The Transat CIC


© 2016 Lloyd Images / Amory Ross
© Jean-Marie LIOT / Reporters du Large
© ©GauthierLebec/Charal
Start date


Distance3 500 milles (6 482 km)
Race trackBrest - Charleston (US)
Race directorGuillaume Rottée
OrganizerOC Sport
IMOCA reference timeArmel Le Cléac'h, Banque Populaire VIII, 2016, 12j 2h 28m 39s


The oldest of the singlehanded races, The Transat (formerly OSTAR) was created in 1960 from a bet between a handful of British sailors to find out if they were capable of crossing the Atlantic singlehanded. Despite 50 registration requests, only five sailors took the start from Plymouth, including one Sir Francis Chichester, who triumphed after 40 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes at sea. The legend was born.

The greatest names in offshore racing would associate themselves with its long history: Dame Ellen MacArthur, Éric Tabarly, Alain Colas, Philippe Poupon and Loïck Peyron, the only sailor to have won it three times. Armel Le Cléac'h took victory in 2016, with the Breton sailor setting a new reference time of 12 days, 2 hours, 28 minutes and 39 seconds, aboard his VPLP-Verdier design Banque Populaire VIII, before going on to win the Vendée Globe a few months later.

On the programme for the IMOCA Globe Series 2018-21, the legendary 3,500-mile transatlantic sprint counts towards selection for the Vendée Globe 2020-21. It is crossing the English Channel for the start of the next edition, which is scheduled to set out from the port of Brest in May 2020, taking the sailors to Charleston in South Carolina for the first time.