HomeClass 40Transat jacques Vabre : Forza Italia win Class 40

Transat jacques Vabre : Forza Italia win Class 40

Forza Italia! Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu win Class 40

Italian skipper Ambrogio Beccaria and French co-skipper Nicolas Andrieu sailing the all Italian Musa 40 Alla Grande PIRELLI took first place in the highly competitive Class40 race on the 16th Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre two handed race when they crossed the finish line off Fort-de-France, Martinique in beautiful morning sunshine at 08:01:36 hrs local time (12:01:36 hrs UTC).

The elapsed time for the 4045 mile course is 18 days 12 hours 21 minutes and 55 seconds. In a record sized fleet of 44 boats which started from Le Havre on 29 October but paused in Lorient for seven days to sit out a huge storm on the Bay of Biscay, Beccaria and Andrieu were also first to complete the stage to Lorient.

Beccaria, who is an Italian trained marine engineer and Andrieu, an aeronautical engineer who is director of R & D with Béyou Racing, have led for much of the race except for when a group broke to the north a week ago. But Italian-French duo stuck to their guns and have prevailed. The second placed Class 40 boat was around 50 miles behind as Alla Grande PIRELLI was crossing the Bay of Fort de France heading for victory.

Beccaria’s biggest success to date in Class 40 was finishing second behind Yoann Richomme on last year’s Route du Rhum, but this season he and Andrieu won the Normandy Channel Race, the Malouine Lamotte and he was second on the Défi Atlantique race from Guadeloupe to La Rochelle via the Azores, sailing with Alberto Riva and the co-designer of his boat Gianluca Guelfi.

He follows in the wake of legendary Italian ocean racer Giovanni Soldini who until now is the first and only Italian to win the 40 footer class on this race doing so on the 2007 edition with compatriot Pietro d’Ali into Salvador de Bahia Brazil.

From a non-sailing Milanese family, Beccaria really took to sailing on family holidays in Sardinia and really took to racing when he got a Laser 4000 for his 18th birthday, going on to become national champion. As a young trainee naval engineer he rescued and rebuilt a Pogo 2 which he raced the Mini Transat on before finishing third overall in the 2019 race in the whole fleet on a standard Pogo 3, winning both legs the production boat division.

When studying at La Spezia he met up with Guelfi and they became firm friends. When he decided to campaign in Class 40 he called on his friend and they built at Eduardo Bianchi’s new facility in Genoa.

Down to earth Beccaria, 32, is intent on demystifying and normalising solo and short hand ocean racing. He is renowned for a typical passion for risotto and carries a pressure cooker on Alla Grande Pirelli. When times get tough or an opportunity arises, he his well known for conjuring up his favourite dish.

Their race time was 18 days 12 hours 21 minutes 55 seconds. The duo sailed the theoretical 4045 miles between Le Havre and Fort-de-France at an average speed of 9.1 knots. Out on the water, they actually sailed 5381.51 miles averaging 12.11 knots.



Nicolas Andrieu: “It feels great, but above all there is a feeling of relief, as the competition was so intense with the boats close to us and those far away. That was a lot of pressure to bear for 17 days.

Beccaria: “Given the information we had about ten days ago, the southern option seemed the best bet, but we knew it wasn’t sewn up. There was some luck involved. Having chosen that option, the best thing for us was to aim to finish first in our group, and secondly do the best we could. Sometimes, it was hard to juggle with that. We felt like keeping our close rivals in check, but we told ourselves, there was a bigger pictur

Beccaria: “Even if we knew a few hours ago, we were set to win the race, you don’t want to say that. So, crossing the line is a weight off our shoulders. The time passes by quickly, as there is always something to do. At the finish we have an excellent knowledge of the boat. She is a good all-rounder. She doesn’t have any weak points and performs well whatever the conditions. It’s nice to have two good skippers, but a good boat is essential.”

“We got to know each other in this race. Nicolas is very sincere and remains relaxed even in the toughest moments. That gave me a lot of energy. It raised the standard and became a strength for us.”

