The Défi Atlantique (Atlantic Challenge) has started: Alberto Bona in the leading group
Four months after the departure from Saint-Malo for the 2022 Route du Rhum, Alberto Bona has turned the bow of the Class40 IBSA back towards Europe and is ready to go up the Atlantic in the Défi Atlantique, the second appointment of the busy 2023 regatta calendar. This race offers multiple challenges: the now well-established one with Alberto’s Italian “antagonist” Ambrogio Beccaria; the all-European one against the great French navigators; and the personal one, which means making the Class40 IBSA run as fast as possible, no matter what.
Known as the return transat – i.e. the return race to bring back to Europe many of the Class40s that participated in the Route du Rhum – the Défi Atlantique is not a simple transfer regatta. Indeed, the 13 Class40s will have to cover 3,500 miles of navigation in two stages.
The first – 2,200 miles long, which began on April 1 from Pointe-à Pitre, in Guadeloupe – started with medium-light winds, and immediately saw the Class40 IBSA in the leading group, consisting of Alberto Bona – this time on board with the Spaniard Pablo Santurde del Arco and the Italian Pietro Luciani – Ambrogio Beccaria and the French Ian Lipinski. Despite the 2,000 miles still to be covered to finish the first stage, the three crews are very focused and determined to closely mark each other from the very beginning.
“The first night went well”,– said Alberto, “a few squalls brought the wind up to 35 knots, but we’re sailing at an average of 25. The crew is on the same wavelength and work well together; in short, we’ve had a promising start. We are on the best route with respect to the anticyclone, an excellent compromise between miles to go and speed in relation to the direction of the wind”.
At this link you can follow the regatta in real time: https://defi-atlantique.geovoile.com/2023/tracker/