… but after having been away for about a year, it’s a real moral booster to be leading a fleet of more than one thousand boats.
After last year’s Transat B to B, the Transat AG2R La Mondiale Warmup race, and the still ongoing Transat AG2R La Mondiale, LiveSkipper will play host to yet another virtual race to be run in sync with a real-life event. The Europa Warmup is a yacht race for IMOCA 60 class boats and is intended as a final test ahead of the Vendée Globe solo around the world race which will start in November.
The Europa Warmup is a two-legged race from Barcelona to Cascaïs to La Rochelle with the first leg starting at 14:00 UTC on May 19th. The second leg is scheduled to start on May 26th.
In 1992, Jacques Caraes and Michel Desjoyeaux, aboard their Figaro Beneteau Sill Plein Fruit, won the first ever Transat AG2R La Mondiale in just 24 days, 8 hours, 40 minutes, and 34 seconds. The race ran from Lorient, France, to the Carribean island of St. Barthelemy, with a mandatory waypoint near the Canary Islands. In the following editions the waypoint was moved from the Canaries to the Portuguese island of Madeira, while Concernau on the south coast of Brittany is port of departure since 2006. For this 20 year anniversary edition, the Canary Islands waypoint is back.
In the year the Transat AG2R La Mondiale celebrates its 20 year anniversary, the race organisers have selected LiveSkipper to host the official virtual ocean race. The Transat AG2R is a race for Figaro Bénéteau 2 boats, and this boat has now been added to the LiveSkipper fleet. Before the start of the race on April 21st, there will be a change to give the boat a decent shakedown in the warm-up race which will start at 16:00 UTC on April 11th.
The Figaro Beneteau 2, shown in this blog’s header image, is used in several other well-known events, such as le Vendée Globe, la Solitaire du Figaro, la Transat Jacques Vabre, and la Route du Rhum.
Update: A GPX file for Bluewater Racing can now be downloaded from here.
The Five Seas Race, starting at 14:00 UTC on March 25, is a 1500 nm yacht race from Monaco to Rostov. Not for the faint of heart, this race will have you pass three narrow passages, the Dardanelles, the Bosphorus and the Kerch-Yenikal Skiy Canal, that is, of course, if you manage to steer clear of the countless islands of the Greek archipelago.
In association with IMOCA and Transat B to B, LiveSkipper organizes the virtual Transat B to B, the Back to Brittany transatlantic crossing from St. Barthélémy to Lorient. Starting at 14:00 GMT on December 5th, it runs in sync with the real race, which is a prelude to the Vendée Globe.
Register for the race here.
As an overture to the 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championship starting on 3 December in Perth, Australia, LiveSkipper organizes an official virtual ocean race. There are 22 T-shirts to be won, but the grand prize is a round trip to Australia for the final week of the championship.
The virtual race begins today, at 14:00 hours UTC. The race will start in Weymouth, England, with the finish located in Perth. A gate is located south of South Africa, and there are three ice gates between Africa and Australia.
For this race a new boat will be used, a Foil MAX prototype. And I am happy to report it is quick and able to reach speeds never before seen on LiveSkipper. Just not windward.
Update: currently, a fleet of over 1730 boats is heading out onto the Atlantic. Look out.