Ten monohulls taking part in the Azimut Challenge this weekend

Défi Azimut 2015
© Yvan Zedda / Défi Azimut

At five on Friday afternoon, the ten monohulls competing in the 2017 Azimut Challenge will line up for the start of the Azimut-IMOCA60 24-hour race. It looks like being a fantastic race with such a top quality line-up. Among the big names, the pairing of Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet on SMA, the winner of this summer’s Rolex Fastnet Race, should be up at the front defending their role as favourites. But they will have to keep a close eye on the mighty crew formed by Jean-Pierre Dick/Yann Eliès on the foiler StMichel-Virbac. Alongside them, there are some mixed crews with Tanguy de Lamotte and Samantha Davies on Initiatives-Cœur, Isabelle Joschke and Pierre Brasseur on Generali, and we will especially be watching Louis Burton and Servane Escoffier on Bureau Vallée 2, the boat that won the last Vendée Globe.  As for the outsiders, there will be Fabrice Amedeo with the Italian, Giancarlo Pedote aboard Newrest - Brioche Pasquier and Morgan Lagravière along with Éric Peron on the former Safran.

Antoine Mermod, President of the Imoca class is delighted to see such an eclectic line-up and is particularly pleased to see the return of women to the IMOCA circuit. “As for the line-up, the Azimut Challenge will give us a good idea of the state of play with the Transat Jacques Vabre drawing near. The last Vendée Globe was a huge success in every way except for one thing – the fact that there were no women lining up. With Samantha Davies, Isabelle Joschke and Servane Escoffier competing in races in the 2017 season, we have the confirmation that this trend may well be changing and that has to be good news.”

The ten monohulls registered 
- BUREAU VALLÉE 2 (Louis Burton & Servane Escoffier)
- GENERALI (Isabelle Joschke & Pierre Brasseur)
-  DES VOILES ET VOUS ! (Morgan Lagravière & Eric Péron)
-  INITIATIVES CŒUR (Tanguy De Lamotte & Samantha Davies)
-  LA FABRIQUE (Alan Roura & Frédéric Denis)
-  LA MIE CÂLINE – ARTIPÔLE (Arnaud Boissières & Manuel Cousin)
-  NEWREST - BRIOCHE PASQUIER (Fabrice Amedeo & Giancarlo Pedote)
-  StMICHEL-VIRBAC (Jean-Pierre Dick & Yann Eliès)
-  SMA (Paul Meilhat & Gwénolé Gahinet)
-  VIVO A BEIRA (Yohann Richomme & Donatien Carme)

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