The French Class40 professional skipper, Tanguy de Lamotte, has officially announced he will be competing in the double-handed, Class40 round the world race, the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) bringing the total number of entries to 16 teams. Lamotte and his yacht, Novedia-Initiatives, are one of the 45 Class40 entries in the single-handed Route du Rhum transatlantic race due to start next Sunday, but he is already planning his GOR campaign: “The race was organised for the first time in 2008 as the Portimão Global Ocean Race and has since become a major element of the Class40 Association calendar,” explains the 32 year-old skipper. “The race format suits me perfectly as it provides the opportunity to race around the world on a Class40 at a fraction of the cost of the Vendée Globe,” he adds.
Lamotte has a formidable track record in Class40 and will have considerable competitive impact on the GOR fleet. In 2008, he won the Class40 World Championships and the Marblehead-Halifax Race. Last year, Lamotte was Class40 winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race and the double-handed Class40 race, La Solidaire du Chocolat: a gripping transatlantic event with Lamotte and co-skipper, Adrien Hardy, defending pole position against Giovanni Soldini on Telecom Italia and Bernard Stamm on Cheminées Poujoulat. The GOR also fits neatly with Lamotte’s overall philosophy of offshore racing: “It is the ideal course,” he explains. “Not only are we able to visit some incredible locations, but the stopovers mean we can restart each leg with the boat in optimum condition in the event of any damage,” says Lamotte, who is considering the GOR innovation of a Team Entry with a maximum of six crew for the entire circumnavigation: “The possibility of changing a team member for each leg and of carrying out crew rotations is also appealing,” he adds.
As yet, Lamotte is unsure whether he will enter using his existing 2007 Rogers Design Class40: “I could sell my current boat, but it is still competitive for a round the world race with good performance,” he says. “If I sell it, it will be to sail on another Class40 which might not be mine because I know that some GOR skippers already have boats and are actively seeking budgets or team members,” Lamotte confirms. Although the French skipper is fully-focused on Novedia-Initiatives and the forthcoming 3,600 mile Route du Rhum, he is already formulating plans for the next 11 months prior to the GOR start on 25th September in Mallorca. “It is really important that my GOR campaign gets started immediately to ensure that everything is in place and in good shape for the round the world race,” Lamotte concludes.
Tanguy de Lamotte’s GOR campaign is the fourth French entry in the race following Patrice Carpentier’s team; the duo of Jacques Fournier and Jean-Edouard Criquioche with Groupe Picoty and the Franco-English duo of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron. For GOR Race Director, Josh Hall, Lamotte’s entry is a significant milestone: “The stakes have just been seriously upped for the GOR with Tanguy’s entry,” he believes. “Entries of this calibre are an inspiration to everyone involved in the race and we anticipate a quiver of high-profile entries to sign up during the coming months,” predicts Hall. “The quality and number of entries has reached an intoxicating level – I think we can safely say that we have a must-do race on our hands now! Bienvenue abord Tanguy – bravo!”