Pindar Alphagraphics withdraws from Transat Jacques Vabre

It is with disappointment that Pindar today announces the withdrawal of their Transat Jacques Vabre 2005 IMOCA Open 60 entry. ‘Pindar Alphagraphics’ was to be co-skippered by accomplished sailors Liz Wardley and Jeanne Gregoire, however, limited preparation time has prevented the campaign from going ahead.

The opportunity of racing what is considered to be one of the fastest Open 60 monohulls in existence, was first proposed to the two Figaro sailors, both of whom are new to the Open 60 Class, in late August 2005. The project was supported and funded by Pindar and by Offshore Challenges Sailing Team.

Following a successful 1,000 mile qualifier last week, the team met to debrief after their first major offshore sail onboard ‘Pindar Alphagraphics’ but concluded that, despite making excellent progress, the team was just not ready enough to take on the demanding Transat Jacques Vabre race.

Liz and Jeanne issued a joint statement: “It’s a real shame that we won’t be competing having come so far – a month more and we think we could have got there. It’s been a great experience though and we’re very grateful to both Andrew Pindar and Offshore Challenges Sailing Team for all their support. Together we have given it our all, but we’re not in the business of doing compromised campaigns, so it was felt by everyone involved, that the best solution was to keep the powder dry for a future event.”

Andrew Pindar, Chairman of the Pindar Group, commented: “Naturally we share in the girls’ disappointment but they should feel extremely proud of everything they have achieved over the last few months. As with many sailing campaigns, half the challenge is to make it to the start line, but there will be other opportunities and we hope to see them both onboard ‘Pindar Alphagraphics’ in the near future. In the meantime, we wish them both the best of luck for their ongoing Figaro campaigns.”

Offshore Challenges Sailing Team retains a strong interest in the Transat Jacques Vabre race that starts 5 November, with Brian Thompson and Will Oxley racing Skandia, and Ellen MacArthur paired up with Roland Jourdain on Sill et Veolia – both boats clearly capable of a podium finish.