Organised by Les Sables d’Olonne Vendée Course au large, the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables regatta has been held every two years since 2007, alternating with the 1000 Milles des Sables. Reserved for the Class40s, the regatta provides for a crew of two.
The 9th edition will start on June 27, at 1:02 pm, from Port Olona, in the Vendée region of France, with a route of 2,540 nautical miles to cover through the Bay of Biscay and the Azores archipelago. The regatta is divided into two legs, both of 1,270 miles: the first from Les Sables d’Olonne to Horta, on the island of Faïal, in the Azores; the second from Horta to Les Sables d’Olonne. The arrival is expected about two weeks after departure. The route follows a part of the Atlantic Ocean already covered during the Défi Atlantique.
A ranking is drawn up for each of the two stages, and the award ceremony for the first stage takes place during the stop in Horta. At the same time, the sum of the travel times of the two stages makes up the final general placings, which also take into account any penalties or bonuses. The crew with the lowest cumulative time is declared the overall winner of the regatta, and is awarded at Les Sables d’Olonne during the official ceremony.
For the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables, the crew of the Class40 IBSA will be made up of Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde del Arco, the Spanish navigator with whom Alberto has already sailed the first three regattas of the 2023 season.