The protagonists of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023
Ninety-five boats, of which 44 Class40s, 40 Imocas, 6 Ocean Fiftys and 5 Ultims, for a total of 190 skippers: these are the numbers of the sixteenth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the transoceanic regatta which will start from Le Havre (France) on October 29.
Italy has never been so highly represented: in fact, six Italians will be on the starting line, one in the Imoca class and as many as five in the Class40. Apart from Alberto Bona on the Class40 IBSA, they will also be Ambrogio Beccaria, Andrea Fornaro, Alberto Riva, Pietro Luciani and Giancarlo Pedote, the latter aboard his Imoca60 Prysmian Group.
Bona, Beccaria and Fornaro will participate in the Transat Jacques Vabre with the same boats aboard which they tackled the last summer regattas and the entire 2023 season; Alberto Riva will race on a latest generation Class40, launched just a few months ago; Pietro Luciani, however, will be the co-skipper of French sailor William Mathelin-Moreaux, pending the launch of his own Class40, in 2024.
“The level of the sailors in the Class40”, commented Bona, “is very high: there are some big French names, as well as – naturally – the other three Italian boats; it’ll be quite a fight. There are about ten crews that can aim for victory, but the boats are quite diverse, they all have their own strengths and weaknesses; the trick will be to exploit our strong points”.
Most of the competing sailors, like Alberto, are already in Le Havre, with their boats moored along the docks of the famous French port. Others, however, arrived in Normandy by land and are waiting for the days just before the start to officially launch their boat. Among these, also Eric Bellion, a very experienced sailor who will take on the regatta with Stand As One, his new Imoca, built in 2023 with straight keels and without foils, a characteristic that swims against the tide, compared to the other latest generation Imocas.
On the starting line also several mixed crews, particularly in the Imoca class, where a number of talented male and female sailors will compete; for example:
This really promises to be an exciting and emotional regatta!