Transat Jacques Vabre – Mirabaud duo start intense preparations

Mirabaud sailed last weekend in La Rochelle, France, for the first time since the Barcelona World Race - Transat Jacques Vabre 2011
Jean-Guy Python / Mirabaud
Transat Jacques Vabre, raced every two years by duos, begins on 30 October 2011 in Le Havre, France. Dominque Wavre and Michèle Paret started an intense pre-race preparation phase last weekend ahead of next month's race.

Last Friday, Mirabaud went for its first sail since limping into Argentina under jury rig during the Barcelona World Race. It was a first outing for the new mast, built in New Zealand, which arrived in La Rochelle, France, on the 13 September and was stepped and tested last week by the seven-person technical team.

'Installing the mast was a delicate operation that required the gradual application of up to 15 tonnes of pressure at the foot of the mast,' explains Dominique Wavre. 'Once the rig was fully loaded, we set the sails and went for a test sail off La Rochelle. It was a thrill to finally get back to sea with a sound boat beneath our feet. We are now back in race mode and while there is a lot of work still to be done before the start of the race, we are happy to be in a positive phase.'

In addition to a new mast, Mirabaud also has a new suit of sails and the deck layout has been adapted to accommodate the new rig. 'The sails are fabulous,' says Dominique, delighted. 'And I was particularly happy to see that all the work done during the summer has paid off. Tomorrow the yacht will be measured by the official measurers to make sure that it conforms to the Imoca class rules.'

The Transat Jacques Vabre takes place once every two years. The start is in France, the finish is in South America and the race follows the traditional coffee trading route. The Imoca division will number 12 yachts, including Mirabaud, and will feature some of the top crew in the game, as Dominique explains: 'All the competitors in this edition are sharp and talented – the racing will be excellent. This is going to be a high quality event. You could almost say that there are going to be ten favourites crossing the start line in October!'

Dominique Wavre website
Transat Jacques Vabre website