The Transat is the world’s oldest solo transatlantic race, and is set to return to Plymouth this year, with a star-studded line of up ocean racers and adventurers all looking to join the annuls of history.
This year’s race has attracted a star-studded line up of offshore greats, from the likes of Vendée Globe competitors Sébastien Josse and Armel Le Cléac’h in the IMOCA60, to Transat Jacques Vabre winner Erwan Le Roux and Route du Rhum winner Thomas Coville on the flying multihulls and seasoned offshore competitors Miranda Merron and Thibaut Vauchel in the Class40.
The event started in 1960 and has provided a platform for many of the great names in the sport, including Dame Ellen MacArthur, and founders Sir Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler – whose vision for the race is still as relevant today as it was then, “one man, one boat, one ocean.”
The 14th edition will set sail on 2 May, when the fleet will leave Plymouth breakwater to race 3,000 miles to Brooklyn in New York, where The Transat first finished 56 years ago. Between the two cities, competitors will face the ferocity of the Atlantic, with the ever-present danger of ice drifting down from the Arctic. They will spend anywhere between eight and 18 days at sea, dependent on the boat, racing upwind for the majority of the race.
Visitors are invited to get involved by welcoming the sailors into the harbour and enjoy an ambience of waterfront fun during their stay in the city.
From Friday 29 April, The Barbican and historic harbour will be transformed, offering a bustling race village experience and an exciting feast of free entertainment. During the weekend there will be a brand new Ocean City Blues 'N Jazz Festival, an air display from the Red Devils Parachute Regiment, Brietling Wingwalking Team and Extra 300 unlimited solo aerobatics, firework display and street entertainment.
Local partners to the event - Plymouth City Council, Devon Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth University and City College Plymouth - have rolled out a plethora of entertainment for the public to enjoy.
The Transat: Evening Lecture (26 April)
An opportunity for our students, staff and local community to hear from one of Transat's very own skippers, Phil Sharp.
Phil will give a short presentation about his sailing experiences and there will be an opportunity for audience engagement through a Q&A session.
The evening will start with a short talk by Hervé Fabre, Transat Events Director with OC Sport.
For this year’s Transat, the University will have a front-row seat as its waterfront Marine Station will be hosting the race organisers, the skippers lounge, and the media centre. The £5 million teaching and research facility was also the venue for the public launch back in January, and the University will be bringing together its students and academics with the skippers on a variety of special sessions, both out on the water and at the nearby city campus.