Transat Jacques Vabre: a fantastic fourth place for Jonas Gerckens!
Competing for the first time, the Belgian skipper managed to finish in the top 5 of this legendary race that brought together the world's top ocean racers.
The Transat Jacques Vabre, also known as the Coffee Route or the Double-handed Transat, is a double-handed transatlantic race (crews of two sailors) that has been held every two years since 1993. The best skippers on the blue planet have made this an unmissable sailing event.
Sailing between Le Havre (France) and Fort-de-France (Martinique), this 15th event proved to be a breath-taking race full of suspense, during which the Belgian skipper Jonas Gerckens and his co-skipper Benoit Hantzperg excelled completely unexpectedly.
This fourth place for a first appearance can be considered as a victory, even though the Belgian thought for a long time that he could finish on the podium. After 22 days, 0 hours, 31 minutes and 4 seconds of racing aboard VOLVO 164 in the Class40 category, a huge smile lit up his face at the finish line, despite his features being marked by fatigue and sea spray. "First of all, the simple fact of taking part in the race was already excellent news (after breaking a rib at the beginning of October, he only received medical clearance a few days before the start). My rib hurt, I even fell on it again during the race, but I felt that I could overcome the pain," said the Belgian skipper.
With little preparation and aboard a boat that he had little time to get used to, Jonas Gerckens and his French crew put in a performance owed mainly to good strategic choices that paid off on several occasions!