Transat Classique 2012


Now that the excitement over the Paris Boat Show has passed, it is time to make a first assessment and it is more than positive. Two weeks after the Transat Classique 2012's official launching, 27 yachts have already registered. Despite the Atlantic fleet being the biggest with 16 entries, the Mediterranean fleet still manages to increase each day and is now up to 11 units. And not the merest.


We have to point out the participation of prestigious competitors among the Southerners, new to this challenge. The famous Moonbeam IV, a gaff rigged cutter designed in 1914 by William Fife III and wonderfully restored in Burma, was one of the first to show the way. With its 35m overall length and 600m2 of sail (upwind), it can quite impress its rivals. But White Dolphin, a 20,20m ketch Marconi, designed and built in Italy by Beltrami also has a highly impressive record, having won 1st price AFYT 2011 in the Classiques Marconi category. Finally, Yen Li will be one of the smallest, yet one of the most outstanding participants in the adventure. Designed by an American architect, Arthur C. Robb and built in 1963 at the Cheoy Lee yard in Hong Kong, it measures 10,78 m and its owner is a frequent participant to ocean racing, having participated in Suffren's Bailly Trophee many times.

The Atlantists are not to be outdone thanks to their impressive fleet. Honor to whom honor is due, Stiren, great winner of the 1st edition of the Transat Classique in 2008 will defend its title. This yole designed by the famous Olin Stephens and built in 1962 at Pichavant yard, demonstrated its power, its speed and the tenacity of its crew on the Douarnenez-Agadir-St Barth race. It is not the only ship which likes to hit the race, since Mowgli, a 12m Sergent design, and Corto, designed by Dick Carter in 1970, are coming back to challenge the spot. One must not forget Amazon, another Sparkmans & Stephens design, great winner of the Atlantic Trophy from Douarnenez to Horta roundtrip, and the Swan from the famous Finnish yard Nautor, having participants of 36, 38 and 57 feet.

This long list is not final, since many shipowners are still considering participating in the race. To help them make their decision, a notice of race will be published in the early days of 2012.

Douarnenez - Cascais (Portugal) .... : 22th July 2012
Saint Tropez - Cascais .................... : 25th October 2012
Cascais - Barbados ......................... : 2nd December 2012

Officially launched on December 3rd, the Transat Classique has created great enthusiasm from yacht owners in the Mediterranean as well as in the Atlantic. Twenty seven entries have already registered, including outstanding classic yachts such as the great Moonbeam IV, the awesome White Dolphin and the impressive Amazon. A high quality selection for a great challenge.