40’s everywhere!

While much of the Class 40 world is focused on the upcoming Route du Rhum and it’s staggering fleet of 55 Class 40s, it’s easy to overlook the small but high-quality fleet in the Globe 40 race. As of this writing, the final boat is arriving into Auckland, New Zealand to close out Leg 3 of 8 in their doublehanded race around the world. A 7,000-mile Southern Ocean marathon from Mauritius to New Zealand that took longer than expected due to a lot of light air, this leg was decided by an incredibly close 34 minutes after more than 34 days at sea.

The Dutch duo of Frans Budel and Ysbrand Endt on Sec Hayai (44) edged out the Japanese/ Italian duo of Masa Suzuki and Luca Rosetti on Milai (101) by just 3.5 miles at the finish. For Sec Hayai, they managed to be the first boat to Cape Leeuwin, first to Bass Strait, and first to Cape Reinga, before being first into Auckland. Swapping the lead several times on the way to the finish, it’s a well-deserved and memorable victory for the two Dutch skippers to win this leg and move to the head of the fleet in their older, veteran Akilaria Class 40. Three different winners in three different legs and the oldest boat in the fleet is now in the overall points lead; now that’s some exciting racing!

Check out this beautiful video work by the Globe 40 media team, highlighting the finish of Brian Harris (USA) and Kyle Hubley (CAN) aboard the Lombard-designed Akilaria RC3 AMHAS (127). American Class 40 stalwart Joe Harris and co-skipper Roger Junet (ITA) captured fourth place on Gryphon Solo II (106), while Canadian Mélodie Schaffer and co-skipper Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez on Whiskey Jack (128) are sailing to the finish as this is being written. The fourth leg of the Globe 40 race, from Auckland to Tahiti is scheduled to start in just under a week on October 27. The fleet is due back in Europe for a grand finish in Lorient in mid-March.  – Ronnie Simpson.