Two young newcomers cause a stir at the Transat Jacques Vabre


If yesterday’s prologue race for the Transat Jacques Vabre was anything to go by, it’s time to sit up and pay attention. As all the names were bigging up their results, one quiet triumph went unheralded.

YoungDan Gohl, a 22-year-old from East Sussex, and his team-mateTom Gallclaimed a superb 2nd place in the biggest fleet this year, the 30-strong Class 40. This is a tremendously competitive fleet and three things really stand out about their result.

First, Dan is the youngest competitor in the race. Secondly, he and Tom have struggled to be ready in time because Dan had to re-qualify when his former co-skipper dropped out.

Most tellingly, their Akilaria 40 Concise was the first production Class 40 in the race, ahead of some very spiffy, tweaked one-offs – and in front of such stars as Giovanni Soldini and Florence Arthaud.

So while the PR pours in from the established big budget teams, keep an eye out for this pair.