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Class40, the kings of suspense!

Thirteen Class40s will be lining up at the start of The Transat CIC in Lorient on Sunday 28 April. On the programme: a transatlantic race which promises to be particularly demanding and competitive for both the boats and their bodies. And that's just as well, as there are so many candidates for victory and places of honour. At the same time, a new category has been created: the 'Vintage' boats. Here are the details.

Aboard the Class40s, these 12.18 metre monohulls, there's everything that makes ocean racing so special: fierce battles, suspense, tactical choices, composure and courage. The Transat CIC, the first major race of the season, is sure to be another demonstration of this. Sailed solo, the mother of all transatlantic races is one hell of a sporting challenge. It means having to withstand the weather systems that sweep across the Atlantic from west to east, coping with storms and making headway upwind whatever the cost.


A duo of Italians and strong outsiders  It's a particularly demanding challenge for the body, especially as the weather at the end of winter can still be virulent. To meet this challenge, some brave, intrepid and daring sailors will be lining up on the start line. The 13-boat fleet includes some of the best Class40 skippers, who alone demonstrate the dynamism of the class. Among them are two Italians who continue to shine: Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande - Pirelli) and Alberto Bona (IBSA). Last year, Ambrogio claimed two prestigious victories, winning the CIC Normandy Channel Race and then the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie - Le Havre. Alberto, on the other hand, proved to be a consistent winner of the championship, notching up victories in the RORC Caribbean 600 and Les Sables-Horta.

Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande - Pirelli), lors de la Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022, vainqueur en 2023 de la CIC Normandy Channel Race et de la Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie - Le Havre.

Also in the hunt are Nicolas d'Estais (CAFÉ JOYEUX) and Axel Tréhin (Project Rescue Ocean), who are collecting places of honour. Among the outsiders, Amélie Grassi (La Boulangère Bio), the only woman to take part in the Class40 race, also has her card to play, having gained experience after taking part in legs of The Ocean Race and finishing 13th in the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie - Le Havre.

All eyes will also be on a rather special first: that of Vincent Riou. Winner of the 2004-2005 Vendée Globe and a sailor renowned for his talent and expertise, the 52-year-old has embarked on a new project. He has supervised the construction of an innovative new Class40 at the Pogo Structures yard, renamed Pierreval - Fondation GoodPlanet. Will this be enough to battle it out with the frontrunners in his first solo race aboard? To be continued.

Also to be followed are the adventures of Goulven Marie (QWANZA), who at the age of 47 will be competing in his first solo transatlantic race. Keep an eye on Quentin Le Nabour at the helm of Bleu Blanc Planète Location. Finally, two 23-year-old skippers will be on the starting line: Thimoté Polet (Zeiss) and Anatole Facon (Good Morning Futur). Despite their young age, they already have a great deal of experience - two transatlantic crossings to be sure - and a fierce determination to continue making progress as they cross the Atlantic.


A new Vintage category

The Transat CIC is also introducing a 'Vintage' category. Following the example of the Rhum Class in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, the transatlantic race is opening up to competitors who want to race boats from yesteryear. Two skippers are leading the way: Patrick Isoard (Uship pour Enfants du Mekong) and Rémy Gérin (Faiaoahe). The former has an old 50-foot IMOCA, a Finot design from 1998, while the latter has a 20-metre wooden boat weighing 30 tonnes. In the medium term, The Transat CIC hopes to help create a circuit dedicated to these boats.


The thirteen skippers taking part in The Transat CIC in Class40

  • Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande - Pirelli)

  • Alberto Bona (IBSA)

  • Nicolas d’Estais (CAFÉ JOYEUX)

  • Fabien Delahaye (LEGALLAIS)

  • Aurélien Ducroz (CROSSCALL)

  • Anatole Facon (Good Morning Futur)

  • Amélie Grassi (La Boulangère Bio)

  • Quentin Le Nabour (Bleu Blanc Planète Location)

  • Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel)

  • Goulven Marie (QWANZA)

  • Thimoté Polet (Zeiss)

  • Vincent Riou (Pierreval – Fondation GoodPlanet)

  • Axel Tréhin (Project Rescue Ocean)