Since the end of the day yesterday the first boat of the Istanbul
Europa Race fleet has entered the Atlantic, leaving the Mediterranean
in its wake. One by one, on the same single tack, the crews have
followed in the tracks of leader Michel Desjoyeaux, who has been
leading the way towards Brest for more than the last 24 hours. Though
all are making modest speeds, the passage of the Straits of Gibraltar
has mixed up the competition on this third leg more than ever,
particularly among the boats vying closest to take on the leader.
Veolia Environnement and Groupe Bel have been having quite a battle,
which Paprec Virbac 2 is doing its utmost to join. Further back, the
Spaniards aboard 1876 have been contending with a mast problem which has slowed them down, while the Mediterranean has yet to finish with the men of DCNS…
For its first edition, the Istanbul Europa Race has the pleasure of presenting a fleet of around fifteen boats, helmed by the top sailors of our time. The trust the sailors display in the organising company, together with the scale of the event and the course on offer, greatly appeal to sailing professionals.
In terms of image, the skippers are perceived as adventurers, sacrificing everything for their passion and a far cry from overpaid stars. In addition they practise a sport which, though given a lot of media coverage, is sheltered from the numerous excesses you can observe in other sports (structured finance, doping), and benefits from a ‘clean’ image in every sense of the word.
As such these top level offshore racers have expressed a desire to accept the invitation to what is to be an unmissable race in their professional career. Among them we can already mention:
The Istanbul Europa Race, in the prestigious IMOCA class, is the latest great sailing race in the yachting calendar. Its long course through Europe is to make it a major sporting event from its very first edition. In the great tradition of stage races, the Istanbul Europa Race will bring together a fleet comprised of some of very best sailors of our time, taking them on an ideal course and offering a genuine invitation to travel.
A human, competitive and cultural adventure, the Istanbul Europa Race has a wealth of assets to bring to the table. A public, comprising amateur sailors and enthusiasts alike, is bound to come out in force to view the spectacle, to witness this new encounter between man and the natural elements, at the forefront of which are the waters of the Mediterranean, as well as the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel. The excellent line-up of sailors offered, the original aspect of the race ports and the course together with the public presence, all go to ensure massive, international media coverage, given the infatuation that is prompted by sailing.