The countdown to the Transat Québec-Saint Malo has begun

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The countdown to the Transat Québec-Saint Malo has begun

21 June 2024

With the press conference for the launch of the tenth edition of the Transat Québec-St-Malo (TQSM), held on June 18, 2024 at the Oasis du Port de Québec, the countdown for the second regatta of the third season of the project Sailing into the Future. Together officially started.

The press conference – held in the presence of Canadian authorities, the representatives of the First Nations (the indigenous people of today’s Canada, to emphasise the organisation’s commitment to the valorisation of cultural diversity), the organising bodies and the entire work team who has been busy managing the event for months –was also attended by all the 29 crews who will leave Canada for France at the end of the month.

The largest category in the race will be the Class40, which this year celebrates an important anniversary: ​​indeed, 2024 marks the 20th year since the foundation of the Class, which all the crews are eager to honour. The “big names” of the Class40 will meet on the starting line, including Alberto Bona on board the Class40 IBSA, Ambrogio Beccaria on Alla Grande Pirelli and Ian Lipinski on Crédit Mutuel, side by side with the up-and-coming players who distinguished themselves in the first tests of the 2024 season, among whom Alberto Riva aboard Acrobatica (who has just won the Atlantic Cup) and the young Amelie Grassi on La Boulangère Bio.

The regatta – whose first edition dates back to 1984 and which in 2024 celebrates its 40th anniversary – is the oldest non-stop transoceanic race, as well as being notoriously one of the world’s most iconic and followed sailing events. The edition that will start on June 30 will be an actual celebration of 40 years of sport in the name of the passion for sailing and the sea, also in memory of the sailors who, over the years, participated in this adventure, making it memorable.

The last edition of this Transat was in 2016: we are therefore all anxiously waiting”,announced Richard Samson, General Director of the event. “It will be a legendary regatta. The people of Saint Malo are thrilled to welcome us: it will be a warm and joyful event”.

Ocean sailing, however, is much more than just fun: “It’s an extreme sport, where you can put your life in danger”, continued Samson.“It’s a bit crazy, like climbing Everest, and that’s precisely what attracts people. There are risks, but also and above all the will to win.

It will certainly be a challenging race, but for me it’s very fascinating. It’s as if there were two regattas in one: a river leg which, between currents and tides, represents an unknown factor that we are starting to explore in order to arrive prepared to the start”,claimed Alberto Bona. “Then we’ll have to deal with the sea leg, from West to East, at a high latitude and with the dangers that a transoceanic crossing of this nature brings with it. It will be nice to be back with the crew and to push the boat to its limits and to sail at full power: we can’t wait!”.

The Transat Québec-Saint-Malo requires great skill, careful preparation and considerable physical and mental endurance to face the varied and spectacular scenarios that sailors will encounteralong the 2,897 nautical miles from the banks of the St. Lawrence River to the cliffs of Brittany.

Before reaching the Atlantic, however, the boats will have to sail for approximately 400 nautical miles down the river, under extremely variable conditions. Upon exiting the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the crews must pay particular attention not to enter the no sail zone established by the State of Canada to preserve the numerous cetaceans living in the area at this time of year, in particular the North Atlantic right whale.After leaving the Gulf of St. Lawrence and crossing the Caboto Strait, the crews will tackle the North Atlantic for approximately 2,800 miles, during which difficult weather conditions are expected.As they approach the European coasts, the crafts will enter the English Channel, another area characterised by heavy maritime traffic and changing weather conditions, which will require navigators to be particularly vigilant in order to avoid collisions and arrive unscathed – and possibly triumphant – at the finish line off Saint-Malo.

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