A start venue equal to the ambition of the GLOBE40
Upon its launch back in June 2019, the GLOBE40 was very open and bold about its ambition and its values: a circumnavigation of the globe, which is as much about a planetary voyage, personal fulfilment and a quest for self-discovery in moving towards others, as it is sporting performance. It’s a round the world race that is as accessible to informed amateurs as it is to professional skippers; it’s a round the world whose course takes the skippers away from the classic patterns, offering them truly unique destinations.
To be true to this commitment, it was important that the start venue for the GLOBE40 to be a fulfilment of the initial promise; indeed by opting for African soil and Tangier for the first time in the history of round the world yacht races, the event is realising its ambition.
How does one better Tangier, the meeting point between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Africa and Europe, East and West, as a start venue for expressing the values of the first edition of the GLOBE40?
In 2,400 years of history, Tangier has been Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Sharifian and Alawite, at the centre of rivalries between great European powers in the 19th and early 20th century, under international status between two world wars, then in 1947 with the Tangier Speech, the first platform in the appeal for an independent and united Morocco attached to the Arab nation, before officially becoming the newly independent monarchy of Morocco in 1956.
A maritime setting for the start of the Globe40
This incredible history and this unique geography between the European and African continents make Tangier not only a superb maritime space with its vast bay and its 7km of beaches, but also a city with a unique personality, a centre of culture, a meeting place for artists and intellectuals the world over, as well as the second largest economic hub in Morocco with Tanger Med the largest port in the Mediterranean and Africa.
At the centre of a vast reconstruction project involving the city’s port and urban area, the international Tanja Marina Bay provides the ideal setting for the GLOBE 40 and the beginnings of its planetary course. Indeed, inaugurated in 2018 by His Majesty King Mohamed VI, at the foot of the high walls of the completely restored Medina, its 1,400 berths make it the top marina in the kingdom with all its logistical and technical services of the very best international standard. The marina also houses the brand-new headquarters for the Royal Yacht Club Tanger created in 1925 and the first yacht club in Africa.
The hosting for the first time of a major offshore race will be a game changer for Tangier in its bid to make the pearl of the Strait a Mecca for international boating.
The GLOBE40 is ready and raring to go
Following the launch in June 2019, the publication of the Notice of Race and the opening of registration in October and now the announcement of the start venue at the Paris boat show, the GLOBE40 is right on schedule with its rollout plan announced in the initial press release.
An official presentation of the Start venue of Tangier is set to form the subject of a dedicated event in Tangier and Paris in the first half of next year, once all the institutional, economic and sports protagonists are gathered together.
Also under study is the possibility of one or more prologues setting sail from an Atlantic or Mediterranean venue in France bound for Tangier. Meantime, the finish venue might be Tangier or a French venue and will be announced in the spring.
The competitive enthusiasm observed on the launch of the project (600,000 views for the event launch video, 80% of these from an international source) cannot be refuted. Indeed, in the past 6 months, 60 or so teams of 15 nationalities have declared an interest to Sirius Evénements, the majority of them very committed. A dozen or so teams have already pre-registered and the objective of fifteen or so before the year’s out is clearly right on track.
On a technical level, discussions between the various protagonists, organisation, French Sailing Federation (FFV), naval architects, yards and control boards will enable various adaptations to be implemented, which are necessary for this new round the world race context.
At the same time as the start announcement is published by the end of the boat show, a technical note will be available on request focusing on adaptations to the rules of the International Federation (OSR Cat 0), the list of safety equipment and the content of the technical assistance put in place.