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Displaying items by tag: Transat Jacques Vabre Race

French sailor Charlie Dalin, who won the IMOCA class on the 2019 race with Yann Eliès and was first to cross the finish line of the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe, has announced that he will not be able to participate in the 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre which starts on Sunday from Le Havre.

Despite his absence, Dalin's teammate Pascal Bidégorry will join him to cross the starting line with the approval of the medical team, allowing him to continue his qualification process for the next Vendée Globe. However, their team, Macif Santé Prévoyance, will be forced to abandon the race once the starting line is crossed.

In an effort to respect Dalin's personal wishes and the other crews participating in the race, 'no declarations or quotes will be given' in the coming days, the race organisers say.

Dalin was considered one of the pre-race favourites for the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, but his absence is likely to change the dynamics of the competition.

Offshore sailing is a mechanical sport, and it is an intellectual sport. More than using physical abilities and power, you can use your head to get the boat to work for you.”

That piece of advice could, it seems to me, be applied to several aspects of sailing today.

“If you’re relying on brute force to get a boat to do what you want, then you’re not doing it right…”

That piece of advice would be worth remembering by some Skippers I’ve known!

It was given to me by Greystones offshore sailor, Pamela Lee, when I interviewed her for the October edition of my Podcast, Maritime Ireland, when I compared the strength of women with men in offshore sailing. We were discussing tactics for the Transat Jacques Vabre, which she’ll be sailing from October 29 with French co-skipper Tiphaine Ragueneau, as Afloat reports here.

Irish offshore sailor Pamela Lee has secured €40k in sponsorship from Ireland-France ferry operator DFDS/Brittany Ferries for her Class40 project as she prepares to set sail for the Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic sailing race in October.Irish offshore sailor Pamela Lee has secured €40k in sponsorship from Ireland-France ferry operator DFDS/Brittany Ferries for her Class40 project as she prepares to set sail for the Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic sailing race in October

“If you’re thinking about what you’re doing, if you understand what you’re doing, if you understand how to use a boat properly, you can manoeuvre the boat to work for you. If you’re using brute force against the boat, you’re not going to win,” the 34-year-old Wicklow sailor, now resident in France to pursue her international sailing career, told me. “It’s really about thinking cleverly.”

That’s advice I’m going to apply to myself!

Listen to the interview with Pamela here, when I raised the comparison of male and female sailing power. Pamela is very focused on getting more women into sailing.

Published in Pamela Lee

World-record-holding Irish off-shore sailor, Pamela Lee, was in Cork Harbour recently, ahead of her next Transatlantic adventure, the 30th annual ‘Transat Jacques Vabre’ race, taking place from October 29th.

Pamela was attending the annual France-Ireland Chamber event, hosted by Brittany Ferries on board its flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven, on a routine recent call to Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour. (See first winter service on the Roscoff route) which Afloat adds will see Armorique’s mid-week crossings end for this season, as the cruise-ferry takes over the flagship’s weekend sailings extended from next month.

As guest of honour, Pamela was welcomed by Brittany Ferries president Jean-Marc Roué and chief executive Christophe Mathieu, as well as members of respective chambers on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Brittany Ferries used the occasion to confirm its sponsorship of Pamela and her sailing partner, French native Tiphaine Ragueneau. The company joins another Ireland-France ferry operator, DFDS as Afloat previously reported along with French energy provider Engie as joint-sponsors of the Franco-Irish, all-female crew

The Transat Jacques Vabre race is a major event on the international sailing calendar and retraces the historic coffee route from Le Havre in France to Fort-de-France Bay in the Caribbean. More than 60 craft will take part this year.

Pamela and Tiphaine will be one of just three all-female competitive teams.

At the event, Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries stated, “As proud connectors of Ireland and France and strong supporters of the seafaring community globally we didn’t hesitate when approached to sponsor Pamela and Tiphaine on their forthcoming challenge. They are both incredibly determined and passionate about sailing, as well as increasing female participation in professional and amateur sport and offshore sailing. This dynamic duo represent the very best of partnership, endeavour and respect for seafarers and the seafaring community. That’s why we are so proud to sponsor them as they embark on this very impressive journey.”

In March this year, the Irish-French duo won the Cap pour Elles selection to take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre race, ahead of nine other pairs of young women. Cap pour Elles is an initiative designed as an opportunity to support up-and-coming female talent giving them the best chance to compete in this famous Transatlantic race.

A native of Greystones in county Wicklow, Pamela broke three world records as she sailed around Ireland in under four days in 2020.

For more information on Pamela Lee, please visit her website here.

Published in Pamela Lee

Primonial has taken line honours and the Ocean Fifty multihull title in the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre race. French pair Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the line in Martinique ahead of Koesio in second. Britain’s Sam Goodchild was third aboard Leyton.

Primonial took 15 days 13 hours 27 minutes and 14 seconds to cover the 5,800 theoretical miles from Le Havre to Martinique in the West Indies, averaging a speed of 15.4 knots. They actually covered 6,536.56 real miles at 17.50 knots.

Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben crossed the finish line in the dark of night, under a full moon and drenched by light rain to claim the Ocean Fifty title - the first of 150 boats still racing to cross the line near Martinique’s legendary Diamond rock.

Talking amidst the celebrations on board, Matthieu Souben told us, “We’re very emotional right now. We didn't expect it to be easy, we said before the start that there were no favourites. It’s a really great race but it has been hard because it has been long, longer than expected. It has required a lot of commitment, the chess game on the water started early. We gave it our all and are totally exhausted now.”

Koesio second

Two hours 27 minutes and 58 seconds later Koesio crossed the line in second place. Co-skippers Erwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire took 15 days 15 hours 55 minutes and 12 seconds to cover the race distance.

Erwan Le Roux and Xavier MacaireErwan Le Roux and Xavier Macaire

Le Roux said, “To have a good regatta, you need good competitors and I think with the whole class it has been very close. There were no big gaps and the racing was intense. This second place suits us perfectly.”

Leyton third

The only non-French sailor in the Ocean Fifty class took third place, 3 hours 48 minutes and 29 seconds behind the winner. Britain’s Sam Goodchild and co-skipper Aymeric Chappellier on their boat Leyton took 15 days 17 hours 15 minutes and 43 seconds to cover the course.

Sam Goodchild and co-skipper Aymeric ChappellierSam Goodchild and co-skipper Aymeric Chappellier

Straight after crossing the line Goodchild said “It was our first transatlantic race on this type of boat. These are extraordinary boats that can go very fast, so you have to be careful. We learned a lot about the boat and ourselves.”

Published in Offshore

About Pamela Lee, Irish Offshore Sailor

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most dedicated offshore sailors, and Pamela Lee of Greystones is one of them. She has made a name for herself in the sailing world, having worked as a mate on a charter Super-yacht for two and a half years. After coming ashore, she has been fully committed to her offshore sailing ambitions since 2019.

Lee has raced in various craft, including Figaro 3s, Class 40, Tp 52s, and multihulls, and has eight transatlantic crossings under her belt. In partnership with Kenny Rumball, Lee supported Rumball’s La Solitaire du Figaro sailing campaign to secure the Irish berth in the proposed Mixed Offshore Keelboat event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

One of Lee’s stated main aims is to promote female empowerment in sport, and she set out to establish a double-handed Round Ireland speed record with Englishwoman Cat Hunt in the winter of 2020. This campaign gained much publicity, and Lee expressed pride in bringing sailing and offshore sailing, in particular, into the conversation for 2020.

To further her offshore sailing career, Lee moved to France, where she has recently secured a place to skipper a yacht in the Transat Jacques Vabre Challenge in October 2023. Lee’s passion and dedication to offshore sailing are inspiring, and her achievements are a testament to her hard work and perseverance.