On Friday, 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of THE BRIDGE was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. THE BRIDGE, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York. Supported by the Centennial Mission 14-18, THE BRIDGE pays tribute to the arrival on the French coasts of the first US troops to defend Liberty alongside the Allies and to put an end to the First World War. THE BRIDGE places this historical event, which has nourished a hundred years of Franco-American friendship, at the centre of its festivities.
The Centennial Transat, an unprecedented and historic race
“1917, the Americans came ashore… 2017, THE BRIDGE brings us on board”.
Based on this idea, THE BRIDGE has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans following the route of the first landing of 1917. This will be an unprecedented maritime contest between the famous steel giant specially chartered for the occasion and the fabulous racing multihulls skippered by top offshore racers and their crews, THE BRIDGE will be the theatre of the Centennial Transat, a thrilling race between the bridge of Saint-Nazaire and the Verrazano Bridge in New York. Don’t miss it!
Departure on June 25th, 2017 under the bridge of Saint-Nazaire
“It is highly symbolic,” said François Gabart, one of the first four contenders of the Queen Mary 2, about his favourite challenge: a Northern Atlantic crossing from East to West. Departing on June 25th, 2017 and heading to New York where the prestigious liner, which will be cruising at 25 knots over the 3,150 miles (5,800 km) of the direct route, is expected to arrive in the early hours of the morning of July 1st, to be saluted according to tradition, by the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
Basketball and jazz on centre stage
Conceived and envisioned as a bridge of friendship, THE BRIDGE also gives pride of place to jazz and to basketball. These two symbols of American culture will be at the heart of the three weeks of festivities on the programme celebrating a hundred years of friendship between France and the United States. Tony Parker, who epitomises the exchanges and bonds that have been strengthened over the past century by two countries separated by an ocean but united by loyal ties, sponsors this France-USA event.
“France and the United States together: this project speaks to me. It is also a little nod to history to say thank you for everything that happened before. It makes sense for me to join THE BRIDGE; it stirs something in me. It is a big project and is growing bigger, and I am looking forward to seeing the event”, says Tony Parker.
Nantes to host the 4th 3×3 Basketball World Cup
In Nantes, the hub of basketball, THE BRIDGE has organised three weeks of symbolic events. In partnership with the FFBB (French Basketball Federation) and Nantes Métropole, the event will host the 4th 3X3 Basketball World Cup from 17th to 21st June 2017. A great first in France on the iconic site of the Park des Chantiers of the island of Nantes for this discipline, born on the streets and taking off all around the world. 20 women’s teams and 20 men’s teams from thirty countries will share the infectious spirit of 3X3 basketball, which pits two teams of three players against each other. It is a fine way to echo the spirit of freedom and fraternity intrinsic to basketball, a century after the first demonstrations of the art of dribbling on European soil.
The grand return of the Queen Mary 2 to Saint-Nazaire…
After Nantes, THE BRIDGE will continue in Saint-Nazaire with the return of the Queen Mary 2 to its port of construction. This will be an important event in itself for the City of Liners, whose history, culture, and economy are intimately linked to the sea and its industries. This exceptional charter, the fruit of efforts by THE BRIDGE Association to bring together a large family of public and private partners, was also made possible thanks to the mobilisation of the companies in the region. Driven by a strong entrepreneurial vision, the event expects 2,640 passengers, individuals and financial decision-makers to embark on the famous liner to follow the Centennial Transat live from front row seats. A historic adventure!
… Under multinational escort
The Queen Mary 2 is expected on Saturday June 24th in Saint-Nazaire, escorted by the Centennial Armada, an exceptional fleet bringing together ships from twelve countries out of the fifty involved in the First World War. On the following day, Sunday 25th June, the 345-metre-long steamer and the maxi-trimarans will set sail to the estuary of the Loire and the starting area of the Centennial Transat.
IDEC SPORT, a new contestant for the Queen Mary 2
Four talented and experienced offshore racing skippers have already responded to the call of THE BRIDGE and will be there with five crew on the start line. François Gabart (MACIF), Yves Le Blévec (ACTUAL) and Thomas Coville (Sodebo) of the group Ultim are amongst the first candidates for this unusual historic race. Most recently joining them is Francis Joyon (IDEC SPORT) and his crew, the latest entry for this maritime challenge, currently competing on the Jules Verne Trophy alongside the most serious contenders of the Queen Mary 2. Together with a further crew of five, these great offshore sailors will have to race at the top of they abilities across the 3,150 mile course (5,800 km approximately) against a cruise ship who will cross the ocean at full steam regardless of the weather conditions.
