All 37 crews issued with the Wavefinder safety kit that will be fitted to all the boats before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre

The organisers of the 7th Transat Jacques Vabre, the two-handed transatlantic race between Le Havre and Salavdor de Bahia, Brazil, which starts on 5-6 November, have highlighted that safety is their primary concern.

Most of the 37 skippers entered for the race attended last week’s event launch at the Jardin d’Acclimatation where Race Director Jean Maurel highlighted special race features and talked at length about safety. Paul Vatine was lost on the 1999 Transat Jacques Vabre after capsizing off the coast of Normandy. His crewmate Jean Maurel was below decks at the moment the trimaran capsized. Having made the decision to focus on crew safety this year, Jean Maurel carried on to introduce the new partner of this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre: Wavefinder – a new electronic man overboard alert and location system that is fast, accurate, reliable and completely autonomous.

At the end of the conference, all 37 crews were issued with the Wavefinder safety kit that will be fitted to all the boats in the race: antenna, control panel and two portable transmitters to be inserted into lifejackets or worn on belts. The race rules state that the Wavefinder system must be fitted to every boat in time for the technical checks scheduled to take place in Le Havre on 28-29 October just a few days before the start.

Details were also announced about a completely new kind of curtain-raiser in the form of knockout races to be held at Le Havre on 29-30 October, and a ProAm competition to be fought out in the Bassin de l’Eure, just before the start.