-foot trimaran, and won by taking 17 days and 23 hours-his secret? An accessory called “rollafio”: it has since caught on and is now an inescapable “must”.



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