They said during the press conference:
Francis Joyon (IDEC SPORT): “The IDEC SPORT trimaran, because of the absolute use of wind and ocean to move, represents the ideal link and symbolises the friendship between France and the United States . With the IDEC SPORT team, we are proud to participate in this premiere of THE BRIDGE. ”
Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim’): “Being a pioneer is the DNA of the Ultim’ collective which brings together the owners of the biggest multihulls. Today, with THE BRIDGE, we have a meeting with history, with this new race, with this new concept and with the Queen Mary 2 … “
Yves Le Blévec (ACTUAL):“A start in Saint-Nazaire, a finish in New York, it is a mythical journey that takes us back to the era of passenger ships and steamships. The race format, which brings together for the first time all Ultim’, suits perfectly. “
François Gabart (MACIF):“It really resonates. One hundred years after the landing of the Americans in Europe, THE BRIDGE gives us the chance to do the return trip, to go to the United States to create the link to sailing and beyond. What is interesting about it is that there is a slightly different way of approaching the race, potentially bringing the media and the public closer to our boats and enabling us to run the race from the inside and give those privileged cruise passengers an amazing opportunity to experience it first hand.”
The main dates of THE BRIDGE:
Thursday 15th June: Arrival of the multihulls
Friday 17th – Wednesday 21st June: 4th FIBA 3X3 World Cup
Tuesday 21st June: Music Festival
Thursday 22nd June: Descent from the Loire between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire
Thursday 22nd June: Arrival of the maxi-trimarans in the Port of Saint-Nazaire – Opening of the event village
Friday 23rd June: Arrival of the military ships coming from the Atlantic coast
Saturday 24th June: Event village – Arrival of the Queen Mary 2 and entry in the Louis Joubert Lock (port of Saint-Nazaire)
Concert, sound and light show for the general public
Sunday 25th June: Start of THE BRIDGE 2017
1st July: Arrival of QM2
Between 2nd and 4th July: Estimated arrivals of the first boats
The Queen Mary 2 will also host independent travellers.
During the Nautic, THE BRIDGE organisers open up the sale of cabins on board the Queen Mary 2 giving those interest the option to follow the event all the way to New York.
Meet at THE BRIDGE area – HALL 1/J8.
The 100 Club: a unique entrepreneurial dynamic
Nearly 80 companies have signed up to the adventure. They have reserved the first cabins on board the Queen Mary 2 which has allowed for the charter of the prestigious steamship for the event. The business impetus has been set up to engage and perpetuate an and workshops will analyse and look at how business is set to evolve.
“Visionary entrepreneurs of the Club of 100 are not sponsors. They are also the actors of THE BRIDGE and embark as skippers on the Queen Mary 2, “explains Damien Grimont, creator and organiser of THE BRIDGE.
TV FOOTAGE OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE
00:00-1:35 Images of the press conference
01:36 – 02:56 Interview with François Gabart, skipper MACIF Ultim’ (French)
02:57 – 03:52 Interview with Yves Le Blévec, skipper ACTUAL (French)
03:53 – 5:10 Interview with Damien Grimont, THE BRIDGE organiser
#TheBridge2017 #IDECSport #FrancisJoyon #Sodebo #MACIF #ACTUAL #FrancoisGabart #ThomasCoville #trimaran #multihull #YvesLeBlevec #NYC #QueenMary2 #VerrazanoBridge #Verrazano #NewYork
In just under 100 days time, a growing fleet of first-class ocean racers and fearless adventurers will set sail on the world’s oldest solo transatlantic race from Plymouth to New York – The Transat.
This year’s race has attracted a star-studded line up of offshore greats, from the likes of Vendée Globe competitors Sébastien Josse and Armel Le Cléac’h in the IMOCA60, to Transat Jacques Vabre winner Erwan Le Roux and Route du Rhum winner Thomas Coville on the flying multihulls and seasoned offshore competitors Miranda Merron and Thibaut Vauchel in the Class40.
