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Prior to the start in Le Havre, it was Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) who stood the best chance of winning ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and Marc Guillemot (Safran). However, with the skipper of Brit Air suddenly forced to retire from the race, Marc Guillemot (Safran) could only snatch championship victory if he finished at least two clear places in front of Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia). Fortunately for Marc Guillemot, the very fine second and third places that went to Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) and Mike Golding (Mike Golding Yacht Racing), deprived the double Vendée Globe winner of the 2009 title. Indeed this particularly lively 2009 edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre initially saw the supremacy of the two sisterships, Safran and Groupe Bel designed by he association VPLP/Verdier [read our article]. This unquestionable speed potential combined with weather phenomena which favoured progress at the front of the pack, explain the considerable separation between the fleet at the finish.
IMOCA Class Association.
IMOCA stands for International Monohull Open Class Association. It is the governing body responsible for the technical rules and regulations of IMOCA Open 60 (ft) yachts that take part in well-known races such as the Vendée Globe, the Route du Rhum, the Transat Jacques Vabre and The Artemis Transat to name a few. IMOCA was established in 1991 and has been recognised as an International ISAF Class since 1998 – safety remains the main priority of the Class. IMOCA not only manages the evolution of the technical rules but also defines the boats’ IMOCA International Ocean Racing World Championship with point-scoring races. It is because of its wide-spread calendar with races taking place from France, the UK, Spain and the US, that attracts skippers from all around the world.
2009 IMOCA World Championship :
|Armel Le Cleac’h
|Brian Thomson Racing
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More informations : IMOCA Class website.
Photo Credit : Safran website.