Tuesday, 3 November 2009

TJV: Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson Ready to Race Across the Atlantic in the Transat Jacques Vabres

Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson prepare for the TJV on board Aviva. Image copyright The Press Association.

by Kelly Russell

On Sunday 8 November, British sailing duo Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson will start in the ninth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre race from France to Costa Rica, onboard the Open 60 racing yacht Aviva. The Transat Jacques Vabre will be the first competitive race since the epic Vendée Globe round the world race which saw Caffari finish sixth out of 30 starters to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, both ways around the world.

Joining Caffari, Thompson and Aviva on the start line, will be 13 other Open 60 racing yachts of which 11 competed in the Vendée Globe and three are British. The 4800-mile course, following the historic coffee trade route, will be the first time Caffari and Thompson have sailed two-handed together having been rivals throughout the 2008 / 09 edition of the Vendée Globe.

Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson sailing together on board Aviva. Image copyright The Press Association.

Dee Caffari said:
“I can’t wait to be back out on the water racing Aviva and the opportunity to sail with Brian as co-skipper is fabulous. We were so close to each other during the Vendée Globe it’s as if we’ve already spent a lot of time sailing together. We’re determined to pull off a great performance for the British."

Brian Thompson added:
“We have a quick boat and get on well together so I believe we will be competitive out there. With so many new Open 60s racing it is going to be intense, but very exciting.”

The Transat Jacques Vabre has twenty entries in total assembled from two different sailing classes - the Imoca Open 60 monohulls and the Open 50 multihulls. Previous editions of the race have concluded in either Brazil or Columbia with Costa Rica added for the first time this year. The new route will take the fleet across the Caribbean Sea, requiring both tactics and the ability to adapt to changing weather conditions, with the possibility of a light wind finish in the Western Caribbean Sea or even the tail end of a late season hurricane.

Aviva, the world’s fifth largest insurance group, has supported Caffari since 2005 and announced a new partnership with Caffari last month as the racing team’s founding partner. Dee is now actively searching for a new title sponsor to support her 2012 Vendée Globe campaign.

Aviva Ocean Racing
Transat Jacques Vabre

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