The Transat is a nostalgic race steeped in history, full of adventure and touched upon by tragedy. Established in 1960 by Sir Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler, Hasler’s legendary vision for the race is still as relevant today as it was then – The Transat is about “one man, one boat, one ocean.”
But while the principle behind the race remains the same, a new generation of ocean racing machines sees a classic reborn in 2016. Giant Ultimes, flying Multi50s, powerful IMOCA60s and hardy Class40s, helmed by some of the world’s finest solo sailors, could make for one of the fastest crossings yet.
“We are absolutely delighted by the turn out and the calibre of the skippers who are taking on the challenge of one of the greatest solo races in the sport,” said Hervé Favre, Offshore Events Director for OC Sport. “With the right conditions we could see records tumbling in all four classes.”
Paying homage to The Transat’s origins, the 14th edition will set sail from Plymouth – the first city to play host to the race. From Plymouth breakwater, the fleet will race 3,000 miles to Brooklyn in New York, where The Transat first finished 56 years ago.
Between the two cities, competitors will be alone faced with the towering waves of the Atlantic, blinding fog, ferocious winds and the danger of ice drifting down from the Arctic. The fleet will spend anywhere between eight and 18 days at sea, dependent on the boat. Racing upwind for the majority of the race, The Transat will be a hard slog for the skippers. Frequent rest, good nutrition and staying hydrated will be key to staving off fatigue and staying in the game.
The Atlantic is a dangerous playground and intelligent sailing will be the key to success in New York City, as Race Director Gilles Chiorri explained: “The Transat is the mother of all transatlantic races, it launched the trend for solo sailing. The Transat is the most challenging transatlantic to win. The race will be characterised by the low pressures and stormy conditions associated with heavy swell, sometimes within the vicinity of icebergs. The winner in each class (Ultime, IMOCA60, Multi 50, Class40) will step on the path of the previous winners, including Chichester, Tabarly, Colas, Poupon, Desjoyeaux, Joyon, and Loick Peyron, among others.”
With less than 100 days to the start of this epic, The Transat boasts an international fleet of almost 30 boats including three Ultimes, five Multi 50s, seven IMOCA 60s, 11 Class40s, two female skippers, two Brits, 21 French entries, one German and The Transat’s first Japanese entry.
You can read more into the colourful history of The Transat here and see the announced competitor line up below.
Entries for the 2016 Transat are open until 31st January. To enter, please click here.
The Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, the pinnacle of Pacific Northwest ocean racing, covers a distance on the rhumbline of 2,308 nautical miles. The Vic-Maui race was first contested in 1965 and has been sailed every two years since 1968. The start venue is Victoria, BC, on Canada’s West Coast, where pre-start preparations are completed in the picturesque Inner Harbour. The fleet starts just outside the harbour, sails out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, leaves Cape Flattery on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to port, and heads across the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Boats aim to sail around the North Pacific High and into the Trade Winds for the sub-tropical run to Hawaii. Days and nights at sea pass with sightings of whales, dolphins and albatross, under spectacular sunrises, sunsets, and brilliant starry nights. The finish venue is Lahaina, Maui, the former royal capital of the Hawaiian Islands. As each boat crosses the finish line, the boat and crew are warmly welcomed in the Hawaiian tradition, after which the crew, family and friends enjoy a stay on Maui and attend a festive awards banquet. Key dates for the 2014 Vic-Maui:.
