Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Class40

The Race Around, Class40’s official round-the-world offshore yacht race, has named La Rochelle in Western France as the host city for its inaugural event in 2023.

A location steeped in offshore sailing history, La Rochelle will become the home of The Race Around for the event’s start in September next year, and the return location for the 35 solo and double Class40 competitors in the early months of 2024.

In the build-up to the race, the city will also open a world class race village for skippers, teams, sponsors, management and fans alike – creating a unique 10-day celebration in the heart of one of offshore sailing’s most historic locations.

The city’s collaboration with The Race Around reinforces the La Rochelle Agglomeration and Charente Maritime Department’s commitment to further strengthening the city’s sailing presence, growing the maritime industry and hosting international sporting events with a strong focus on genuine sustainability.

Sam Holliday, Co-founder of The Race AroundSam Holliday, Co-founder of The Race Around

Sam Holliday, Co-founder of The Race Around, said: “We couldn’t be more excited that The Race Around will be starting and finishing in La Rochelle. In the city, wider department and region we have found a community that we will be proud to call home for our first edition and beyond.

“The city is one with sailing at its heart, from the days of Isabelle Autissier to that of Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven, we’re excited to add to its rich history and our world class competitors cannot wait to start and finish the race of their lives from this forward thinking, sustainability driven and innovate part of the world.

The Race Around course for 2023The Race Around course for 2023

“With the building of a world class, free to enter ‘Race Village’ around the Bassin des Chalutiers we’re excited to welcome the Rochalaise people to experience first-hand the world of Class40 alongside entertainment for all ages. The city offers us everything we could dream of to build a long term event alongside our new private and institutional partners!”

Jean-François Fountaine, Mayor of La Rochelle and President of the La Rochelle Agglomeration, said: "We are very pleased to be hosting the first edition of The Race Around in 2023 in La Rochelle. Our bay and its exceptional stretch of water are wonderfully suited to this type of major yacht race. All year round, we live to the rhythm of sporting events, which positions our beautiful maritime city "La Rochelle Force Océan" as a major venue for international sailing competitions.

"As our Agglomeration is strongly committed to the environment, The Race Around will be an eco-responsible event with the objective of achieving a zero carbon footprint. This race is a great opportunity to promote and animate our region and to support our entire nautical industry."

Sylvie Marcilly, President of the Charente-Maritime Department, said: "I am delighted that the beautiful city of La Rochelle has been chosen to host a brand new international nautical event in 2023 in Charente-Maritime.

"Events such as these reinforce the attractiveness and dynamism of our region, they also offer a formidable showcase for our nautical industry and thus contribute to its economic development and the many jobs that depend on it. The values of sport and adventure that an ocean race leaves in its wake are also a source of pride and inspiration for all the people of Charente-Maritime. For all these reasons, and because it is innovative and eco-responsible, I am delighted to welcome "The Race Around" to the Charente-Maritime next year!"


La Rochelle is a port of call and a starting point for ocean races and hosts more than 120 nautical events per year, covering a wide range of disciplines and events. The arrival of The Race Around in La Rochelle is fully in line with the local authorities' desire to once again turn towards the sea and ocean racing: a new Pôle nautique Rochelais is under construction and will enable everyone from amateurs to seasoned professionals to practice the sport they love.

 La Rochelle hosts more than 120 nautical events per yearLa Rochelle hosts more than 120 nautical events per year

Since 2020, the Communauté d'Agglomération de La Rochelle, in partnership with the Atlantic Cluster (professionals in the nautical sector in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region), the city of La Rochelle, the Charente-Maritime department, the Charente-Maritime Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Syndicat Mixte du Port de Chef-de-Baie, have been considering the establishment of an offshore racing base, and more specifically a permanent pontoon, which would double the current capacity of the site. This will make it possible to satisfy the increasing demand of offshore racers for pontoons whilst allowing them access to the sea at any time.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

 The hard work of Wicklow Sailing Club's 2022 Round Ireland Race committee is bearing fruit with the early entry for this summer's race of the new Class40 yacht Influence by Italian skipper Andrea Fornaro.

The VPLP design is the first such Class40 into the race since the 700-miler Irish ocean classic was added to the Class40 International calendar, just one of 25 world-class offshore fixtures on the list.

It's a feather in the cap for organiser Kyran O'Grady who has added the former Irish Volvo 70 Green Dragon last week for the Wicklow startline on June 18. 

It may well be that O'Grady's pioneering efforts at the Paris Boat Show in December 2018 and again earlier last month are finding favour on the continent.

Class40 Italian skipper Andrea Fornado will race round IrelandClass40 Italian skipper Andrea Fornaro will race round Ireland

It brings the entry to 12 so far in a race where O'Grady expects over 60 boats given the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to COVID.

The accomplished Fornaro will have competed in April's RORC's Caribbean 600, and May's Normandy Channel Race before coming to Irish waters.

Fornaro is not the first Class40 to have completed the Irish course. As regular Afloat readers will recall, top Figaro sailor Nicolas Troussel in the Mach 40 Corum made a blistering start to the 2018 race

Class 40 is a monohull sailboat primarily used for short-handed offshore and coastal racing.

In other Round Ireland race entry news, French skipper Laurent Charmy has signed up the J111, SL Energies Groupe Fast Wave.

Published in Round Ireland

The Round Ireland Race is one of 25 world-class offshore fixtures to make it onto the 2022 International Class40 calendar.

Class 40 is a type of monohull sailboat primarily used for short-handed offshore and coastal racing. 

