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Class 40 weathers storm


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Class40 withstands the crisis

The announcement in the last two weeks of the construction of  four new boats  (for Antoine Carpentier, Axel Tréhin, Jonas Gerckens and Aurélien Ducroz) shows that the  Class40 , even in times of crisis, continues to attract sailors and partners. And other announcements should follow, including  a new Pogo40 for Jean Galfione . How did these projects come about? Has the crisis had an impact? Tip & Shaft  investigated.

After the first two scows  Crédit Mutuel (David Raison plan for  Ian Lipinski ) and  Banque du Léman  (Mach 40.4 signed Sam Manuard for  Valentin Gautier  and  Simon Koster ) released in 2019, then the launch, last week, of the  new Mach 40.4  by Olivier Magré (photo) , the beginning of June was rich on the Class40 side with  four new boats announced , most with partners and tight budgets.

Next boat expected in late August, a third Mach 40.4 for  Antoine Carpentier , built at JPS in La Trinité-sur-Mer, which  will carry the colors of Redman . An almost new sponsor entering the offshore race, whose co-founder  Matthias Navarro  explains to  Tip & Shaft  this strategic choice:  "First of all, there is the fact that Antoine is a friend of 30 years , since we were at college together. We then followed it in a slightly lighter way on the Route du Rhum in 2018. It made us  want to go further and invest more in a sport which, if it is very far from our profession of real estate promotion, has values that resonate with the subjects of low carbon city and inclusive city that we carry. "

The agreement between the two parties extends until the end of 2022 -  Redman  is a shipowner and provides part of an operating budget that the skipper announces at around 300,000 euros HT (amortization of the boat included) - was sealed in February , just before the Covid-19 really lands in France. An event that has not changed the state of mind at Redman, confirms Matthias Navarro:  "  This long-term adventure has not been called into question at all  by the Covid, it is a subject that is important to us. heart and on which we really want to move ”.

The same is true of  Volvo Belgium,  which, in January,  signed up for five years  alongside  Jonas Gerckens , with  a new Reason plan also  built at JPS. And a program leading him to the second edition of the  Globe40  in 2025 , coupled with an Olympic campaign on the new mixed ocean racing event for the Paris Olympics in 2024.  "With the crisis, I had to have doubts, because we know that in this kind of configuration , we are on an ejection seat, but  Volvo very quickly told me that there was nothing to worry about ,  explains the BelgianHowever, as it was necessary to find investors for the boat, which Volvo did not wish to own, the file was slowed down. When I learned after the containment that there were quite a few projects ready to be launched, I warned investors that  if we wanted to not miss part of the 2021 season, we had to sign quickly.  They understood very quickly and within a week, it was settled. "  The future MAX40, expected in April 2021, will cost  " between 600 000 and 650 000 " according to former ministry which expects an annual budget of around 400,000 euros, including amortization of the boat.

For his part, Aurélien Ducroz  announced Tuesday with his partner  Crosscall  the construction of a new Class40  - architect and site have not yet been chosen - which will also be launched in spring 2021, to the great satisfaction of freeride ski champion ( see our full interview on our site ), who talks about a budget identical to Jonas Gerckens:  "  This is the first time that I will have visibility in the long term  and that I will be able to work full seasons , whereas until now, it has always been race by race, hard work. " How did Crosscall, invested since 2016 with Aurélien Ducroz in skiing and already co-partner on the last Transat Jacques Vabre ( 5th place  with Louis Duc), let himself be convinced? "  Without this great Jacques Vabre adventure, I don't know if we would have signed this project ,"  replies  Benjamin Schweizer , promotion manager for the telephone company. It was a great opportunity to take the first step as a major sponsor of a boat on an unbeatable project in terms of costs and exposure  [he mentions an investment  “below 100,000 euros” , Editor's note]  The fact of having the naming of the boat is incomparable, the adventure was also widely followed internally. It made us decide to extend. "

As with Volvo,  Crosscall is not the owner of the boat  , the skipper of which estimates the construction budget  "between 700 and 750,000 euros".  Unlike the two previous cases,  the project was still impacted by the Covid crisis:  "There were adjustments, because  we initially had to do the 2020 season  on a rented boat, this will not be the case, but the heart of the project remains intact, ” explains the former minister. Who will find on the Class40 circuit another sailor from the Mini class,  Axel Tréhin . The latter, second in the last Mini-Transat in proto on a boat built with his hands,  has just launched a Max40 whose project management has been entrusted to JPS, the skipper of  Project Rescue Ocean personally ensuring all that is  "transportable" in his Auray workshop.

Funded  “around 650,000 euros”  thanks to the imminent sale of its Mini and to an investor who wishes to remain discreet, the boat is expected in late December. On the other hand, the sailor does not yet have a partner to provide the operating budget which he estimates at 370,000 euros per year - depreciation of the boat and communication service included. "But if we got into it, it's because we believe in it." We have the time of construction to complete the operating budget of the boat at least in 2021, ideally until the end of 2022. Knowing that what makes my difference a little compared to others, it is precisely being hyper involved in the construction part,  it allows to tell a longer story which starts from a blank page and goes as far as crossing the Atlantic in double or solo. "

A "  long story ",  Jean Galfione has  told one for more than two decades, between his first life as a very high level pole vaulter (Olympic champion in 1996) and a second as a sailor. The latter will at least extend until 2022, since the interested party reveals to  Tip & Shaft  that he will be the recipient of the first Pogo 40S4 on the Verdier plan , which marks the return of the Structures site   to the support ( see our article ) . It will be the third 40 feet of Jean Galfione, faithful to the class since 2010.

