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oh, canada

oh, canada

Just a few short hours north of Boston and you feel like you’re entering a little slice of France; Quebec City to be exact.  The quirky town is the home to the quadrennial Quebec-St. Malo race, one of very few West-East Transats.  This year marks the 8th edition of the event, and of the 25 entries in the race, the Class 40 makes up 20. This turnout is just another example of just how impressive the Class 40 is, and if what Race Organizers are promising from their Race Tracker – free ipad/ipod app, real-time tracking and a 3D viewer following the 40s across the 2965 nm course, following this race should fill a little of the gap left in so many by the end of the Volvo.

For the uninitiated, this race is crewed; most will sail with 3 or 4 crew.  The course starts well into the St. Lawrence River and requires teams to race 330 nm before even entering the Atlantic. As they navigate the river, teams are required to round 6 marks that will force the crews close into shore, allowing a spectacle for the dozens of villages that line the St. Lawrence.  With 20 teams there are plenty of story lines to follow, but the key numbers, players and teams to watch are below. Follow the race using the links above, and Facebook updates are here.  Here’s the form guide:
The Class 40 record was set in 2008 by Halvard Mabire (who will race on Campagne de France this year) in 13 days 13 hours 50 min.

Entries By Country

  • 13 French
  • 4 German
  • 2 Canadians
  • 1 American

Of the 20 entries, 9 competed in the Atlantic Cup, of which 5 finished in the top 10.

Top Teams to Watch:
#115 Mare – skippered by Jörg Riechers and joined by American Ryan Breymaier, designer Sam Manuard and sailmaker Rémi Aubrun. Jörg has yet to lose a race since Mare was launched in early 2012; winning the Solidaire du Chocolat in March and the Atlantic Cup in May. Ryan Breymaier, who joined Jörg in the first leg of the Atlantic Cup traded in the super speedy Mod 70 Oman Sail to take on his 4th Trans-Atlantic crossing in 6 weeks.

#118 Bodacious Dream – the only American entry in the Quebec St. Malo. 2nd place finisher in this year’s Atlantic Cup racing on their brand new Farr-designed Kiwi 40FC Midwesterners Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl have already demonstrated their quiet understated manner is not to be taken for granted. For the race they’ve added Mark Zaranski and Emma Creighton, who skippered Initiatives to a 5th place finish in the Atlantic Cup and was the only female to complete the 2011 Mini Transat.

#101 Campagne de France – Taking just one additional crewmember, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron are by far the team with the most ocean racing miles between them. The Quebec-St Malo wraps up a long year of an around the world campaign for Campagne de France. Initially starting the Global Ocean Race last November, the team pulled out in Wellington and opted to race in the Atlantic Cup where they placed 4th overall. Following the Atlantic Cup the team took time to complete boat maintenance in Portland followed by 3 weeks of prep work in Quebec, which has literally left no stone unturned (Miranda bleached the entire cockpit Friday to ensure no germs would be travelling with them).

Other Notables/Points of Interest

  • #109 IX Blue – Bureau Veritas, skippered by Stephane Le Dirasion
  • #105 Eole Generation GDF Suez skippered by Sebastien Rogues
  • American Jeffrey MacFarlane a graduate of the Oakcliff Sailing Program is racing on EDF
  • Energies Nouvelles.