On April 28th, 33 IMOCA skippers, 13 Class40 skippers, including some of the brightest and most talented, and 2 in the Vintage category, will set sail from Lorient. Their destination: New York City, navigating through a particularly demanding course in the North Atlantic.

This Friday, OC Sport Pen Duick, the organizer of the race, the participating sailors, and the event partners gathered for the press conference to launch The Transat CIC. In their sights, a unique transatlantic race, a blend of sport, demand, and resilience, to continue the legacy of a legendary race.

Sailors are superstitious, but they are also deeply connected to the history of their sport and to all those who have contributed to its story. So, the 48 participants in The Transat CIC are well aware of the long lineage of this race, which traces back to the 'English transat' born in 1960. It has earned its prestige through exceptional sailors; Éric Tabarly made his mark there (1964, 1976), Francis Chichester (1960) and Alain Colas (1972) achieved greatness, Loïck Peyron has claimed victories (1992, 1996, 2000, 2008)...


A very demanding route

Following in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors, they embark on this first major highlight of the season. All will gather in Lorient, the departure port, to share the pleasure of the "days of old" with the general public throughout the village's duration, from Tuesday, April 23rd to Sunday, April 28th. Then, it's time for the starting gun towards New York. Before enjoying the joys of the arrival, they will need to demonstrate a considerable capacity for resilience. Weather phenomena can indeed be particularly severe in the North Atlantic coming out of winter. Skippers will have to progress through storms, face the wind, often sailing close-hauled. These conditions are expected to be demanding for both the boats and the sailors, who will return to the joys of solo sailing, one year after a season dedicated to double-handed racing.

Talent at all levels

At the starting line, talent will not be lacking. Among the 33 IMOCA skippers are indeed those who distinguished themselves during the races of the past season. We will find Charlie Dalin (MACIF Santé Prévoyance), winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race, Yoann Richomme (IMOCA Paprec Arkéa) who triumphed in the Retour à la Base. The IMOCA lineup also includes five women and several foreign skippers, such as rookies of this race Oliver Heer (Oliver Heer Ocean Racing) and James Harayada (Gentoo Sailing Team).

The battle also promises to be particularly interesting in Class40. We can indeed count on Alberto Bona (IBSA), last year's champion, Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande - Pirelli), the winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre and the CIC Normandy Channel Race, as well as Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) who emerged victorious in the Défi Atlantique. Amélie Grassi (La Boulangère Bio), Fabien Delahaye (LEGALLAIS), Nicolas d'Estais (CAFÉ JOYEUX), Aurélien Ducroz (CROSSCALL), and Axel Trehin (Project Rescue Ocean) can also contend for victory. It will also mark the grand return of Vincent Riou, sailing solo, aboard Groupe Pierreval - Fondation GoodPlanet. He will be among the most experienced skippers alongside Jean Le Cam (64 years old, Tout Commence en Finistère – Armor-Lux, IMOCA). Thus, it is a particularly eclectic fleet as very young skippers also embark on the adventure, like Violette Dorange (22 years old, DEVENIR, IMOCA) and Thimoté Polet (23 years old, ZEISS, Class40), who will set sail for this offshore racing monument on April 28.

The Transat CIC in figures

April 23: village opening
April 28: start of the race
3500 miles, 6,482 km to cover
33 registered IMOCA skippers
13 registered Class40 skippers
2 skippers registered in the Vintage category


Daniel Baal, President of CIC:

"CIC, title partner of 'The Transat CIC' since 2019, is proud to accompany the return of the oldest and most challenging solo race. 'The Transat CIC' is a unique transatlantic race. Because of the difficulty of its course. Also, for its ability to innovate in the field of offshore racing, ultimately revealing great talents and creating beautiful human and sporting stories. Driven by OC Sport Pen Duick with the support of CIC, 'The Transat CIC' also stays ahead by shining a spotlight on sailing transport. It is a return to basics since 'The Transat CIC' is also a bridge between two countries, France and the United States, between two ports, Lorient and New York, reviving these major maritime trade routes in the rhythm of modern transatlantic racing. We are proud to see 'The Transat CIC' innovate in this field. CIC supports those who make a difference in the world, and 'The Transat CIC' is a perfect illustration of that."


Fabrice Loher, President of Lorient Agglomeration, Mayor of Lorient:

"By hosting The Transat CIC, Lorient La Base reconnects with hosting major emblematic transatlantic races. The conversion of the former submarine base led by Lorient Agglomeration has allowed the emergence of an entire ecosystem around international offshore racing. Today, this sector represents nearly 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, and annual economic benefits are estimated at €35 million. Lorient La Base hosts 122 teams and the greatest skippers. The site is also ideal for organizing major nautical events: Volvo Ocean Race, Défi Azimut – Lorient Agglomération, 24h Ultim, Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, Tour de France à la Voile, Atlantique-Le Télégramme-Groupama, Retour à la Base... It has been chosen to host the start of the Transat CIC, won 60 years ago by local hero Eric Tabarly."


Loïg Chesnais-Girard, President of the Brittany Region:

"As a monument of solo ocean racing, The Transat CIC has been marked by the exploits of exceptional sailors - notably Bretons - who, over the editions, have contributed to shaping its legend. Beyond its sporting, popular, and festive character, this event, hosted in the heart of the Brittany Sailing Valley®, is an opportunity to highlight the economic ecosystem of competitive sailing in Brittany. More than 220 actors make up this sector driven by performance and innovation. This sector, which innovates for many industries, constitutes a formidable laboratory to explore future mobility, more respectful of the environment. With the support of the Brittany Region, stakeholders in competitive sailing are committed and play a major role as accelerators in ecological transition by mobilizing their innovative capacities, particularly in the development of sail-powered ship propulsion technologies. With this spirit of commitment and conquest, I extend my warmest and most sincere encouragement to all the sailors who will set sail from Lorient on April 28."


Joseph Bizard, General Manager of OC Sport Pen Duick:

"With its historical attachment, The Transat CIC promises a beautiful sporting event, a popular celebration at the start in Lorient, and a prestigious finish in New York. A unique, incomparable race that allows everyone, skippers, partners, and the public, to experience an adventure on both sides of the Atlantic. I warmly salute all our committed skippers, thank CIC for lending its name to this mythical event, resolutely focused on the future, and the city of Lorient and the Brittany Region for opening wide the doors of their territory to make this race a popular event. Together, we are preparing to experience a great sporting moment."