|Anduril (Sail #: 39521)|
|Class||Skipper||Yacht Club||Type||Hailing Port|
|Racing, Fully Crewed||Greg Harms||Royal Vancouver Yacht Club||Farr 395||Vancouver, BC, Canada|
|Turnagain (Sail #: 74454)|
|Class||Skipper||Yacht Club||Type||Hailing Port|
|Racing, Fully Crewed||Travis McGregor||Royal Vancouver Yacht Club||Beneteau Oceanis 50||Vancouver, BC, Canada|
|Kinetic (Sail #: 74373)|
|Class||Skipper||Yacht Club||Type||Hailing Port|
|Racing, Fully Crewed||David Sutcliffe||Royal Vancouver Yacht Club||Beneteau First 47.7||Vancouver, BC, Canada|
|Passepartout (Sail #: 47724 )|
|Class||Skipper||Yacht Club||Type||Hailing Port|
|Racing, Fully Crewed||Peter Shainin||Anacortes Yacht Club||Stevens Custom 47||Anacortes, WA, USA|
|Bedlam II (Sail #: 2507)|
|Class||Skipper||Yacht Club||Type||Hailing Port|
|Racing, Fully Crewed||Alan Slater||Vancouver Rowing Club||C&C 41 Redline||Vancouver, BC, Canada|
|Losloper (Sail #: 74459)|
|Class||Skipper||Yacht Club||Type||Hailing Port|
|Cruising||Magnus Murphy||Shearwater 39||Ladysmith, BC, Canada|
|Turicum (Sail #: 74257)|
|Racing, Fully Crewed||Warren “Hale” Hale||Vancouver Rowing Club||C&C 44||Vancouver, BC, Canada|
And they’re off! The foggy conditions that have caused delay to the Race 10 re-start lifted enough by first light this morning, allowing teams to officially start this highly anticipated 5,600 mile race of mammoth proportion, to San Francisco, USA.
Jamaica Get All Right skipper Pete Stirling explained the race start, which took place at 08:50 local time (0050 UTC): “After nearly two days of slowly making our way south east out of the Yellow Sea, the fog lifted this morning and lead skipper, Eric Holden of Henri Lloyd, organised a Le Mans start.
“There was a ten minute countdown and at one minute all the crews had to be behind the forward coffee grinder and the engine had to be off. On the gun all the crews rushed forward to get up their headsails. The wind conditions were quite light and from behind so the sail plan of choice was full mainsail, staysail and Yankee 1. Le Mans start rules dictate all boats must keep the same course and sail plan for the first ten minutes, after which they can do what they want.”
After a clean start, the fleet is currently passing beneath South Korea, just under 300 miles from the waypoint beneath Sata Misaki lighthouse on the southern tip of mainland Japan. Qingdao and Derry~Londonderry~Doire, currently lead the pack at time of press but as it is all very tightly packed, the leaderboard is likely to update regularly.
As the fleet turns north along the Japanese coastline, the Kuroshio Current or ‘Black Current’ (a strong north flowing current that appears a deeper blue than the sea through which it flows) will bring stronger, northerly winds, expected to both propel and challenge the teams as they approach the North Pacific Ocean.
Race 10 includes an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate, allowing teams the chance to pick up bonus points along the course. All teams will also be entitled to two periods of Stealth Mode – once activated, that particular yachts position will be hidden from the Race Viewer for 24 hours for attempted tactical gain.
PSP Logistics departed Qingdao this morning and are now motoring to the same re-start line. Their overall race performance will be based on elapsed time and not first over the line. Skipper Chris Hollis explained his teams thoughts: “It’s very similar to when we left Albany (Race 5), when we started 36 hours behind the fleet, yet closed in to finish fourth fastest.
“The psychology makes it a little harder to race because you don’t have a boat next to you, but we will set our own gates to achieve time targets and race weather windows. We’re all looking forward to this trip. This is the big one, and we’re ready for it,” added Chris.
To read all the skipper reports click here or choose individually below.
To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here
2013 marks the first edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s new clubhouse in the sailing paradise of the British Virgin Islands. The event is organized by Rolex, Nautor’s Swan and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, who have established close ties through organizing the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia since the early 1980s.
A full fleet of Swan yachts, an alluring playground and four days of intense racing: all hallmarks of the upcoming Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. Commencing today, Monday 11 March, the event will be held over the next 5 days at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s recently launched base on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
Swan yachts ranging from 12.98 metres (42 foot) to 30.20m (100 ft) and representing countries including Belgium, Italy, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States make up the entry list. Competing Swans will be divided into two groups: Class A (Maxi), measuring upwards of 18.29m/60-ft; and, Class B, reserved for yachts measuring less than 18.29m.
Registration took place today, followed by the opening reception on the spectacular terrace of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Competition on the water starts tomorrow, Tuesday 12 March, and the round Virgin Gorda race is scheduled for Wednesday 13 March. Ideal sailing conditions are forecast.
