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Brothers in arms....Ian Lipinski takes close second after great Class 40 duel.



One of the most successful Class40 racers since this past Mini Transat winner shook up the fleet with his revolutionary David Raison scow design, Ian Lipinski was one of the outstanding favourites to win the class on the 2024 Transat CIC. That is alongside the Italian Ambrigio Beccaria with whom he had sailed many miles as co-skippers on his Crédit Mutuel and who, he reveals, launched his career with a wrecked Mini he bought from Ian for pennies.


In the end was the Italian who prevailed, but Lipinski led many times and was pushing until the end, finishing just two hours and 20 minutes behind Alla Grande Pirelli, completing what will be his last race with his successful 2019 launched. Theirs was a prolonged, engaging dual two with a thrilling finale.

Lipinksi took second this morning at 06:08:06hrs UTC/02:04:06hrs local time NYC.


HIS RACE IN NUMBERS Finish time 06:08:06 a.m. UTC Elapsed time 11 days, 18 hours, 38 mins and 6 seconds Miles sailed 3259.63 nautical miles Delta to first: 0 days, 2 hours, 20 minutes and 11 seconds Average speed (on the great circle): 10.44 knots Actual average speed: 11.53 knots


Lipinski’s race.

Three days after the baptism of his new boat (n°202) just before the start in Lorient, Ian Lipinski was leading The Transat CIC aboard his ‘old ‘monohull (n°158) launched in 2019. The skipper of Crédit Mutuel had, however, experienced mixed fortunes in recent months.


He was definitely a man with a mission after being dismasted off the coast of Guernsey on the Transat Jacques Vabre which left him 19th after he stepped a new one during the enforced Lorient pitstop.


From the off it was Lipinski on control leading the fleet out to the northwest then west whilst Beccaria was at times as low as fourth and fifth. Theirs was a duel of move and countermove. The Italian was able to get away but was closed down as he went into the lighter airs and lost miles in the Gulf Stream. Last Saturday as he took the lead finally, Beccaria noted. “Ian is a great champion. He didn't have the fastest reaching boat but in the end, he was in the lead for the entire reaching part of the race.”


The skipper of Crédit Mutuel has just produced another major performance. The Transat CIC will have a special place on his list of honours, another hard won podium like the CIC Normandy Channel Race (winning in 2022 with Beccaria, 2nd in 2023), at the 1000 miles of Sables (2nd in 2022), at the 40 Malouine Lamotte (3rd in 2022) and at the Défi Atlantique (1st in 2023). Above all, his race is an opportunity to build up his confidence before a new legendary transatlantic race, the Quebec – Saint-Malo which starts in June.


Interview You have just crossed the finish line and taken 2nd place in The Transat CIC. How do you feel? I'm happy to finish clearly. I told myself I would be proud if I managed to finish. I am proud of myself and of the whole team who prepared the boat. It is still a big thing. I am happy. There was obviously a bit of disappointment, but that was yesterday. When we finish that is already gone, in the past and second place is still great.


Did you believe you could still win during these final days? Yesterday, I knew it was done but several times during the race I believed I could win. I made mistakes, we all did. And solo these mistakes cost a lot. Sometimes we lose miles by the dozen. On a race like this, the margins can be counted in hundreds of miles. With Ambrogio, we found ourselves side by side. We were in sight and he took a little lead on a gybe where I just couldn't go as fast as him. And there is a transition zone without wind, he went ahead and after that, I couldn't do anything. He fully deserves to win. He keeps winning. He’s a big name in racing.

 

You fought a superb duel throughout the race… I have a special story with him. When he started offshore racing, he bought the wreck of my Mini then which I had capsized. He called me, he didn't pay much. He had no budget. He picked her up on a rotten trailer in Lisbon and brought her back to Italy where he completely rebuilt the boat by himself. And then when he arrived in France, he came to live with us on the sofa to start his Mini project. He has built his story since that moment. There, he designed a great boat with his school friend Gianluca. It's such a great story. I am very happy because he has become a friend. I'm very happy to have pushed him so hard throughout this race. For me, offshore racing is above all the beautiful stories of friendship that are created during these races. It’s another step in our history and I’m very happy with it.

Your were up front most of the time. How do you view your race?I performed well in the first half of the race with a boat not necessarily good for these conditions. But I made a really huge push, maybe more than others, I don’t know. In any case, I couldn't do any more. It allowed me to be up front in the first part of the race. Afterwards, I had to drop the pace because I couldn't keep it up. We started to get into some complicated bad weather. I'm both happy with the intensity I put in but I still have the impression of feeling like a beginner in the sense that we keep doing big stupid things that are expensive. We always have the impression of discovering things. I still discovered plenty. This is what makes the activity exciting. I still learned a lot of things during the race, which will probably make me stronger in the next one.


You had some technical problems during the race. I had a problem which cost me first place at the start. I made a big broach. The boat tacked in 35 knots. It was difficult to get the boat back on course and had a rudder problem that worried me for 24 hours as we set out to attack the big depression. Finally, I found a solution. It was a great moment. Afterwards, I broke my spinnaker. And I tore my mainsail. In the depression, I wanted to calm things down and lower my spinnaker.


What do you want to do when you arrive in New York?I want to meet up with my friends so we can tell each other about the race, have a beer or two, and see the Statue of Liberty. I don't have any other particular desires at the moment. I have partners who are there. I'll be happy to meet them again. But mostly I want to be home to be with my partner and my kids, but to discover a little of the city which is famous.

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