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Vendée Globe

Seb Josse’s Open 60 officially launched in London

"Today is a culmination of three months of hard work by the shore team"

Tuesday 29 April 2008Redaction SSS [Source RP]

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Today on the River Thames (London, UK), Seb Josse’s BT IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA 60 was officially launched after an extensive race refit. And it proved to be a sweet moment of success for Seb and his teammate Ellen MacArthur as the all-girl band, the Sugababes, joined the duo onboard the BT IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA 60 to sing one of their latest hit records as she sailed under Tower Bridge.

The Sugababe trio of Amelle, Heidi and Keisha supported the launch of the BT-branded boat in her new colours to promote BT’s sponsorship of this year’s Isle of Wight Festival. BT Team Ellen are also based in East Cowes at Venture Quays on the Isle of Wight so it proved a perfect opportunity to publicise one of the island’s biggest music festivals which takes place over 13th-15th June. Ellen launched the BT Team Ellen project in Paris in September last year – a three-year partnership with BT through to 2010. The project includes the BT IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA 60 skippered by Sébastien Josse and Australian Nick Moloney, skipper of the BT Extreme 40.

After sailing back under Tower Bridge, the BT IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA 60 then berthed alongside the Royal Navy’s HMS President where she was officially christened by CEO of BT Global Services, Francois Barrault: "I am delighted to launch the BT Open 60, a unique collaboration that captures the powerful potential of the BT Team Ellen partnership. Working together, we aim not only to win races, but also to demonstrate how innovative approaches to communications and technology can help to create a better world. Developing a sustainable future is an important part of this partnership as businesses and consumers increasingly need to act responsibly towards the environment in which we operate.” A decade-long association with BT as communications partner to the sailing team has now matured into a well-matched title partner relationship.

A perfect ‘Mumm moment’ for the BT IMOCA 60 team as they toasted her christening and future success with G.H. Mumm Champagne, the official champagne supplier to the team.

Seb Josse from Concarneau in France will now race the BT IMOCA 60 in the forthcoming solo transatlantic race, The Artemis Transat, which starts from Plymouth on 11th May. Not only is this race the oldest solo race in history but one of the toughest challenges for any solo skipper to cross the North Atlantic alone and is a major stepping stone towards Seb’s ultimate goal of competing in his second solo, non-stop round the world, Vendée Globe race that starts in November: “I have raced around the globe three times so far – with a crew non-stop, with a crew with stops, solo non-stop – every element of racing and being at sea is a pleasure for me. Every race is a new challenge, a new battle, a new discovery. No ones knows what will happen in the next Vendée Globe – all we know is that never before have so many pro teams lined up on the start line together. Today is a culmination of three months of hard work by the shore team to get our BT IMOCA 60 into the highest possible race spec with the objective of being very competitive but also able to complete a long distance race around the world.”

Whilst Seb is campaigning the BT IMOCA 60 and Nick skippers the BT Extreme 40 in this year’s iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series across Europe, Ellen’s sailing projects for 2008 include the Archipelago Raid on the BT F18 plus helming the BT Extreme 40 in the Round the Island Race before racing on the BT IMOCA 60 in some of the crewed events in 2009. Ellen is also supporting BT’s CSR worldwide programme and continuing with her commitment to pursuing and communicating how to lead a more sustainable life on land.

“It has been a great moment to see the launch of Seb’s BT IMOCA 60. He is a fantastic skipper with a huge amount of experience and as a team we are as excited for him as he is to get the boat launched and ready for her first season of racing. Both myself, Seb and Nick have all raced in the solo Vendée Globe and know what a huge and demanding undertaking it is. He will have our 100% support in the build up to and during both The Artemis Transat and the Vendée Globe and we have absolute confidence in his ability to succeed.”

“Our relationship with BT is not only long but we share many common objectives. We both share a combined passion for both the sport and the world around us, and I am convinced that the projects we will be working on together, both on and off the water, will help us to achieve our mutual objectives of not only being able to win races, but to promote the power of communications and technology to help create a better, more sustainable, world. When you sail around the world you have no choice but to be completely tuned into what is around you. How to harness the power of nature and manage the limited resources you are carrying on board. You sail around our planet and realise it’s not so big after all, and that it has it’s own fragility,” concluded Ellen.

Press info BT Team Ellen /

Seb Josse Profile

Sébastien Josse already has a very impressive track record and a real international stature. A product of the famous Figaro single-handed class, he quickly moved into the world of IMOCA 60s and threatened the “rock stars” in the 2004 Vendée Globe before hitting a growler (part of a broken iceberg), an incident that compromised his chances of stepping on the podium.

Nevertheless, it is a determined and happy sailor who crossed the finish line in 5th position of what was his first solo non-stop round-the-world race. In 2002, Sébastien had been part of Bruno Peyron’s crew, capturing the Jules Verne Trophy in 64 days. The young man’s third round-the-world journey was to be a major step in his career, since he had been appointed skipper of ABN AMRO 2 for the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race. Being in charge of the Dutch team’s “young” crew as all members were 30 years of age or less, Sébastien went on to challenge the race’s favorites, among which one could find legendary names such as Paul Cayard or Bouwe Bekking, and broke the 24-hour monohull record with an impressive 562.96 mile run that still holds today. In November 2007 he set out on the double-handed, non-stop round the world race called the Barcelona World Race with previous Vendée Globe winner, Vincent Riou, and were leading the race off South Africa when the boat lost the top of the mast forcing a retirement.

- Born: 31 March 1975
- Nationality: French
- Lives: Concarneau, France

BT IMOCA 60 Technical Specification

- Length: 18,28m (60 feet)
- Width: 5.85m
- Weight: 8400k (8.4 tonnes)
- Keel: 2800k
- Mast height: 28.5m
- Draft: 4.5m
- Mainsail area upwind: 310sqm
- Mainsail area downwind: 590sqm
- Build material: carbon firbre nomex foam sandwich
- Designer: Farr Yacht Design, Annapolis, USA
- Builder: Offshore Challenges Sailing Team, Cowes, UK
- Number of build hours: 22,000 hours over 8 months
- Number in build team: 14, reaching 26 in final phase
- Boat components: assembled around the word – mast and boom from Marstrom in Sweden; keel fin from North America; winches from Harken in Italy; sails from North Sails in France and the UK.

2008/09 programme of IMOCA events

- 29 April 2008 : Launch of the BT IMOCA 60
- 11 May 2008 : The Artemis Transat
- 28 June 2008 : JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
- 6 August 2008 : Artemis Round the Island Race / Skandia Cowes Week
- 9 November 2008 to February 2009 : Vendée Globe
- February 2009 : Finish of the Vendée Globe Race
- May 2009 : Calais Round Britain & Ireland Race
- June 2009 – JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
- August 2009 – Skandia Cowes Week
- August 2009 – The Fastnet Race
- September-November 2009 – Transat Jacques Vabre Race or other European event tbc by the IMOCA class

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Class 40 : Owen Clarke Design LLP plays Jaz 40

Barcelona World Race : Wavre & Paret claim third place in Barcelona

Barcelona World Race : Thomson & Cape second in Barcelona

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