Sailing into the Future

Transat Jacques Vabre: in extreme weather conditions, Alberto Bona's Class40 IBSA is eighth

On October 29, the 16th edition of the oceanic regatta Transat Jacques Vabre departed from Le Havre (France) headed to Martinique, in the Caribbean. Also on the starting line Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde del Arco, aboard the Class40 IBSA, for the last – and most important – regatta of the 2023 season.


As for the Route du Rhum 2022, whose start had been postponed by three days due to weather conditions, this year too there was no shortage of last minute unexpected events. Given the prospect of a storm of rare intensity, in fact, the Race Committee decided to modify the route by adding – for the Class 40 and the Ocean Fifty – a stop in Lorient (Brittany), after approximately 300 miles of navigation.

The IMOCA class, however, remained in Le Havre, since there are no ports large enough to moor all the crafts. The only class that has not undergone any change in the race course is that of the large Ultim trimarans, fast enough to overcome the storm in time.


The start of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023


Although very short, the Le Havre-Lorient stage proved to be definitely difficult, thus making even more exciting the new undertaking of Class40 IBSA’s skipper Alberto Bona who – together with Pablo Santurde del Arco – will take the project Sailing into the Future. Together to the other end of the Atlantic Ocean.


The first part of this race was characterised by heavy waves and gusts of wind above 35 knots. Alberto Bona chose the best compromise between speed, current management and protection of the craft, crossing the finish line of the Le Havre-Lorient “mini stage” in eighth position, at 1:39 am in the night between Monday and Tuesday, after 1 day, 11 hours, 58 minutes and 5 seconds of navigation.

In any case, the ranking is still provisional and, as the race continues, can be affected by the wind, the currents and, obviously, by strategic choices.

This first stage”, commented Giorgio Pisani, Vice President IBSA Group and Leader of the project Sailing into the Future. Together, “was a test of technique and courage. Alberto and Pablo are expert sailors; we were certain that they would manage to find the right compromise between sporting objectives and protection of the boat, and so they did. All of IBSA is at their side in this last oceanic adventure of the 2023 season”.


With two victories out of five races run in 2023, Alberto Bona is currently leading the world rankings of the Class40 championship.

The Transat Jacques Vabre represents a huge challenge, which requires navigation skills and an impeccable strategy to face and exploit the changing sea and wind conditions to one’s advantage. This project is an actual sports metaphor representing IBSA’s vision: just as a boat faces the unexpected events and the bad weather conditions of ocean navigation, so the company faces every day the challenges and difficulties of the pharmaceutical market.

To follow the evolution of the regatta – and cheer for Alberto and the Class40 IBSA – visit the website, where you’ll find the regatta tracking tool, as well as daily news on the progress of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Stay tuned and let’g go guys!

The start of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023