Below: Spectacle à Saint-Malo - 2016 Transat bakerly:
Below: PHIL SHARP Imerys (UK) on the 2016 Transat bakerly:
Phil Sharp: It's very hard, from the beginning to end - Published May 2, 2016
The Transat bakerly 2016 sets sail on one of the greatest race courses of them all: "The 25 boats in The Transat bakerly 2016 fleet set sail today on one of the great races in solo sailing, the 3,050-nautical mile passage across the north Atlantic from Plymouth to New York. Spectators both on shore and on the water turned out to watch as the mostly French fleet gathered under grey skies on Plymouth Sound, England, to answer the starter’s gun fired from the decks of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent at 14.30hrs.
"Ahead of the solo skippers and their boats lies one of the most daunting challenges in professional sport – the north Atlantic, complete with bitterly cold storm force headwinds, an ever-present adverse swell, freezing fog and even the danger of ice. The forecast for this year’s race – the first time this classic has been staged since 2008 – is for a reasonably quiet start but for 45-knot headwinds and big seas for the leading yachts by Wednesday, as they head into the Western Approaches.
"The fleet is divided into four classes, each of which will produce an official winner of The Transat bakerly:
- Fastest boats are the giant trimarans of the Ultime class, three of which are battling it out for line honours, with the first expected to reach the finish at New York in around eight days.
- Next the five-strong fleet of smaller Multi50 trimarans which could fly across the “pond” in 12 days;
- Six IMOCA 60s - the state-of-the-art monohulls used in the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race that starts later this year;
- Slowest boats will be the smaller monohulls of the 10-strong Class40 fleet which should take around 15 days to complete the course but in which we should see some of the tightest racing.
The Transat bakerly 2016 Tracking
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