The age old rivalry between sail and power could see a resurgence if plans to race a fleet of multihulls against the liner Queen Mary 2 come to fruition.
“The challenge is a bit crazy, but it would mean the return of the world’s biggest cruise liner 2 to Saint-Nazaire, where she was built. ” said Damien Grimont, former ocean racer and organiser of nautical events.
The project, codenamed The Bridge, behind the transatlantic race has the backing of Cunard who as part of the Carnival Group own and operate the liner.
In plans revealed by a French sailing Web site the transatlantic race would leave from Saint-Nazaire, on 24 June 2017 and head for New York’s Verrazano Bridge.
In a “race against the clock”, the multihulls would cross the Atlantic inside a week and arrive in New York on 2 July, while Queen Mary 2 would call in at her home port of Southampton the day after leaving Saint-Nazaire.
The route is highly symbolic, taking part almost 100 years after the USA entered the Great War landing at Saint Nazaire to take part. Some of today’s largest and most powerful racing sailboats are expected to take part.
Reaching speeds of up to 24 knots on average many took part in transatlantic crossing competing in the Route du Rhum. On that occasion Loïck Peyron sailing in Banque Populaire VII was the winner