The races

The Barcelona World Race, the Transat Jacques Vabre, and finally, the Vendée Globe. An extraordinary programme !

Transat Jacques Vabre 2011

Transat Jacques Vabre: Double-handed transatlantic regatta
Starts on 30 October 2011

Created in 1993, the biennial Transat Jacques Vabre is a double-handed transatlantic race with no stops and no assistance that is held in odd numbered years. Known as the “Coffee Route”, the race evokes the historic coffee trading route between France and South America. While the race always starts in Le Havre, the port of arrival has changed over the years. From 1993 to 1999, the destination was Cartagena, Colombia; then, from 2001 to 2007, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, was the designated finish line. For the most recent race in 2009, the port of arrival was Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
The race is open to two classes of yachts: IMOCA monohulls and Multi-50 multihulls. Dominique Wavre has already participated in the Transat Jacques Vabre on three occasions, in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
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Vendée Globe 2012

Vendée Globe: Round the world single-handed race,sailed non-stop and without assistance
Starts on 10 November 2012

Many consider the prestigious Vendée Globe to be the ultimate challenge in single-handed navigation. This round-the-world yacht race with no assistance is considered to be the most challenging of all. It requires solid physical and mental endurance. The race starts and ends in Les Sables d’Olonne in the Vendée departement of France. It more or less follows the same course as the Barcelona World Race, albeit with a different starting ending point.
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Previous races

Barcelona World Race 2010

Barcelona World Race: Double-handed, non-stop round the world race
Starts on 31 December 2010

The Barcelona World Race is the first and only double-handed round the world race. The 25,000 mile race begins and ends in Barcelona. The course sends the fleet South across the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, around the Antarctic leaving Cape Leeuwin to port, between the islands of New Zealand by way of the Cook Straits, around Cape Horn and finally back up the Atlantic Ocean.

The first edition in 2007/2008 boasted nine teams of which only five made the finish line, among them, the Dominique Wavre/Michèle Paret duo, which finished in third place.

Mirabaud had a remarkable race during the recent second edition – right up until the Swiss yacht was dismasted off Argentina 79 days into the competition. At the time the crew were fighting for a place on the podium, but a broken mast forced them to retire.

Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret started the Barcelona World Race on 31 December and raced 20,000 nautical miles (37,000 kilometres) without setting foot ashore. Powered solely by the wind, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean from North to South skirting the coast of Brazil, bypassed South Africa, sailed along the coast of Australia before threading through the islands of New Zealand by way of the Cook Straits and heading for Cape Horn.

While crossing the Indian Ocean, Michèle Paret was struck down with anaemia. To start with she reduced her work load, but as it took hold during the South Pacific crossing she was forced to take to her bed, leaving Domique Wavre to sail Mirabaud alone. Happily Michèle’s health improved shortly after rounding Cape Horn and the two sailors – lying sixth in the fleet at the time – were determined to fight for a place on the podium; a feasible goal given the optimisation of the yacht Mirabaud.

Mirabaud was lying 650 miles East of Argentina when the mast gave way. Dominique and Michèle managed the crisis with cool heads, making crucial decisions under pressure, notably to bring down and cut away the broken mast in order to avoid damaging the hull – all of this in rough seas.
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