San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Trans-Atlantic Boat Racers En Route to Limón

The Transat Jacques Vabre 2009 international sailboat race is on its way to Costa Rica.

The race left the port of Le Havre in northern France on Sunday, and the sailors are currently about a quarter of the way across the Atlantic. The race will conclude at the Caribbean port of Limón. The boats are expected to arrive in the next week to 10 days.

Currently in the water are 13 Imoca vessels, which have a traditional single-hull body style, and three Multi50-style sailboats, which have three hulls, with two smaller hulls on either side of the main hull at the end of wing-like extensions.

The Imoca race began with 14 ships, but the ship BritAir was forced to turn around and dock on Wednesday after being hit by a storm off the coast of northern France. The Multi50 class has lost three of the original six ships due to strong winds and chilly, inclement conditions.

As of Thursday, Safran was leading the Imoca class, and Crepes Whaou was leading the Multi50 class. All ships have made their way south after passing Spain and the Iberian Peninsula.

Several ships have continued south while some have elected a more westerly course. The different navigation strategies of the sailors should be interesting to monitor as the race continues.

For more information on the race, visit http: The Web site also includes a live tracking device that allows a person to track the progress of the ships on their way to Limón.

–Adam Williams


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