A range of Swans will grace the event: from historic Sparkman & Stephens models including Hokusai (FIN), Lianda (BEL) and Swan Lake (USA) through to more modern designs from German Frers including the Swan 90 Freya (USA) which is also taking part and was the 2,000th yacht to be built by Nautor in Finland.
Other Class A entries include Varsovie, the largest competing yacht, the Swan 80 Selene and Stark Raving Mad a Swan 601, whose crew has enjoyed a successful last twelve months. In Class B, the week’s smallest entrant – the Club Swan 42 Arethusa (USA) – is using the waters of the Caribbean to continue preparations for September’s New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.
Crews will need to marry sharp tactics and cohesive teamwork to prevail in a fleet renowned for sportsmanship and graceful sailing. The week’s standout performers will be rewarded at the final prizegiving, on Friday 15 March, where the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean Trophy will be presented.
The eagerly anticipated event marks a continuation of the long-standing relationship between Nautor’s Swan, Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, which commenced in 1984 with the first edition of the now biennial Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.
VELUX 5 OCEANS’ The Ultimate Solo Challenge
The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the oldest single-handed round the world yacht race. Run every 4 years since 1982, the race is the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation. In the course of the 30,000 mile race, the skippers cross five oceans alone.
Only nine months remain until the start of the VELUX 5 OCEANS and the various pieces of the jigsaw continue to come together. All the ingredients are being put in place for the eighth edition of the classic singlehanded round the world race, which should create one of the most successful events in the prestigious twenty eight year history of The Ultimate Solo Challenge. To date, Clipper Ventures, in close partnership with title sponsor VELUX, have announced a number of positive and innovative key elements of the race:
•5 ocean sprints within a 30,000 marathon around the planet, departing La Rochelle (France) on October 17th 2010 and bringing solo offshore racing directly to audiences in Cape Town (South Africa), Wellington (New Zealand), Salvador (Brazil) and Charleston (USA), before returning to La Rochelle in May 2011
•The start dates for each ocean sprint will be announced in the coming weeks, with world class services provided to skippers in each port
•The race prizegiving in La Rochelle will take place on June 6th 2011
•Nine confirmed international entries from seven different countries in the promising Eco 60 Class, with four already announced from Canada, USA, Belgium and Poland, and with more entries to come soon
•The Eco 60 Class is an exciting new class in the Open 60 range for boats built before 2003 to open the race to adventurers without big budgets and embracing sustainability
•Strong interest in the Open 60 Class, which remains open to all skippers with Open 60s built after January 2003
•€500,000 prizemoney for skippers, to be split across the fleets and 5 ocean sprints, including awards for media work, seamanship and sustainability actions
•€21,000 investment per team in accommodation for the stopovers around the world
•€15,000 minimum per team to be invested in onboard communications and logistics, with details to be announced in the coming months
•€2.6 million to be invested in media activities for skippers, including audio-visual production and distribution, photography, cutting edge digital activation and press relations in key territories around the world, with a target to deliver in excess of €80 million of media value for teams and partners
•The launch of TAKING ON THE ELEMENTS, the race sustainability agenda which will see stakeholders (organisers, partners, ports and skippers) making a commitment to promote sustainable living through the race platform (communication, race village, Eco 60 Class)
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures and the VELUX 5 OCEANS, concluded, “Our vision for the VELUX 5 OCEANS is to offer the most challenging single handed ocean racing format. The VELUX 5 OCEANS in 2010 aims to support new talent, encourage global participation and bring ocean racing to large audiences around the world, embracing and promoting the shared value of sustainability. We are offering outstanding support to skippers and teams, as well as sponsors, covering five continents and spanning nine months, with significant investments across team budgets and communications.”
“The VELUX 5 OCEANS has a unique heritage and a special place in the solo ocean racing calendar. Only 90 people have so far completed the challenge and it has always attracted an internationally diverse group of skippers, many of whom have become star names in sailing, including Philippe Jeantot, Bernard Stamm, Giovanni Soldini and Kojiro Shiraishi. The promising Eco 60 Class has brought a new dimension to the race and the interest in the Open 60 Class for the latest generation of racing yachts remains strong. Clipper Ventures and VELUX look forward to welcoming everyone to La Rochelle in October to celebrate the spirit of singlehanded offshore racing”