The idea of the Transat B to B was born, some four years ago, so as to provide future competitors in the next Vendée Globe (2012), with a qualifier race taking them back to Europe after the Transat Jacques Vabre. The first edition led the fleet from Salvador de Bahia in Brazil to Port la Forêt in Brittany and saw victory go to Loïck Peyron, tailed by Kito de Pavant and Michel Desjoyeaux. The second edition is offering up an equally choice line-up.
The Transat B to B will lead the Imocas from Saint Barts to Lorient
Eight solo entries
The race acts as a qualifier for the Vendée Globe 2012
Start on 5 December!
12 to 16 days at sea in wintry conditions is what awaits the solo sailors in the Transat B to B, who view it as an excellent dress rehearsal prior to the next Vendée Globe. Following on from a Transat Jacques Vabre which put both the boats and the men under a great deal of pressure, the sailors have really needed to catch their breath for a few days before launching back into the year's sailing programme and delivering the boats from Puerto Limon to the race start in Saint Barts. In Gustavia, the boats will be nicely berthed, the island boasting a long tradition of playing host to some major oceanic races, such as the Transat AG2R or St Barts Bucket.
The cream of the Imoca fleet in attendance
Eight competitors will be at the start of this second edition of the Transat B to B. First up is Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), the brilliant winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Barcelona World Race, who will be keen to demonstrate that's he's not just an expert in double-handed sailing. He'll certainly have his work cut out though with such solid competition as Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), Vincent Riou (PRB) and Marc Guillemot (Safran). The British contingent will also be well represented with Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), brimming with renewed confidence after his excellent second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre, and Mike Golding (Gamesa), who is fine-tuning the modifications made to his monohull. For François Gabart (Macif) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée), this will be a baptism of fire in the solo sailing domain, but the two young sailors are out to prove that experience isn't everything.