- Leader for 12 of the 17 day race
- Highest leading advantage of 41.1nm between 1st and 2nd place, the nearest being 9.1nm
- Ranked daily on the podium
- Winner of the doldrums strategy, achieving a 20.4nm advantage on exit
- Highest lead gained in severe oceanic conditions
- Loss of core weather data from day 3; intermittent low detail weather data from day 6 until the finish
- First over the start line
- New boat speed record achieved at 25.5 knots
Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde racing Imerys Clean Energy have completed the podium finishing third in the Class 40 division of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. The duo crossed the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Thursday 23rd of November at 04:33:41 (UTC) with a race time of 17 days, 15 hours 58 minutes and 41 seconds. Over the theoretical 4,357nm distance, Imerys Clean Energy sailed an actual distance of 4,539 nm, averaging 10.70 knots, finishing 05 hours, 14 minutes and 26 seconds behind the eventual winner, V&B.
Phil comments on the experience: “What an incredible fight we have been through over the last 2.5 weeks. An intense 3-way boat design battle against the Mach 3s Aina and V&B, a battle against different weather extremes, and a battle against our own personal limits.
“I’m not going to hide the fact that watching our lead wither away over the last few days has been difficult to swallow. Though it’s not exactly the result we had hoped for, or had worked towards during this race, I am satisfied to say that we really did give it our all. We pushed the boat and ourselves to 100% over the whole race and made the most of opportunities that came our way. We showed that we had pace in the strong winds by building a 40+nm lead, and despite losing most of this due to hooking a massive chunk of weed on the keel during the night, we succeeded in escaping the doldrums with a 20nm lead, which was a very important objective.”
Together Phil and Pablo set a new boat speed record powering Imerys Clean Energy up to 25.5 knots “during one crazy night west of Portugal rocketing downwind in 35 knots of wind”, explained Phil. Eventually however, it would be raw boat speed that would hold the duo back. Phil continued: “Unfortunately, the cushion from the doldrums wasn’t enough to fend off the newer, more powerful Mach 3s in the South Atlantic with the reaching conditions that we faced. Once we finally entered a level playing field off Recife, it was too late to catch up and so with nothing to lose we tried the only alternative, to go offshore, which sadly gave no advantage. In the end this was a game of boat evolution, and the latest design won.”
Class 40 Mach designer Sam Manuard comments on the evolution between the 2nd and 3rd generation boats: “Whilst Phil’s Mach 2 is a great all-rounder, the Mach 3 evolution was designed to achieve different goals aiming to increase performance without making too much of a sacrifice on the Mach 2’s great features. Clearly the gains are in reaching and they also have a sweet spot in certain downwind conditions. Phil and Pablo have done an amazing job, once again proving what great sailors they are!”