Le Havre is getting ready for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre
Four days left until the start of the 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre: in Le Havre (Normandy, France) everything is ready to best welcome the 190 sailors who will embark along the Coffee Route.
The largest city in Normandy, Le Havre is also known as a ville d’eau et de lumière (“a city of water and light”): its historic centre has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.
Since 1993, the city of Le Havre has been home to the Transat Jacques Vabre, linking its history to that of the regatta and to all intents and purposes becoming, for about ten days every two years, the world capital of offshore sailing.
From the first edition – when the boats at the start were just 14 – to date, the number of participating boats has continuously increased, until reaching the record of the current edition, with 95 boats for 4 sailing classes. However, these changes have not only affected the regatta: in the last thirty years, the city has also undergone a profound transformation, which has particularly affected the port area. The docks – which have been renovated in full respect of their original structure and their characteristic port appearance – have now become a famous tourist area, even home to a university campus.
In the week preceding the start of the Coffee Route, the docks become a real attraction for visitors. Hundreds of enthusiasts and curious people gather to wish good luck to the sailors participating in the regatta, regardless of the weather conditions, which are usually cold and rainy. The forecasts for the 2023 edition are no exception, indicating an almost wintry situation, with the wind starting to blow strongly even on the land, starting tomorrow, Thursday 24, with flashes of rain between Thursday and Saturday, until the day of the departure, Sunday, October 29, when heavy rains and abundant winds are forecast.