SLAM SQUAD geared up for the Transat Jacques Vabre
Six teams will fly the SLAM flag across the TJV fleet, among them Sébastien Simon (FRA) and Iker Martinez (ESP) along with Arnaud Boissières (FRA) and Gérald Veniard (FRA) in the IMOCAs, Alberto Riva (ITA) racing alongside Jean Marre (FRA) in the Class 40s, and Luke Berry (GBR/FRA) teamed with Antoine Joubert (FRA) to lead the fleet away in the Ocean 50s.
The SLAM SQUAD is all geared up and ready to make their collective mark on the classic Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV) transatlantic race which starts from Le Havre on Sunday 29 October.
A dozen of the most talented offshore racing sailors make up the squad, racing six entries across the IMOCA, Class 40 and Ocean 50 divisions on the fabled ocean challenge to Fort de France in Martinique, this year marking its 30th anniversary.
With the backing and technical expertise and innovation provided by SLAM, a leader in offshore clothing, the SQUAD are quietly confident of being well in the mix among the 96-strong fleet.
“We have worked closely with all of the SLAM SQUAD members in making sure their clothing meets all their expectations and will perform as expected,” said Enrico Chieffi, CEO of SLAM.
“For over 40 years we have built relationships with many sailors so we know what is needed when the going gets tough, and we have a proven track record on delivering it.”
The innovative project is a further development of SLAM’s long-standing and creative relationship with international sailors, which began soon after the company’s formation back in 1979 with the brand label getting early exposure on the Star Class podium at the 1980 Olympics.
Further success soon followed, with class sponsorships, America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cup, Whitbread Race and Volvo Ocean Race crew clothing partnerships all helping achieve SLAM’s ambitious and distinctive design goals.
Leading the new SLAM SQUAD away in Sunday’s staggered TJV starting sequence will be Anglo-French skipper Luke Berry and his co-skipper Antoine Joubert on the Ocean 50 Le Rire Médecin-Lamotte, the multihull duo no doubt out to repeat their close class win in the recent hard Rolex Fastnet Race.
Next to start is the large IMOCA class featuring two SLAM SQUAD entries: the Groupe Dubreuil Sailing Team with the highly experienced French IMOCA sailor Sébastien Simon and Spanish Olympic gold medal winner Iker Martinez aboard, as well as the equally experienced French team of Arnaud Boissières and co-skipper Gérald Veniard racing La Mie Câline.
Finally a trio of entries wearing SLAM will get underway in the Class 40 fleet. The all-French pairings of Erwan Le Draoulec and co-skipper Tanguy Leglatin aboard Everial, and co-skippers Axel Tréhin and Gwénaël Riou on Project Rescue Ocean, will be joined by Italian star Alberto Riva and his French co-skipper Jean Marre on Acrobatica, which is the newest Class 40 in the fleet.
Each of the classes on the Transat Jacques Vabre — also known as the Coffee Route as it follows the historic coffee trading route from France — will sail a different course, with the intention they will all arrive at near to the same time at the finish in Fort de France.
“We are proud to be back through the front door into the world of great ocean races by dressing six of the top crews on the Transat Jacques Vabre,” said Marco Perazzo, global sales manager of SLAM. “We will be able to test technology in the field and develop our products and the collection as a guarantee for our customers, with the aim of increasingly affirming our DNA as a technical brand and becoming a leading player in ocean racing as we already are in the America’s Cup with our partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand,” he added, noting the start coincided with the opening of a new SLAM showroom in Lorient with Clément Machetel, sales manager for France, leading the project.