The Race Around, Class40’s official round-the-world offshore yacht race, has named La Rochelle as host city for its inaugral event in 2023.
A location steeped in offshore sailing history, La Rochelle will become the home of The Race Around for the event’s start in September next year, and the return location for the 35 solo and double Class40 competitors in the early months of 2024.
In the build-up to the race, the city will also open a world class race village for skippers, teams, sponsors, management and fans alike – creating a unique 10-day celebration in the heart of one of offshore sailing’s most historic locations.
The city’s collaboration with The Race Around reinforces the La Rochelle Agglomeration and Charente Maritime Department’s commitment to further strengthening the city’s sailing presence, growing the maritime industry and hosting international sporting events with a strong focus on genuine sustainability.
Sam Holliday, Co-founder of The Race Around, said: “We couldn’t be more excited that The Race Around will be starting and finishing in La Rochelle. In the city, wider department and region we have found a community that we will be proud to call home for our first edition and beyond.
“The city is one with sailing at its heart, from the days of Isabelle Autissier to that of Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven, we’re excited to add to its rich history and our world class competitors cannot wait to start and finish the race of their lives from this forward thinking, sustainability driven and innovate part of the world.
“With the building of a world class, free to enter ‘Race Village’ around the Bassin des Chalutiers we’re excited to welcome the Rochalaise people to experience first-hand the world of Class40 alongside entertainment for all ages. The city offers us everything we could dream of to build a long term event alongside our new private and institutional partners!”
Jean-François Fountaine, Mayor of La Rochelle and President of the La Rochelle Agglomeration, said: “We are very pleased to be hosting the first edition of The Race Around in 2023 in La Rochelle. Our bay and its exceptional stretch of water are wonderfully suited to this type of major yacht race. All year round, we live to the rhythm of sporting events, which positions our beautiful maritime city “La Rochelle Force Océan” as a major venue for international sailing competitions.
“As our Agglomeration is strongly committed to the environment, The Race Around will be an eco-responsible event with the objective of achieving a zero carbon footprint. This race is a great opportunity to promote and animate our region and to support our entire nautical industry.”
Sylvie Marcilly, President of the Charente-Maritime Department, said: “I am delighted that the beautiful city of La Rochelle has been chosen to host a brand new international nautical event in 2023 in Charente-Maritime.
“Events such as these reinforce the attractiveness and dynamism of our region, they also offer a formidable showcase for our nautical industry and thus contribute to its economic development and the many jobs that depend on it. The values of sport and adventure that an ocean race leaves in its wake are also a source of pride and inspiration for all the people of Charente-Maritime. For all these reasons, and because it is innovative and eco-responsible, I am delighted to welcome “The Race Around” to the Charente-Maritime next year!”