“We got to know each other in this race  Nicolas is very sincere and remains relaxed even in the toughest moments. That gave me a lot of energy. It raised the standard and became a strength for us.”

“It was difficult in Italy for ocean racers to find sponsors in Italy, but they supported us and that was very important. In Italy, we don’t have the ocean, so we work in France. As there is a winner from Italy, I hope there will be people discovering that and competing in the future. When I was young, I didn’t know about this possibility. Maybe in the future, other sponsors will join in.”



1st Leg
Alla Grande Pirelli sailed by Ambrogio Beccaria and Nicolas Andrieu in the lead from start to finish, across the Bay of Seine to the Courreaux de Groix, won, arriving on the stroke of midnight.
« We didn’t have any problems aboard the boat apart from a little damage to the sails… and a knee and two legs that got a bit beaten up.”
Nicolas Andrieu«  The lead we have is big, but not really important. It is better to be an hour ahead than an hour behind. It is amazing seeing Ambrogio handle his boat. He was involved in the design and knows her by heart.”

2nd leg 
« We’re pleased to be able to set sail, but it will be in strong winds and upwind for the first two and a half days. We’re going to have to remain alert, but we sailed well in the first leg. We’re going to try to keep up the pace. We are tackling this second leg, just as we did at the start of the race. »
8th Nov
the Class40 monohulls continue to fight it out as they round the NW tip of Spain. In front, the two Italian-French teams on Alla Grande Pirelli and IBSA are setting an incredible pace that only a small group of five chasing boats seems able to follow.
9th Nov
Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu on Alla Grande Pirelli lost some miles on their rivals last night and this morning after snaring a fishing net. « . We had fishing nets in the keel. Then I had a little injury, but nothing serious. It’s never easy sailing. There is no wind, but big waves. We’re trying to avoid the next no-wind zone. The strategy is to catch the wind. »

11th Nov
Amarris off to the North and West with the rivals in the South off to the East:  Alla Grande Pirelli, IBSA, Groupe SNEF…

12th Nov
Achille Nebout and Gildas Mahé stuck with their most westerly route, and are passing to the west of Tenerife on Amarris. Furthest to the south and east and going slightly quicker have been a posse of four boats led by Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu on Alla Grande- PIRELLI

14th Nov
Macaire takes lead, It’s nice to be back in the leading group with Ambrogio (Alla Grande Pirelli) and Alberto (IBSA). We’re fighting it out with them. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. It’s a bit sad to see our routes diverge, but we’re sticking with our strategy. It may pay off or it may not. It offers a possibility of winning, so we grabbed that opportunity

15th Nov
Leaders yesterday Xavier Macaire and Pierre Leboucher (Groupe SNEF) are investing in a northwesterly course whilst the Italian Musa 40 Alla Grande PIRELLI sailed by Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu leads again alongside Italian rivals IBSA, the Manuard designed Mach 40.5 sailed by Alberto Bona and Spanish ace Pablo Santurde del Arco.

17th Nov
Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu still hold a slender lead on Alle Grande-PIRELLI over IBSA. Beccaria says they are not looking too closely at the progress of a pack some 500 miles in the north led by Groupe SNEF (Xavier Macaire and Pierre Leboucher).
Beccaria, “Today it is too light for us, and too hot, especially for Nico (Andrieu, co-skipper). The battle is going on, it’s about every shift and every knot of wind more or less. Physically I had a bit of pain with my rib a few days ago but now it is better. Nico is suffering in the heat »

20th Nov
the southernmost boats, like IBSA (Bona / Santurde del Arco), along with Alla Grande Pirelli (Beccaria / Andrieu) and Everial (le Draoulec / Leglatin), are progressing irregularly with a shifty wind

22nd Nov
It is the Italian-French duo Ambrogio Beccaria and Nico Andrieu on Alla Grande Pirelli who continue to profit.  “It’s a bit like a Tarantino film, where everyone gets shot at the end,” joked Beccaria. “According to my routing, it may be Influence2 that wins or us or Groupe SNEF… In any case, none of us can control the situation.”

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