Photo: Vincent Curuchet

The Transat secures a sponsor

French-insired bakery goods company steps up

Tuesday March 22nd 2016, Author: Emma Harris, Location: United Kingdom

The Transat, solo offshore racing's oldest event, which sets sail from Plymouth bound for New York on 2 May, has a new title sponsor in bakerly, a new brand of French-inspired bakery goods.

The race is now rechristened 'The Transat bakerly'.

Founded in 2015, bakerly is a new consumer brand, but it shares with The Transat – which enjoys a 56-year history steeped in adventure and sailing folklore – a common path: both The Transat and bakerly are crossing the Atlantic.

‘bakerly’ is a US subsidiary of the French industrial food group Norac. With bakerly, American consumers can now experience crêpes, brioches, and croissants made without additives or preservatives.

For the Norac group, the sponsorship of the race is something of a homecoming. Crêpes Whaou! is one of the top brands owned by the group and sailing fans will remember the many victories of French skipper Franck-Yves Escoffier and his trimaran backed by the pancake manufacturer. Escoffier took part in the Transat in 2004.

The Transat has a warm-up prologue event from St Malo to the race start at Plymouth before heading for New York which follows the strategic path of bakerly – created in France, established in Britain and today setting foot in America. During each of The Transat bakerly’s stops, the public will have the chance to discover, or rediscover, the different products the Norac group has to offer.

“The Transat bakerly is a key race in the world of offshore racing and sport in general”, explained Bruno Caron, CEO of Norac. “Since 1960, the race has contributed a great deal to sailing and its history has a universal appeal. We are very proud to associate our brand with an event of this magnitude.

“For us this sponsorship marks a return to racing and a sport that has much potential, as we discovered with Crêpes Whaou! Now with The Transat bakerly, we marry passion and reason because this is how the best stories start.”

Hervé Favre, The Transat bakerly Events Director said: “Since the first edition, The Transat has been associated with fine partners. Today we are proud to join together with bakerly and look towards a promising future with Norac, a French food group out to conquer the US market. This partnership is great news, and it will help give greater scope to the event."

The 2016 Transat bakerly will see 25 solo skippers in four classes – Ultimes, IMOCA 60s, Multi50s and Class40s – take on one of the great challenges in professional sailing. They face a 3,000-mile course complete with storm force headwinds, rough seas and freezing fog.

When Sir Francis Chichester won the first edition of the race in 1960, it took him 40 days to reach New York. This year the fastest boats could be there in as little as seven days.

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