It may well be that SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race Organiser Kyran O'Grady's pioneering efforts at the Paris Boat Show in December 2018 and again earlier this month may yet bear fruit with a bumper international Round Ireland fleet.

The Wicklow race is also on the RORC calendar and as O'Grady is predicting, there is pent up demand for the 700-miler after the 2020 cancellation.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Class 40 are no strangers to Irish waters or Round Ireland itself over the years with top Figaro sailor Nicolas Troussel competing off Wicklow four years ago.

Ireland's varied sailing waters are proving a popular testing ground for the international Class 40 fleet and a burgeoning Irish Mini class too. Evidence of this was in the 2018 Round Ireland Race fleet where the top French double-handed sailing duo were in action. International stars Troussel and Mini Transat Winner Ian Lipinski teamed up to race the brand new Mach 40 'Corum'. They were not the only Class 40 on the Irish race track that year either as three other international entries also lined up.

The 2022 calendar is here

Class 40 Champion Antoine Carpentier crowned

Antoine CarpentierAntoine Carpentier

Meanwhile, Antoine Carpentier (46), a native of South Brittany, has been crowned 2021 Class40 Champion, rounding off what has been a remarkable season. Having scored a number of victories and podium results over the years on the Class40 circuit, Antoine has now taken the overall title for the first time as skipper of his own project on his Mach40.4 Redman, taking over the mantle from 2019 Champions, the Franco-Italian team of Catherine Pourre / Pietro Luciani (the title was not awarded in 2020 due to the lack of races).

The Swiss team of Valentin Gautier - Simon Koster (Banque du Leman) finished second in the overall standings, ahead of third-placed Franco-British sailor Luke Berry (Lamotte Module Creation).

Published in Round Ireland

Irish waters are the centre of attention for French offshore sailing fans today as the 12th CIC Normandy Channel Race races around the Fastnet Rock.

The five leaders in the 12th CIC Normandy Channel Race rounded Fastnet at dawn this morning. It’s the Franco-Spanish pairing aboard Redman (161) who were the first to reach the legendary lighthouse off the south-west tip of Ireland at 03 hours and 37 minutes UTC and switch back onto a course bound for the Scilly Isles and then on to Guernsey. Skippers Antoine Carpentier and Pablo Santurde del Arco are still leading the way now, but there is everything to play for at the head of the fleet given the tight bunching of the front runners. Polled at the Fastnet course mark, there was just one hour separating boat number 161 and fourth placed Lamotte Module Création (153). And the tension is set to rise aboard the Class40s…

Purple arrows represent French Class40 yachts in Irish waters this morning. The boats are competing in the Normandy Channel RacePurple arrows represent French Class40 yachts in Irish waters this morning. The boats are competing in the Normandy Channel Race

As forecast, the competitors were racing all night long in a E/NE’ly wind fluctuating between 10-12 knots with gusts of 20 knots. It resulted in the Class40s having to zigzag their way downwind along the coast of southern Ireland in a gybing battle to find the best strategic position, alternately closing on and distancing themselves from the Emerald Isle in a bid to hunt down some breeze, whilst trying to avoid punching into the current and cover their rivals. It’s a scenario that didn’t leave a great deal of respite for the sailors and is ongoing for the second and third pelotons of the fleet who are on the chase between the two Irish lighthouses of Tuskar and Fastnet.

Over the course of the day, the heart of a stormy low-pressure system rolling in from the south will cross paths with the competitors as they make towards the Channel Islands. The upshot of this little encounter will likely be somewhat reminiscent of the doldrums with no wind other than that produced by the storm clouds. The leaders will be the first to negotiate this particular weather phenomenon. Another tricky tactical section ahead then for the crews in this 2021 edition of the CIC Normandy Channel Race. Something to reshuffle the cards once more perhaps…?

Published in Offshore

#RB&I - A record 10 Class40s have entered the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and more are expected to take up the tough 1,800 nautical mile non-stop race this August.

Starting and finishing from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the course takes the fleet as far north as Muckle Flugga in the Shetland Islands on the 61st parallel — shared by Alaska and the Bering Sea.

The 2018 race is an official event for the 2018 Class40 circuit and since the class first competed in the race in 2006, only five have finished the gruelling challenge.

In 2006, Britain’s Phil Sharp became the first Class40 skipper to finish the race and he went on to win the Route du Rhum later that year.

Fast forward to June 2018 and Sharp with co-skipper Julien Pulve was victorious in the 1,000nm Normandy Channel Race, winning by just six seconds after six days of racing.

For the 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starting on Sunday 12 August, Sharp will skipper Class40 Imerys and is one of the favourites to win the class.

“The diversity of racing around Britain and Ireland is a real challenge. You can get everything possible thrown at you. Just finishing gives tremendous satisfaction and makes you all the stronger for it,” Sharp said.

“We didn’t do very well in 2006, but it was my first proper race in the Class40 and it was invaluable for the win in the Route du Rhum.

“It is a coastal race but you rarely see land and the course takes you further north than just about any offshore race. The weather can get very extreme and very cold. Racing in howling winds, fully in winter gear, makes it very easy to forget it is August.

“Pushing the boat to the limits can be stressful, but it is an amazing experience, surfing down waves getting doused in blue water. A Class40 transforms itself into a dinghy, especially the modern ones which are highly optimised racing machines.”

The majority of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race fleet will be racing under the IRC Rating system with additional classes for Class40, MOCRA and IMOCA. This year’s race is also expected to have a record entry for two-handed challengers, among them Liam Coyne’s Lulu Belle.

All boats will carry trackers and full coverage of the race is available on the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race website.

Published in Rd Britain & Ireland
Tagged under

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating