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Transat CIC Is Coming to America With Race Finish Set for Heart of New York City

23rd April 2024
Transat CIC route

The Transat CIC is set to bring solo ocean racing’s biggest, most modern IMOCA and Class40 fleet to the very heart of New York City.

The city of New York is inextricably linked to the long history of solo ocean racing. Some years before anyone had really worked up the idea of racing solo around the globe, in 1957 English yachtsman Colonel Herbert ‘Blondie’ Hasler proposed a solo race across the Atlantic from Plymouth to New York.

And so on 10 June 1960, the Observer Singlehanded TransAtlantic race set off with five intrepid solo skippers starting off Plymouth, not all on the day.

Racing the biggest boat in the fleet, the 40-footer Gypsy Moth III sailed English yachtsman Francis Chichester won, crossing the finish line in the approaches to New York after 40 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes.

Remarkably all five of the starters finished, with French pioneer Jean Lacombe on his 21.5-footer Cap Horn reaching New York fifth after 74 days having started three days late and taking the most southerly route close to the Azores.

When he won the second edition of the OSTAR, contested in 1964, 32-year-old French naval lieutenant Eric Tabarly ignited France’s enduring national love affair with ocean racing and solo adventures at sea.

On the 44ft ketch Pen Duick II, which he had built for the race, and following a carefully calculated route which was the result of his comprehensive pre-race weather studies, Tabarly finished into Newport three days before England’s second-placed Chichester. Tabarly had never used his radio during the race and for 19 days of his passage had no self-steering.

This historic transatlantic race has variously finished in New York, Newport in Rhode Island and Boston over the years. New York offers so much, not least passing the Statue of Liberty and arriving in the city that never sleeps, docking against the Manahattan skyline. The Hudson River is a very busy stretch of water to bring a race finish, but bringing ocean racing right to the very heart of one of the world’s richest and most dynamic cities has a huge appeal.

So it is both appropriate and exciting that the Transat CIC 2024 solo race — which sets off from Lorient in France this Sunday 28 April — will finish into New York, just as the very first pioneering race did in 1960.

After they finish the Transat CIC race, the race boats will be berthed at the ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina in the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park, between Piers 4 and 5, very close to Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights.

Among the prominent American skippers who plan to be in town and believe the Transat will be great for ocean racing in their home country and beyond, is the winning skipper of The Ocean Race, Charlie Enright who says: “It will be amazing to see so many IMOCAs, and friends, in NYC this spring. This really showcases the strength of the class and the bright future that lies ahead. The American audience should do all they can to check out this impressive scene while it’s here in our home waters.”

Published in Class40, Solo Sailing
Afloat.ie Team

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About the Class 40

The Class40 is a kind of monohull sailboat primarily used for short-handed offshore and coastal racing. It is dedicated to offshore racing and has been around since 2004, serving as an intermediate oceanic boat between the Mini 650 (6.50m) and the 60-foot IMOCA (18.24m). The boat is strictly regulated, with a maximum length of 12.19 m. These boats are designed to sail in all weather conditions, and their performance has recently improved significantly. It is not uncommon to reach speeds of up to 26 knots (according to GPS), and planing up to 15 knots is normal.

 

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