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The North face of the Atlantic

The 15th edition of The Transat CIC will kick off from Brittany, and more specifically from Lorient (Morbihan) on 28 April for the 48 competitors in the IMOCA, Class40 and Vintage categories. As it has been since its creation in 1960, the legendary transatlantic race will be contested single-handed against the prevailing winds and currents, on a committed course between the continents of Europe and North America. On the menu this year: 3500 miles between Lorient and New York, which will host the finish of the mother of all single-handed ocean races for the 3rd time, having won the 1960 and 2016 editions.

A committed course

After an absence of eight years, The Transat CIC, the only transatlantic race starting from France to offer such a northerly course across the Atlantic, is making a comeback with a brand new route which is closer to its original course, with New York as the finishing city. It's a route with no waypoints, which should give the solo sailors a real challenge that will spare neither the skippers nor their steeds. Indeed, the competitors will be encountering lows, strong winds, heavy swells and fronts, with a rapid succession of weather systems.

"The Transat CIC, whose course is open to the Atlantic, is the most complicated single-handed transatlantic race, because at the end of April - beginning of May, there may be a series of low-pressure systems over the North Atlantic generating headwinds," explains Francis Le Goff, Race Director of The Transat CIC. "The competitors may have to do a lot of upwind sailing in fairly difficult and uncomfortable conditions for several days", he continues. In fact, unlike other transatlantic races that run from east to west, such as the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, the second part of the course is not downwind. "The sailors won't be going downwind in search of the Tradewinds. The Transat CIC doesn't head for the sun. There could be fog, rain and wind. The most direct route (great circle route) is via the North, heading up towards Newfoundland, but that's not necessarily the fastest. It depends on the weather conditions".

A sprint across the Atlantic

Open to IMOCA Open 60s, Class40s and Vintage yachts, the race is likely to be a sprint across the North Atlantic for the frontrunners. According to the Race Director, "the first IMOCA boats could take around eight to ten days to complete the course, the Class40s five more". The finish in New York, which hosted the first and last editions of the race, will revive the origins of The Transat CIC and offer a magnificent spectacle. Before docking at the pontoons of the One15 Marina in Brooklyn, the boats will pass close to the Statue of Liberty, facing the New York skyline. It should be noted that the finish line will close on 20 May 2024 at 11:02 UTC in New York for the IMOCA and Class40 boats.

Cetacean protection zones to limit the risk of collision with marine megafauna

Introduced for the first time on the ULTIM round the world race last January at the start and finish in Brest, cetacean protection zones (ZPC) will be set up on The Transat CIC. This is a first for a transatlantic race. The aim of these protection zones is to limit the risk of collision between the boats taking part in the race and the marine megafauna. These ZPCs, which also contribute to the safety of the sailors and their boats, have been defined by the French scientific consortium Share the Ocean, in consultation with the Race Direction and OC Sport Pen Duick, based on scientific criteria, statistical modelling and reported collisions.