Phil Sharp and the team from PS Racing are busy preparing for the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre ( TJV ) – a yacht race that tracks the historic coffee trading link between France and Brazil. It follows the route taken by the great clipper ships and starts from Le Havre – traditionally the biggest coffee importing port in France.
It takes place every two years and each yacht has a crew of two. It finishes in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, after sailing a distance of 4,335 miles as the seagull might fly (if it had the energy). Salvador is the capital of the Bahia region, north of Rio de Janeiro. It is a city with an active port and easy access to the Bay of All Saints, the largest on the South American coast and the second largest in the world.
The yachts will be welcomed at the foot of the Pelourinho, an historic quarter registered as a UNESCO world heritage site, in the port of Salvador.
The event is open to both multihulls and monohulls. The four classes of offshore sailing boats (Class40, Multi 50, IMOCA60 and Ultime) will compete over a course full of excitement.
Sylvie Viant, Race Director of the Transat Jacques Vabre says: “This transoceanic course from North to South is more demanding than an East to West transat, it requires the skippers to have sharp strategic and tactical qualities, good meteorological training, excellent physical conditioning to maintain top speed in the trade winds…and also a lot of patience to cross the Equator…. It’s hot, but not too hot thanks to the trade winds, which is the dream for the sailors, who’ll finally be able to unwind after all the days of stress spent at sea.”
It will inevitably be tough and there will be plenty of drama and fierce competition between the yachtsmen and women.
Only those of you who have experienced the unbelievable adrenalin and abject terror of being aboard a big yacht being pushed to its limit will appreciate just what they are going to be facing out there.
Festivities will kick off with the opening of the race village at Bassin Paul Vatine on 28th October while the race start is on Sunday 5th November. Phil will be joined aboard his Class 40 ‘Imerys’ by the very experienced Pablo Santurde. We will be following the action as it unfolds across the Atlantic Ocean…
Check out Phil’s latest preparations at his base in La Rochelle here