Transat Québec Saint-Malo :Looking back on successful race
Tuesday, 07 August 2012
The history of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo has been strongly linked with the history of offshore racing for 28 years. 28 years of technological advance, in both the monohull and multihull fleet. Almost three decades of human stories made by the men and women who have left their signature in the books of oceanic sailing, loving this unique, demanding yet rewarding race. The 2012 edition will surely remain in the archives as one of the most exciting for the incredible double win achieved by Halvard Mabire's Campagne de France in the competitive Class40, no doubt contributing to the success of the 8th Transat Québec Saint-Malo.
It would be an understatement to just consider it as a parenthesis in the offshore racing circuit, this race is the West to East race par excellence. Hard, challenging, physically demanding, exciting and unpredictable, there are many adjectives that can be used to describe it and it is enough to read just some of the blogs the crews have been sending ashore for more than 10 days to realise it. Once on dry land the sailors have even come up with new words to describe it. With a 25 boats strong fleet, 20 in the Class40, the level has been incredibly high. The Transat has always been a point of reference for sailors and designers alike, from the age of Maxi trimarans and monohulls, through the ORMA and FICO era and today with the high-performance Multi50 and Class40 boats and it easy to predict that the future will see new and even more challenging classes taking part. As much as classes and the financial crisis can change the scene, one thing is for sure: the Transat Québec Saint-Malo will go on giving owners, skippers and crew a unique opportunity to be confronted with the Atlantic Ocean.
A popular hit
From Québec to Saint-Malo and through La Malbaie, Rimouski, Matane, Saint Anne des Monts, Gaspé and Percé (the new 6 towns 6 marks circuit) and down the St Lawrence in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, passionate fans and spectators have been welcoming and greeting, applauding and encouraging the passing crews. This very special relationship has been one of the key point of the race success as it has been the warm reception granted in Saint-Malo to each finishing team.
Sylvain Gagné, President of Voile International Québec:
“This edition has been a success since the start, with a 25 boats fleet, especially if one considers the difficult economic climate we are living. A close race, even closer finishes and a transatlantic crossing with no major incidents... the sailors loved the St Lawrence and enjoyed the ocean with its testing conditions. I am also very satisfied with the public's response in both Québec and Saint Malo. The new concept of the “6 towns, 6 marks” circuit allowed us to share the event with the spectators and the crews appreciated it. It was a technical challenge, but the sailors had the opportunity to discover the richness of the river, its beauty, landscape and its incredible wildlife. The people from Québec had the chance to discover offshore racing and maybe we will have a stronger local participation in the future. The welcome in Saint Malo was spectacular, so yes it was a success! This edition has brought back some of the fascination of this classic race so beloved by the sailors. This is a guarantee that the event will go on in the future and we aim at having more and more boats on the start line for the coming editions, those who were not missed a chance and some class managers are maybe reconsidering their position. We will keep on working to have more homogenous fleets and to make the ties between Québec and Brittany even stronger.”
Besides the acclaimed performances of the two winning teams, Erwan Leroux's FenêtréA Cardinal and Halvard Mabire's Campagne de France, one of the highlights of this year's Transat was the incredible high level of the participants who have all succeeded, despite minor techincal issues, to reach Saint Malo after more than 3,000 miles. 25 boats on the start and 25 on the finish, in hard and challenging conditions for a very fast passage.
Jean Claude Maltais, Race Director:
“I am very pleased, the race was outstanding from a sailing point of view. We had an exciting finish by Erwan Le Roux and Halvard Mabire, the “old” wise man chased by the younger skippers. The master has given a lesson to the young ones, signing one of the best stories of the race. I want to thank all the sailors for taking precious time off, sometimes in very hard conditions, to write their blogs sharing their feelings and impressions with a wider audience. The descent of the St Lawrence went very well, at each and every mark there was a huge public, marking a new level of exchange between them and the sailors. The Transat Québec Saint-Malo has certainly found the best possible course and we are considering also a different frequency, maybe on a two-years basis. Boats and classes progress extremely quickly and so far we cannot foresee what will be the next step of the classes that potentially can make this race even more interesting: Class40, Multi50, MOD70, IMOCA, 52' one designs...”
Patrice Drouin CEO of GESTEV:
“This was our first event in offshore sailing and we were lucky to have been supported by experienced people who worked on previous editions of the Transat, the people from Voile Internationale Québec. They have helped us to blend in, we wished to keep up with expectations but also integrate in the best possible way in the sailing world. One of the best achievements is to have the whole fleet reaching Saint Malo safely, from this point of view the race was a real success. We organize ski events in Québec and the public's interest and passion are very much alike. We have done our best to welcome the sailors, to provide them with all that is needed, services, assistance, information... it was easier for us to manage this in Québec, but the outcome in Saint Malo was excellent and thanks to our experience we managed to work well so far from home, thanks to the strong support from the organisers on site. Media wise, it has been a bit different. In Québec and down the St Lawrence we can control the communication, but later it is pretty much no man’s land. But the sailors have done an excellent job in telling the stories we need to rely to a wider audience. We need increase awareness and bring the story to a higher number of people, it's a new concept for us. The Transat Québec Saint-Malo is an event that runs every four years but we do not hide that our ambition is to run it yearly. It would be something completely new for us, but we really wish to be consistent in organising sailing events in Québec. Anything can happen and we are going to work in this direction.”
The Transat Québec Saint-Malo it's an event organised by Voile Internationale Québec and Gestev. Founded in 1992 in the Quebec region, Gestev specialises in sports and cultural events management and is certified according to the BNQ 9700-253 standard.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 August 2012 )