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Alberto Bona on Board the Class40 IBSA Finishes the Transat Jacques Vabre in Third Place
[November 24, 2023]

Alberto Bona on Board the Class40 IBSA Finishes the Transat Jacques Vabre in Third Place


Yesterday, the Class40 IBSA with Alberto Bona and co-skipper Pablo Santurde del Arco completed in third position one of the most iconic and watched transoceanic regattas, crossing the finish line in Fort-de-France, Martinique, after 18 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds of navigation and 5,466 miles actually sailed at an average speed of 12.1 knots. By gaining the podium, Bona and Santurde took the Class40 IBSA to a whole new level, achieving an important result for the project Sailing into the Future. Together, a result built mile after mile, with close duels, storms, unexpectedly weak trade winds and a great rush to the South.

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Transat Jacques Vabre: Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde del Arco on the Class40 IBSA after crossing the finish line in Fort-de-France, Martinique (©IBSA | Beppe Raso)

Transat Jacques Vabre: Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde del Arco on the Class40 IBSA after crossing the finish line in Fort-de-France, Martinique (©IBSA | Beppe Raso)

"An important result in one of the most difficult regattas I have ever participated in", stated Bona upon arrival. "We had all the possible weather conditions, from storm to calm; we changed direction by gybing for a countless number of times - therefore moving two hundred kilos inside the boat each time; we made very complex decisions and got over the cold, the heat and the fatigue. Third place is an objective achieved: we did a good regatta! Thanks to IBSA, which welcomed us here with uncommon enthusiasm, awaiting our arrival and celebrating this podium with us, which is a great objective for our three-year project".

Giorgio Pisani, Vice President IBSA Group and Project Leader of Sailing into the Future. Together, commented: "A place on the podium that shows the determination of our skipper Alberto Bona and his crewmate Pablo Santurde and repays the team for the enormous effort to get here after two seasons of intense work. This regatta is a perfect metaphor of the determination necessary to achieve the objectives set, at sea as well as in any other context. This month, we followed the Class40 IBSA, living with Bona all the difficult conditions he faced and skilfully overcame, and it was a great pleasure to hug him at the finish line in Fort-de-France, celebrating third place in one of the toughest regattas of the international Class40 circuit".

Thinking back to the regatta is like recounting a chess game played in the Atlantic, which first put the crews to the test by sending storms and waves up to five metre, and then left them at the mercy of the scarcity of wind, in search of better conditions much more south than expected, extending travel times and the number of miles covered. Alberto and Pablo on the Class40 IBSA left on October 29 from Le Havre for a first stage, which took them to Lorient, a mandatory choice on the part of the organisation, in order to avoid the crews ending up in storm Ciarán. After 300 miles, on October 30, the Class40 IBSA finished in eighth place, after sailing in a gale for 1 day, 11 hours, 58 minutes and 5 seconds.

The second leg, from Lorient to Martinique, leaves on November 6, and the Class40 IBSA is always in the leading group; she's the first to fight against the high waves, the current and the strong wind along the Bay of Biscay, and then to engage in the search for "air" in the South, because the trade wind only blows at very low latitudes. One of the critical passages of the regatta takes place when Bona is headed South, but some of the teams in the rear flee to the west, chasing a depression into which they could slip to find wind.

The fleet splits apart, with a distance between the two groups exceeding 600 miles: they are practically two different races with the same finish line, two groups of boats studying each other from afar. IBSA's descent to the South continues with determination, with the skippers maintaining control over both the leading group and the English and French crews who are pressing them from behind. The countdown to the arrival begins on November 21: calm weather slows down both fleets, but Alberto and Pablo push on the accelerator; indeed, on the last night of the regatta they recover two positions and the advantage necessary to secure a place on the podium of a race as exciting as it is complex, concluding with satisfaction a season that, over the course of the year, has brought IBSA to sail over 13,000 miles, participate in six regattas and win the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables.





 

THE PROJECT: Sailing into the Future. Together started in January 2022; the partnership between IBSA and Alberto Bona was born on common bases and values, and aims to use sailing as a vehicle for corporate communication, towards the market and the nautical world. Ingenuity, courage, innovation, responsibility are elements that unite IBSA and Alberto, and the oceanic challenge, in addition to the sporting race, also metaphorically represents the company's history, philosophy and vision, which are always oriented towards the future and are part of a path that brings IBSA increasingly closer to the topics of environmental and social sustainability, inclusion and integration. The Route du Rhum was the first stage of the three-year programme Sailing into the Future. Together, which the Swiss pharmaceutical company started with Bona and which continues in 2023 with a busy calendar of regattas, including the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Transat Jaques Vabre.

 

THE BOAT: The boat is a latest generation Class40, with a scow bow. Designed by French naval architect Sam Manuard and built by the JPS Production shipyard, the boat is a Mach 5 model, the latest evolution of Manuard's Class40.

The characteristics: rounded bow, created with the aim of increasing performance while running; water lines and appendages designed to make the hull an all-round fast even upwind; large and protected cockpit to face navigation in the most comfortable and safe positions possible. The first international regatta in which Alberto Bona participated with the Class40 IBSA was the Route du Rhum 2022.

 

THE SKIPPER: Alberto Bona is from Turin, and has a degree in philosophy. As a university student, he won the Panerai trophy with Stormvogel, fast ULDB and historic boat with which he crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, winning the ARC with a New Zealand crew. In 2012 he took part in the Minitransat, finishing 5th, one of the best Italian results ever in this category. In 2015, he switched to the prototype category Mini 6.50 with Promostudi La Spezia: he won the Italian championship and finished second in the ocean crossing Les Sables-Azores. In 2017 he discovered the Class40: on Giovanni Soldini's former Telecom Italia, he participated in the Transat Jacques Vabres, where he was forced to withdraw when he was in sixth place. In 2019 he was aboard the Maserati Multi 70 trimaran, one of the fastest boats in the world, where he practiced on the foils before moving on to the Figaro Beneteau 3, aboard which he participated in the Solitaire; the only Italian registered, he finished 7th among the rookies in the first year and 16th overall in 2020. In 2021 he won the Italian offshore team title and the Europeans in mixed doubles aboard the Figaro 3. In 2022 he started the new project, with the support of the IBSA Group: with the new Class40 IBSA, he participated in the Route du Rhum 2022, finishing in eighth position.

 

IBSA: IBSA (Institut Biochimique SA) is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical Company, founded in 1945 in Lugano. Today, its products are present in over 90 Countries on 5 continents, through the Company's 18 subsidiaries located in Europe, China, and the United States. The company has a consolidated turnover of 900 million CHF, and employs over 2,200 people between headquarters, subsidiaries and production sites. IBSA holds 90 families of approved patents, plus others under development, as well as a vast portfolio of products, covering 10 therapeutic areas: reproductive medicine, endocrinology, pain and inflammation, osteoarticular, aesthetic medicine, dermatology, uro-gynaecology, cardiometabolic, respiratory, consumer health. It is also one of the largest operators worldwide in the area of reproductive medicine, and one of the world's leaders in hyaluronic acid-based products. IBSA has based its philosophy on four pillars: Person, Innovation, Quality and Responsibility.


 


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