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Europa Race to be rescheduledFreitag, 10. Juni 2011

Olay Nautic, organiser of the race around Europe, and IMOCA, the association of skippers of 60' monohulls, have taken the joint decision to postpone the race, which had been scheduled to start on the 1st of July.

The race itself fulfils all of the conditions set by the Organiser and IMOCA, but the number of entries is insufficient for an event of this standing.

This situation is in part due to the difficult economic climate which has led to fewer sponsored campaigns, technical issues on some boats, and the fact that a number of boats have only recently finished the round the world Barcelona World Race.

IMOCA, Olay Nautic, the skippers and their sponsors are currently considering a new date so that the event can take place in conditions that satisfy all parties involved: a strong fleet to ensure a major sporting event, host towns and cities with flagship events in each stopover, quality public relations operations for the race sponsors and boat sponsors, interesting news and powerful images, and partnerships with the media to ensure widespread media coverage.

IMOCA communiqué

The Europa Race postponed until the spring of 2012

The IMOCA Executive Committee and Event Committee got together on 31 May to study the postponement of the Europa Race and its consequences on the calendar.

Olay Nautic, organiser of the race, didn't have enough competitors to envisage organising the event on the scheduled date, which was originally 1 July 2011.
The common objective which IMOCA and the organiser had in mind, namely a fleet of 10 boats, wasn't achieved.

After consulting the skippers, IMOCA suggested to Olay Nautic that they postpone the race until the spring of 2012. Eleven projects have promised to participate in the Europa Race, the start of which will be given in Istanbul in May 2012.

Through this decision, the Class is confirming its desire to have a European Tour (Europa Race) on its schedule every two years, alternating with a Round the World race. Positioned prior to the Vendée Globe and the Barcelona World Race, the Europa Race will contribute towards the promotion of the round the world races, particularly across Europe, which accommodates the bulk of the IMOCA fleet.

On a competitive level the Europa Race, which is run in crewed configuration, shall be a platform for the last fine tuning sessions for the boats and minimises the risk prior to an important event.
To suit the needs of the skippers preparing for a round the world, one leg of the Europa Race will be raced in solo configuration prior to the Vendée Globe and double-handed configuration prior to the Barcelona World Race.

Cumali Varer, President of Olay Nautic, is already working on a new race format which will be presented between now and 15 July 2011.

Clearly this postponement alters the scheduled programme, particularly as regards The Transat, which was originally due to set sail in May 2012. OC ThirdPole, organiser of The Transat, was informed of the situation and was consulted prior to the final decision being made. OC ThirdPole has stood by IMOCA for a long while and understands the need of the Class to postpone the Europa Race. It will in turn study the possibility of postponing The Transat with the aim of gathering a minimum of 10 competitors at the start.

Up till now the IMOCA programme followed a four-year cycle of events, punctuated by its landmark race, the Vendée Globe. The integration of the Barcelona World Race, has put a new light on the things through its success and durability.
In the future, the IMOCA calendar is set to integrate periods of solo races and double-handed races, each culminating in a round the world.

IMOCA is working in this direction, by associating race organisers in its thought processes.


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