Update: Barcelona has put forward the proposal to be the start venue for the Europa Race on the weekend of 17-20 May 2012, changing the fact that the event had been cancelled. The majority of those teams previously signed up for the event, have confirmed their interest in racing between the host cities on the scheduled dates.
For the competitors in the IMOCA class, the opportunity to do battle with each other prior to the Vendée Globe is the priority.
One of the stranger causes for the cancellation of a major race seemed all gone just a couple of weeks ago when France’s Constitutional Court overruled a new law making it a crime to publicly deny the existence of the Armenian Genocide. It turns out the race is dead, regardless.
The Turkish government, a major sponsor of the 3-leg Europa Race from Istanbul to La Rochelle, announced back in February that it had pulled support for the race in protest of the French law. Just last week, after the French court killed the genocide bill, IMOCA said everything was sorted, with seven top Open 60s entered for the May start.
Now we hear from team bosses that this final showdown before the Vendee Globe has again been cancelled. We don’t know whether it’s political fallout, a Class issue, or yet another sign of the deepening economic trouble in the French offshore world, but we’ll tell you when we find out.