General briefing

The excitement steps up a notch. At 10:00 am, skippers were gathered at the Real Club Nautico (the Yacht Club) of Arrecife to attend to the general briefing led by the Race Director François Séruzier. The attentive representative of each engaged boat has received general information regarding the race, with special attention to safety.

After the speeches of the Race Committee Director and President of the jury (Bertrand Nardin and Patrick Celton), François Séruzier spoke about the presence onboard of the race tracking beacon and explained its functioning. Céline and Juliette helped with translations in Spanish and English. This beacon will allow to follow the race on the website www.paneraitransatclassique.com, where the boats position will be updated every two hours. It is also backing for the main distress beacon in case of delicate situation onboard, knowing that the activation of this distress beacon leads to the organisation of a rescue from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.

Obviously, the objective is to cross safely the Atlantic, and as far as possible, it is to be hoped that this service will not be used.

To achieve this, the Race Director recalled how important it is to be secured with the life line, days and nights, to execute a manoeuvre, since classic boats tend to roll when sailing downwind.

Regarding the weather, every day, the organization with send to all participants a grib file with the forecast for 5 days. This information will be provided by Great Circle, which also provides the weather forecast to the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vendée Globe. Onshore assistance will be strictly forbidden, so that all sailors race on equal terms regarding tactics, which demonstrate the race openness and announces unpredictability till the arrival in St. Kitts.

On January 8, the start day, all boat will have to leave the marina before 12:00. The departure procedure will start at 1:52 PM (local time). Yachts will have a mark to round, located 1.5 miles away from the start-line in front of Arrecife, before going West towards Christophe Harbour. Then an entire ocean will let them take charge of their destiny.