After a fast crossing from Phil Sharp’s home town of Jersey, the British skipper and his Spanish co-skipper Pablo Santurde have arrived in Le Havre to focus on final preparations for the Transat Jacques Vabre race to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Currently leading the Championship aboard zero emissions Class 40 Imerys, the team were one of the first of 38 boats from different race classes to arrive in the Paul Vatine race village.
The day crossing from Jersey to Le Havre was the final training for the duo before they are confronted with the real test in the race to Brazil against 15 other Class 40’s.
Phil Sharp, Skipper of Imerys commented: “We had a fast sail across frequently hitting 23 knots, which is fantastic for a 40 foot boat! We are both comfortable with the performance developments made this year and have achieved some strong results in recent fleet training”.
At sea the skippers will work around two hour on-off shifts. “After two hours of helming we’ll be looking to re-energise with food and rest, and importantly, work on strategy with the latest forecasts available”, Phil continued.
Winner of the Class 40 European Trophy and currently leading the Championship, Phil is determined to cross the finish line first. “Pablo and I work well together as a team and we’re confident that we can get a top result, but at 4,350 miles, it’s a long race and we’ll be confronted with many challenges along the way.
“We’ll be racing against three of the latest generation boats, which have all proven to perform very well in the downwind conditions that the TJV will offer, and on a technical front, passing the doldrums will be by far the most challenging zone to cross. You can invest considerable time planning a routing, but the unstable conditions could very quickly make the work meaningless. So we’ll definitely be pushed to our limits and continually looking out for ways to get that competitive edge”, Phil commented.
Moored at Quai des Antilles the team have an intense ten days to complete the final checks. Phil continued: “We have a long list of race security requirements to pass and as of next week we’ll be focusing on a range of possible weather scenarios from here to Brazil”.
Estimated to arrive in Salvador de Bahia some three weeks later, the team have been working on a daily fitness routine with jogging and weight sessions to ensure that they are on top form for what is expected to be a long endurance race.
Just over one week remains before the big departure of the Transat Jacques Vabre on Sunday the 5th of November at 13:35 local time, and the duo are ready to fight. Follow Phil and Pablo’s story as they prepare for this grand slam event on social media and on the team website at www.philsharpracing.com.