The Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe has started: IBSA’s Class40 set sail, with Alberto Bona at the helm10 November 2022
The moment has arrived. After long months of physical and mental preparation, tuning of the boat and studying the best navigation strategies – as well as a three-day postponement due to the weather, something that never happened in the history of the most famous transoceanic regatta – the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe has started at 2:15 pm on Wednesday 9 November. Alberto Bona and the Class40 IBSA left Saint-Malo, Brittany, to take the project Sailing into the Future. Together to the other end of the Atlantic Ocean, on the island of Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean.
“After 11 months of preparation, IBSA’s challenge has begun”, stated Arturo Licenziati, President and CEO of the IBSA Group. “Alberto Bona brings to the Ocean our values, our determination and vision, and our commitment to sustainability. So far, it’s been an intense and engaging journey for our company, which supports Alberto in this enthralling adventure where innovation, technology and human ability are crucial ingredients, the same ones that we apply every day in our work”.
For the departure, for several days the fine town of Saint-Malo has become the international capital of ocean sailing: over 3 million people visited the village, admired the boats along the quays and met the skippers, the protagonists of this exciting adventure. From the large Ultim trimarans to the small hulls of enthusiasts, the Route du Rhum remains one of the most popular French ocean regattas, in which the Class40 is confirmed as the most awaited category of boats, in which as many as 55 skippers are expected to participate. For the first time, three Italian navigators will compete in the Class40: Alberto Bona, Ambrogio Beccaria and Andrea Fornaro.
And precisely the Class40s – the boats that most of all show the evolution of this class in recent years – are at the centre of everyone’s attention. In fact, there are boats of old conception – with a “pointed” bow and with hulls with an open cockpit where, in the middle of the ocean, the sailor must manoeuver in an exposed environment – and state-of-the-art boats, such as the Class40 IBSA, which have already compelled attention: there is great expectation to see how these new bows will react to the ocean, the performance they will be able to provide and the speeds they will reach.
“I’m ready”, Alberto Bona announced before setting sail. “Weather conditions are optimal, today as well as in the coming days. I’m happy and excited, and I want to thank IBSA and all my team for the great work they’ve done these 11 months”.
Meanwhile, the moment to make strategic decisions is approaching: in the Bay of Biscay, in fact, Alberto Bona will have to choose his own approach route to the island of Guadeloupe, which will be decisive for the regatta. It will be a decision made according to the weather conditions the sailor expects to find in the Atlantic. A choice that everyone, enthusiasts and not, will be able to see on the website www.ibsasailing.com, whose homepage will contain a tracker to monitor the location of all the boats participating in the Route du Rhum and watch the evolution of the competition in real time.
The start of the regatta is a first, important step in the three-year programme Sailing into the Future. Together. The project – of international scope – involve IBSA’s offices in Switzerland, France and Italy and provides for the collaboration with Alberto Bona until 2024.
All that remains is to cheer for Alberto and the Class40 IBSA, stay glued to the monitors and see what happens!