“ I have dreamt for years about sailing a Class40, a larger boat that suits my style”
© Jean-Marie Liot
The Franco-German sailor Isabelle Joschke, aged 39, will be racing the Class40, Generali Mixite, in the four-yearly 3,000-mile classic that sets sail for New York from Plymouth on May 2nd.
Joschke, a veteran of seven Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro races, will be the third female skipper on the start line of The Transat, all of whom are racing in the highly competitive Class40 monohull fleet.
“I have dreamt for years about sailing a Class40, a larger boat that suits my style,” said Joschke who has long campaigned for gender equality in sport. “I have set myself a racing programme that I think suits my sailing characteristics and I would like to thank Generali for giving me this opportunity.”
Joschke, who finished the 2015 Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro as top female skipper in 17th position overall, will now embark on an intensive training programme in March and April including completing the mandatory 1,000-mile qualifier for the race.
Helping her will be the French solo sailing legend and Vendee Globe winner Alain Gautier. “Throughout this year I will benefit from the advice and experience of Alain Gautier who became a sort of mentor to me two years ago,” added Joschke. “He is a huge asset to my programme.”
Gautier said: “I will help Isabelle in her new challenge and I continue to work closely with Generali with whom I have a history that has now lasted over 20 years.”
Eric Lombard, the Chief Executive Officer of the insurance provider Generali France, said: “In 2016 we want to allow Isabelle Joschke to benefit from new opportunities…with the support of Alain Gautier, with whom we are pleased to continue our collaboration. His experience will be invaluable to Isabelle.”
Joining Joschke on The Transat Class40 start line will be the veteran British skipper Miranda Merron at the helm of Campagne de France and the experienced German sailor Anna-Maria Renken on Nivea.