This is the first time a Monegasque boat has taken part in the Transat Jacques Vabre. The IMOCA 60’ Malizia II – Yacht Club de Monaco, formerly Gitana that belonged to Sébastien Josse, also a YCM member, and the Yacht Club de Monaco’s latest arrival, will be helmed by Boris Herrmann. He is Pierre Casiraghi’s teammate on the GC32 circuit. Due to a busy schedule, the YCM’s Vice-President is not able to take part and cedes his place to French sailor Thomas Ruyant.
First time for a Monegasque boat
The fact it is the first time underlines the Yacht Club de Monaco’s commitment to ramping up its sports policy, with Pierre Casiraghi as the ambassador.
With two seasons on the GC32 circuit under his belt, 3rd in the last Rolex Fastnet Race in the IMOCA 60’ category, and holder of the Monaco-Calvi record on the same boat, the YCM’s Vice-President is 100% committed to flying the Monaco flag high: “We want to show the new generation of sailors that it is possible to achieve one’s dreams and goals, however crazy they may be. We train regularly and try to get together with the crew on Malizia as often as possible. One must never miss an opportunity to progress,” he says.
Boris Herrmann, a regular on prestigious circumnavigation contests like the Barcelona World Race and Jules Verne Trophy, will be pairing with Thomas Ruyant for this one.
With three Transat Jacques Vabres already under his belt, including 4th in 2015, and the last Vendée Globe on Souffle du nord pour le projet imagine, the Dunkirk sailor is an experienced ocean racer.
“We are feeling confident as we have Boris. This year, we have done back-to-back distant races such as La Trinité-sur-Mer-Monaco and Monaco-Lorient. With this Transat Jacques Vabre we will have covered over 4,500 miles together. We have an excellent race machine in our hands. Malizia II is a very fast new generation mono-hull. When reaching, the boat really accelerates mainly due to her foils. It’s a boat that goes like the wind all the time!” comments Thomas Ruyant.
Dreams are made of this
Launched in 1993, the Transat Jacques Vabre, is a double-hander transatlantic, and this year everyone is champing at the big. Thirty-nine teams in four categories (Class 40, Multi 50, IMOCA and ULTIME) are expected in Le Havre for the start from where they head to Salvador de Bahia on the Brazilian coasts. The start for this “Coffee Route” will be given at 09.15am on Sunday 5th November.
The 78 sailors from nine nationalities leave the Paul Vatine basin watched by thousands of spectators, before tackling the descent of the Atlantic, including the famous doldrums in the inter-tropical zone near the Equator so dreaded by skippers. Ahead of them lies 4,350 nautical miles, more than 8,000km.
In the IMOCA category are 13 pairs including Malizia II – Yacht Club de Monaco, the goal being to beat record holders Vincent Riou and Sebastien Col who did it in 17 days 22 minutes 24 seconds. A reminder that the last edition, all categories combined, was won by the Maxi-trimaran Macif and her crew François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry.
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