Pinnacle shorthanded race for 2023

Published on December 3rd, 2022

In October 2023, the Transat Jacques Vabre will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in Le Havre (France) before the famous two-handed tranatlantic race heads to Martinique, where the finish of the race known as the Route du Café will be hosted for the second time in a row.

Nearly 100 boats across the three open classes – IMOCA, Ocean Fifty and Class40 – have already indicated their participation in the biennial event. This 16th edition of the race has three courses of different lengths for the varying speeds of the three boat types.

Although the first Transat Jacques Vabre was raced solo and crowned the Le Havre skipper Paul Vatine as victor, it became double handed from 1995, and that format has continued.

In IMOCA, the new Raison and Koch-Finot-Conq designs – due for 2023 launches – will challenge the best 60-footers of the 2021-2022 generation. Forty IMOCAs are due at the start, almost double the entry for the 2021 edition. Ten Ocean Fifty trimarans are expected to compete, a record field for the 50 footers which also corresponds to the number of entries set by this class which wishes to control its growth. The Class40 will have nearly 50 participants for a Route du Café which should be sold out.

Sail GP

Because of the differences in speed potential of the three classes, Race Direction is working on developing three different courses, an innovation which was first used in 2021 to guarantee grouped arrivals in Martinique.

The Class40s race only in the North Atlantic and will have some 4,500 miles to cover, which makes the Route du Café their longest transatlantic race. As for the Ocean Fifty and IMOCA, they will race a course into the South Atlantic with two passages through the Doldrums and a total of nearly 6,000 miles of racing.



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