Settling-in day: three days before the start of the 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the city of Le Havre is preparing to welcome, with reinforced security measures, over 100 thousand people. What has already arrived is the wind: gusts exceeding 25 knots in the Channel, in front of the Port, and a probable increase in the next few days, with peaks up to 40 knots.
The village is built around the Bassin Paul Vatine, one of the basins of the intricate network of Le Havre canals, not far from the Seine estuary. The 95 boats waiting to start the regatta are moored here, while their teams are engaged in the careful testing and preparation steps, as well as in the daily briefings held by the race director.
Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde del Arco are ready to go: moored since October 18, they are carefully going through the Class40 IBSA with a fine-toothed comb, with a comprehensive equipment review – yesterday, under the magnifying glass, the electrical system and the battery array. Not far away, right in front of the boat, the IBSA stand has already opened to the public, welcoming the guests and the many sailing enthusiasts who wish to meet the skippers.
On land, the French and Caribbean parties and big welcome – which are part of the tradition of these regattas – are also being arranged: between the launch of new boats, on-board open-air discos, tastings of rum and cheese, the Oceanic Transat climate is already hot.