British boats the late arrivals

Race village opens for the Transat Jacques Vabre

Friday October 16th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Despite the drizzle and the grey skies, the famous Bassine Paul Vatine in Le Havre has taken on a festive mood now that the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet has gathered there.

Only four boats are missing, expected to arrive over the weekend or at least by Tuesday night. This afternoon the race village opened its doors to the an excited public. Tihs weekend and next week, the Le Havre docks will be abuzz with daily activities, chances to meet the skippers, see boats christened, concerts and bands, and all with a Brazilian party spirit, in anticipation of the Itajai finish to the race.

At midday today four boats were missing from the full expected complement of 42 boats. From the IMOCA fleet these are Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson/Guillermo Altadill) who delayed their delivery to Le Havre because of a daggerboard problem. They intend to be in Le Havre by Tuesday. O Canada (Eric Holden/Morgen Watson) is a couple of days behind schedule thanks to ex-Hurricane Joachim. Northeast headwinds mean they have been slowed and are upwind to Le Havre. They are due into Le Havre on Tuesday. Two British Class 40s, Concise 2 (Philippa Hutton-Squire/Pip Hare) and Team Concise (Jack Bouttell/Gildas Mahé) should both get to the Le Havre tonight.

A 20,000 m2 Race Village

From 1600 today, the public was able to enjoy a walk around the fleet moored at the Bassine Paul Vatine , participate in events and acquaint themselves with the Transat Jacques Vabre race village. The 14 Class40, four Multi50s, 20 IMOCA 60 and four Ultimes, will be the centre stage this week.

From 0900 to 1730 Saturday, the 84 crew take to J/80s for the prologue of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015 within the nearby Eure basin. At 10:30, a street will be christened, named after later Transat Jacques Vabre competitor and race director Jean Maurel in the race village.

At 1800 there is the skippers parade. Then there is the rhythm of Batucada (Brazilian music), accompanied by dancers and children from the sailing clubs children of the Seine-Maritime region. All the way up to next Sunday’s start of the race to Itajaí, Le Havre rocks to a Brazilian beat.

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