1960 THE START OF IT ALL... 5 boats crossed the start line off Plymouth, and remarkably all five reached New York. Francis Chichester finished in 40 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes to win the first OSTAR.
1964 A LEGEND IS BORN... 32 year-old French naval lieutenant Eric Tabarly won the race in 27 days. Tabarly became an overnight hero in France and was presented with his country’s highest honour, the Legion d’Honneur by President de Gaulle.
1968 THE INVENTION OF ROUTING... The North Atlantic was swept by a massive depression with 60-knot winds. Geoffrey Williams was the first to use weather routing via a hefty high-frequency radio. Warned of the storm, he sailed further north and won the race.
1972 THE MULTIHULL AGE... 55 boats qualified for the fourth edition of the race. Alain Colas was able to steer the 67ft trimaran Pen Duick IV across the finish line first in a remarkable time of 20 days and 13 hours.
1976 CONTROVERSY AND TRAGEDY... Alain Colas’ giant 236ft monohull caused controversy; few believed a boat this size could be sailed safely by one man. Only 73 of the 125 starters, including Britain’s Clare Francis, finished within the time limit, with two skippers lost at sea. Eric Tabarly’s 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI won the race.
1980 TRIUMPH OF THE MULTIHULLS… 90 competitors started the race and at the finish, the top 5 slots were filled by multihulls. 72 boats finished and the course record dropped by another six days in one go.
1984 THE FRENCH COMEBACK…. Philippe Poupon was first to finish in 16 days and 11 hours, but Yvon Fauconnier was declared the winner for standing by Philippe Jeantot who had capsized. Poupon heard the news during his press conference and broke down in tears.
1988 THE RECORD TIME… Philippe Poupon set a stunning new record of 10 days and 9 hours. An exceptional story occurred during this race, when a pod of 50-60 whales surrounded the boat of David Sellings for three days and then finally attacked, holing the boat.
1992 MONOHULLS MOVE BACK INTO THE GAME… With three classes and a total of 67 boats, Loick Peyron won overall in his multihull and Yves Parlier set a new course monohull record that stood for 12 years.
1996 A DOUBLE FOR PEYRON… Francis Joyon chose a surprise route not used by anyone since Blondie Hasler in 1960, but fate dealt him a cruel blow when he was knocked him down 400 miles from the finish. Loick Peyron was able to savour a second successive victory.
2000 BATTLE OF THE MONOHULLS… 7 60ft trimarans and 24 IMOCA 60 monohulls took the start line. First trimaran was Francis Joyon’s Eure et Loir and it was a young 23-year-old English girl, Ellen MacArthur, who took a surprise victory in the IMOCA 60 class.
2004 HIGH SPEEDS, HIGH RISKS… Renamed THE TRANSAT, the race’s evolution continued. The North Atlantic drama reached epic proportions a week into the race, triggering a series of extraordinary rescue operations. At the finish, Michael Desjoyeaux on his ORMA trimaran finished first after just 8 days at sea and Mike Golding won the IMOCA 60 class.
2008 A DRAMATIC RESCUE AND A NEW COURSE RECORD… 3 world-class skippers failed to make the finish. Despite the challenges this was the fastest edition of the race in its 48-year history, and Loick Peyron took the finish line first in a new record time of 12 days, 11 hours and 45 minutes.