The race of the amateurs
The Italian duo, Massimo Juris and Pietro Luciani on Colombre XL became the first of the amateur duos to finish in the Class40 of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, when they crossed the line in the Bay of All Saints early on Friday morning.
Amateur in the technical not the perjorative sense, because Juris, the 61-year-old maritime industry manager from Milan, and his regular collaborator, Luciani, the 32-year-old architect from Venice, handled their first Transat Jacques Vabre with great skill and showed consistent speed.
The Transat Jacques Vabre has four classes, but within each of the fleets the battle lines are drawn between the generations of boat – those are competitive edges being talked about around the crews on the pontoons of Le Havre. By any measure, Colombre XL definitely won its class.
The Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde almost defied gravity by beating the two Manuard Mach 3 that caught him in the final straight to Salvador. And Juris and Luciani have equally over-performed in their Pogo 40 S2Finot-Conq-designed boat, built in 2011 for a budget well below the Manuard Mach 40 and Verdier Tizh 40’s around them.
“We’re very happy to be here in Brazil, that’s more important to us than the rankings,” Juris said. “I didn’t think we’d finish 6th. At the same time, in the other Class40 races, we always placed well. In the Sables-Horta race we were 6th with the same boat, and the same in the Normandy Chanel Race with 30 boats, we’re probably the first non-professional crew here in Bahia, that’s good.”
Juris, a former member of the Italian Olympic team (Finn class), and Luciani were always in the hunt. After a cautious start in the cold front, they moved into 6th place on November 10th, and never let go of it. As those ahead got stuck in the Doldrums, Colombre XL closed to within 50 miles. But having made a significant western shift as they entered, the duo lost too much ground on the front five to challenge in the final stretch. In truth, their boat would not have had the pace. Reaching in the south-east trade wind, as they approached the coast of Brazil they has re-aligned themselves far behind TeamWork40 and Région Normandie Junior Senior by Evernex.
They held off any potential challenge from the other amateur rookies behind them, Tom Laperche and Christophe Bachmann on Le Lion d’Or, who finished eight hours later in 7th. Laperche, a 20-year-old student, and Bachmann, a 48-year-old architect were racing on a brand new Verdier Tizh 40 but have considerably less experience than Juris and Luciani.
There are five boats still racing, who among other professions include a neuroradiologist and a stomatologist.
Friday, November 24
Sixth Massimo Juris (Italy) and Pietro Luciano (Italy) on Colombre XL at 05:28:53 (UTC)
Race time: 18 days, 16 hours 53 minutes and 53 seconds
Seventh Tom Laperche and Christophe Bachmann on Le Lion d’Or at 13:35:04 (UTC)
Race time: 19 days, 01 hours 00 minutes and 04 seconds
Saturday, November 25
Gustave Roussy 23:00
Sunday, November 26
Gras Savoye 12:00
Monday, November 27
Mussulo 40 Team Angola 13:00
Friday, December 1
Date : 24/11/17 – 16h06
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Les mots des partenaires
Massimo Juris, skipper of Colombre XL (Class40)
“We’re very happy to have finished. This is our first Transat, so we chose the longest one. I must say that the conditions were very favorable, the exit of the Channel was very easy. We had some problems, tactical especially, but not technical ones. In the Doldrums, we reduced the gap to 40 miles behind TeamWork40 and Région Normandie (Junior Senior by Evernex). But finished with 300 miles. At the exit (of the Doldrums) in contrast to them, we were in a windless hole, in the storm and they had already got away and that was that. In the descent (down the Atlantic), we had the Class40 racing experience, weren’t surprised, it wasn’t too difficult. The shifts around Ushant on the other hand…it was really tough. We were well prepared. But it’s amazing how the wind swings in a minute; you go from 35-knot south-westerlies to 40-knot north-westerlies. But it was really a good race.”