IMOCA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
29. März 2010
TheIMOCA class held its Annual General Meeting on 25th March 2010 at the FFVoile (French Sailing Federation).
A day prior to that Marc Guillemot, World Champion 2009 received his prize during a ceremony organised by his partner SAFRAN.
Marc Guillemot succeeds Armel Le Cléac’h, skipper of BRITAIR, who remains on the podium in third place, and precedes Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of FONCIA, second in the 2009 Cha mpionship.
Jean-Pierre Champion, President of the FFVoile, awarded Marc his title, delighted to have a French leader within the largest international oceanic class.
Jacques Lehn, representative of ISAF (International Federation) then stepped in to hand over a trophy to Marc Ventre, representative of the SAFRAN Group, world leader in aeronautical equipment, referring to the importance of the support of skippers’ partners in the success of their project.
The IMOCA General Meeting was an opportunity to review the past year and draw up the main outline for the future.
2009 was punctuated by two large bodies of work: the formalisation of the class measurement rules and the creation of a new race around Europe, the Istanbul Europa Race.
At the end of the Vendée Globe 2008, the Class decided to revise its rules with the aim of enhancing the safety of its boats and making them more reliable. The Meeting in Barcelona defined the framework, whilst that in P aris confirmed the final texts to be applied. Three Meetings were necessary, such was the scale of the work, and the involvement of the skippers remained at the core of discussions throughout.
Clearly it isn’t easy to draw up the rules that have to be applied on leaving the meeting, especially to do so in a more beneficial fashion that appeals to all the IMOCA 60 skippers! This was the challenge for the IMOCA Class in 2009 and under the presidency of Dominique Wavre it was successful in its mission.
Dominique wasn’t remiss in thanking the Technical Committee, presided over by Pascal Chadail, for the work carried out.
The current boats should remain very competitive and the new boats will have their power limited. Furthermore, everyone will have to respect the more restrictive safety rules.
It would appear that the decisions taken have been well received as, to date, four new boats are under construction: PRB skippered by V. Riou has been launched in Port la Forêt, while VIRBAC-PAPREC skippered by JP Dick is being built in New Zealand, FONCIA helmed by M. Desjoyeaux in Port la Forêt and CHEMINEES POUJOULAT skippered by B. Stamm in Switzerland.
This figure could be doubled between now and the end of 2010.
As regards the race programme, at the end of the Vendée Globe, 2009 proved to be a year of transition. Despite this a new race was born in the form of the Istanbul Europa Race.
Jean Le Cam, President of the Event Committee has been keen to remind the Class that they wanted this race and that’s what they got. The six participants found the course charming and the stopover towns are already preparing for the next running in 2011. The organiser Olay Nautic envisages an even more European flavour, with an increased number of stopovers in more countries.
Today the four year schedule is punctuated by one Round the World race every two years, namely the Vendée Globe and the Barcelona World R ace, interspersed by a Tour of Europe, it too held every two years.
These major events of the class are 100% IMOCA races.
To this we can add the transatlantic races: the Route du Rhum, the Transat Jacques Vabre and the The Artemis Transat.
The programme is completed by some exhibition events.
In the meantime the fleet will be well represented with a minimum of twenty boats participating in races in 2010 (8 to 10 in the Route du Rhum, 10 to 12 in the Barcelona World Race) and potentially thirty competitors in Les Sables d’Olonne for the Vendée Globe 2012.
In these difficult times the IMOCA Class is fairing rather satisfactorily, which is just as well.
Consequently it was a calm atmosphere which reigned at the Meeting during the ruling.
As is the case every year, the Meeting ended with the election of its representatives, who will be in session at the Executive Committee. Dominique Wavre, Luc Talbourdet and Jean Le Cam have had their seats ren ewed and José Maria Bénavidès, the Spanish representative, was elected for the post left vacant by Jacques Guilbaud.
Jacques Guilbaud constantly lit the way for the Class over the long term and his actions have greatly contributed to the sound standing that IMOCA enjoys today.
Dominique Wavre is handing over the presidency to Luc Talbourdet, who left the post in 2007. As such the team is highly representative of all its members, as well as being both supportive and familiar. This year it will ensure continuity within IMOCA as regards the actions already instigated.