Just over a fortnight after the lockdown ended, the sailors and their teams are now busy catching up on lost time. Many IMOCAs have been relaunched after their winter refits, which took longer than planned. There have been more and more measurement checks and trips to check out the changes made during the winter. Other sailors have to wait a while before heading back out to sea. We look at what has been happening at the end of the refit season.
The horizon is starting to look clearer for those aiming to compete in the 2020 Vendée Globe. On 4th July, they are due to start the Vendée-Arctic-les Sables d’Olonne, a 3600-mile solo ocean race around a big triangle reaching up to the limits of the Arctic Circle. This race with its brand new course organised by the IMOCA class in conjunction with the Sea to See company, and supported by Vendée and the town of Les Sables d’Olonne, is a real prologue for the Vendée Globe.
On Sunday 27th October, thirty IMOCAs will line up for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre – a record. That means sixty sailors (including seven women and sixteen non-French sailors) will be doing battle over the 4350 miles separating Le Havre from Salvador da Bahia. However, it is not just the number of sailors that is interesting. The line-up brings together people from various backgrounds and with various ambitions.
On Saturday 3rd August, 25 double-handed crews will set sail from Cowes (Isle of Wight) aboard IMOCAs for the start of the 48th Rolex Fastnet Race, an ocean racing classic which sees hundreds of boats competing every other year. There has never been such a huge number of IMOCAs sailing this 608-mile course to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock.
The IMOCA class held its annual general meeting on Tuesday 11th December in Paris. This gathering enabled the class to present its appraisal of what was a very positive 2018 season coming to a climax with an outstanding edition of the Route du Rhum, destination Guadeloupe.
The Monaco Globe Series will start on Sunday (3rd June). This event is the first in the new IMOCA GLOBE SERIES world championship, which is the result of a shared desire and a lot of work done over the past few months, spearheaded by the IMOCA Class and the organisers, OC Sport and the Saem Vendée.