“Even before the last Route du Rhum, we had this new boat project with my sponsor  Marc Le Bras , who heads  Serenis Consulting . We waited to see the latest developments on the Transat Jacques Vabre and, from there, we started to chat with different architects and construction sites. Me, I really wanted to work with Structures  because they had designed my first boat, but when I contacted them at the very beginning, they were not yet ready to start in 40 feet. I then contacted David Raison, but things did not materialize, then Erwan ( Tymen , technical manager at Structures) called me back, saying that I had tickled them and that they were going to start. Construction begins in September for a launch in March and there is a good chance that this first Pogo 40S4 will not be the only one at the start of the next Route du Rhum. "We presented the project to quite a few people,  two or three skippers are rather very interested, "  confirms Erwan Tymen.

As for the Marc Lombard cabinet   too, things are moving, which confirms the architect  Eric Levet  :  “  We are in the process of finalizing for a second boat  [a first was designed for the Australian Rupert Henry who wishes to race the Globe40 in 2021, editor's note]  which should be built in Brittany for a launch in April 2021  [this is not the future  Crosscall , Aurélien Ducroz, NDLR confirmed to us].  The period did not call into question the project, we realize that  most of the Class40 projects that were under discussion are confirmed , this is good news. "  It also notes that Jonas Gerckens: “In the current situation, amid the financial health crisis, it's  a breath of fresh air to see so many new projects  being launched, new partners arriving or old ones renewing their commitment. 

For the president of the class  Halvard Mabire , this resilience is explained by the accessibility of the Class40:  “In the current period, interest in sailing and its values will probably increase. And when some people think about the right support to tackle offshore racing,  the Class40 will be well positioned, it is one of the classes that will best withstand the crisis  as long as budgets are reasonable. I am quite happy as such that we resisted the pressure that we had two or three years ago when some wanted to allow the foils. "  Aurélien Ducroz, who once tried to set up a Vendée Globe project, adds:  " We are far from millions of euros in investment in other supports; the Class40, with limited budgets, opens access to magnificent races . "

https://www.tipandshaft.com/class40/la-class40-resiste-a-la-crise/

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Darn; thought this was going to be about some unlikely boat getting through a hurricane. Of course marketing continues apace. Sailboat racing is quite popular in Europe - gets plenty of TV coverage -  and can likely carry on pretty well despite Covid19. 

 

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On 6/26/2020 at 4:27 PM, 10thTonner said:

Wait - WHAT ? 

French TV news broadcasts cover IMOCA, Route du Rhum, Figaro and other races.  Not in detail, but the advertising on the sails shows onscreen and teams (and sponsors) are mentioned.  English coverage of Cowes Week and Fastnet also comes to mind. 

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On 6/28/2020 at 8:05 PM, PaulK said:

French TV news broadcasts cover IMOCA, Route du Rhum, Figaro and other races.  Not in detail, but the advertising on the sails shows onscreen and teams (and sponsors) are mentioned.  English coverage of Cowes Week and Fastnet also comes to mind. 

Ok, but France is an exception even within Europe. In every other country, sailing news goes like “some strange guy went somewhere in a boat without using a motor. And now for sports! ... “

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On 6/27/2020 at 6:27 AM, 10thTonner said:

Wait - WHAT ? 

go into a Tractor dealership in provincial France and the promotional calendar will feature NOT half naked women But a bateau .

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9 hours ago, mario147 said:

As said, in France... unofrtunately is quite different in rest of Europe. Remember, there are more countries around here :-)

Man I hope to visit you guys in my German made boat some day soon.

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On 6/30/2020 at 10:32 AM, 10thTonner said:

Ok, but France is an exception even within Europe. In every other country, sailing news goes like “some strange guy went somewhere in a boat without using a motor. And now for sports! ... “

Even in France it is changing regarding TV coverage (or general media coverage I would say), and I think this is also due very much to the media changing themselves as much as the "public interest".

Basically, in the 70ies 80ies , there was few TV channels, and the evening news (20:00 on main channels) were watched by almost everybody on one channel or another.

And at that time during major races you would have a "special feature" every day about the race (often before or after the news with commercial in between, forgot), and also during the news themselves for the start, arrival, or special event during the race.

Now who watches TV ? Not many especially in the young crowd, and if they do it is more the "24/24 news channel" (like CNN, sky news, etc, 3 or 4 of them in France), and there is not really anymore this "evening news moment" for everybody.

Personnally I don't watch TV anymore almost (except the news channel a bit when a big "event" is going on), but I think these "daily features" do not exist anymore (I'm not even sure), or only on regional news channel like in Britanny.

So in a sense these daily "sailing race features" on the main channels linked to the evening news built the public interest in sailing a lot I think (and it was associated to very strong racing personalities like Eric Tabarly, Colas, Poupon, etc at the time, and the "solo/duo ocean racing scene" being a growing new thing in itself) .

This public interest is still there (and the trackers and races web site receive a lot of hits), but for instance when there are "sailing news article" in general newspapers (on their site), like in "Le Monde" for instance, I don't see that many comments on the articles at all, and quite a few saying "yeah again some money wasted on this boat that capsized, useless", this kiind of things, but also positives ones of course.

In a sense I wonder whether the "TV evening news" period built the general sailing public interest in France, and whether it is now fading with the end of this period ...

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