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Transat Québec Saint-Malo : Alberto Bona and the Class40 IBSA Protagonists Along the St. Lawrence River

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For the Class40 IBSA it’s time to return to Europe: sailing the boat during the wonderful Transat Québec Saint-Malo is skipper Alberto Bona, together with Pablo Santurde del Arco and Luca Rosetti, in a regatta that turns out to be a real conundrum, due to the expected weather conditions.

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Started after the storm, at 2:15 pm local time (8:15 pm Italian time), as expected the 10th edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo immediately proved to be very complicated. The St. Lawrence River, in fact, features currents, very unstable winds that change with the passage of a single cloud, and many variables to dominate.

A few minutes before the start, there was in fact a violent and rapid increase in the average wind speed (squall) with rain and hail, followed by a gusty and sustained wind up to 15 knots, which allowed the crafts to set off running with the wind, offering a great show as part of a very tactical first leg of the race.

Immediately after the start, Bona and the Class40 IBSA chose to keep to the right side of the race course, starting around mid-fleet and choosing to be very sparing with their manoeuvers, thus obtaining a good advantage. Indeed, those who gybed several times lost contact with the leaders of the fleet, accumulating a bit of delay.

The crew of the Class40 IBSA continued to keep to the right side of the river throughout the first hour of navigation, always remaining in the top ten positions, and even leading the fleet for a stretch off Luzon. One hour and 45 minutes after the start, Alberto and the Class40 IBSA were in third position in a race which will however see, during the river navigation, continuous changes at the top, variable wind with strong gusts and moments of very little wind. Great resilience will therefore be necessary.

We saw a great start”, commented Antonio Melli, Vice President of IBSA Group.This very important regatta started well and will lead us to Saint-Malo, where it all began, three seasons ago, between IBSA and Alberto Bona. Sailing has given us great satisfaction, involving many colleagues in Europe and the United States in a story of sport and values”.

With increasingly unstable weather conditions, but with expected winds up to 20 knots, the passage along the St. Lawrence is still strategic. According to Bona, the first 140 miles will be the most complicated, due to conditions and variables, and with well-defined shifts for the team: Alberto will continue to take care of navigation, keeping an eye on the instruments to define the correct tactical choices based on the orography of the river and the wind, while Pablo and Luca will have the task to sail the boat and manage the manoeuvers, keeping an eye on potential whale encounters.

For the first three days of navigation, the great river will be the protagonist; then the fleet of 25 Class40s will tackle the mouth and Newfoundland, before finding themselves in the Atlantic Ocean, where they will look for the best way to “land” in the English Channel, to then reach the finish line in Saint-Malo.

Navigation is expected to last approximately 11-12 days.

THE PROJECT: The three-year project Sailing into the Future. Together was launched in January 2022. The partnership between IBSA and skipper Alberto Bona was born on common bases and values, and aims to use sailing as a corporate communication vehicle towards the market and the nautical world. Ingenuity, courage, innovation, responsibility are elements that unites IBSA and Alberto, and the oceanic challenge, in addition to the sporting competition, also metaphorically represents the company’s history, philosophy and vision, which are always oriented towards and are part of a path that brings IBSA increasingly closer to the topic of environmental and social sustainability, with a particular focus on inclusive sailing projects for people with disabilities. In November 2022, the Route du Rhum was the first sporting stage of the project Sailing into the Future. Together. In 2023, Bona and the Class40 IBSA participated in six regattas, including the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre. With two victories and three podiums, the record for the highest number of miles covered in 24 hours and over 15,000 miles sailed, Bona won first place overall in the Class40 International Championship. In 2024, between April and July, he will face two of the toughest transatlantic races on the international scene: the Transat CIC from Lorient (France) to New York and theQuebec Saint-Malo (from Canada to France).

THE SKIPPER: Alberto Bona is from Turin, and has a degree in philosophy. As a university student, he won the Panerai trophy aboard 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 Vabre, 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 world’s fastest boats, 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, in 2020 he finished 7th among the rookies in the first year and 16th overall. 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 in partnership with IBSA: after an eighth place in the Route du Rhum 2022, in 2023 Alberto won the Class40 International Championship, closing a season with three podiums and over 15,000 miles covered.

THE BOAT: Designed by French naval architect Sam Manuard and built by the JPS Production shipyard, Alberto Bona’s boat is a Class40 Mach 5 model. Its main characteristics are: scow bow – rounded and with a wider and flatter shape than standard bows – designed to stay high above the water and avoid being submerged; all-round hull, particularly performing in conditions of strong tailwinds; and a large, shielded cockpit, to face extreme conditions of navigation in as comfortable and safe as possible positions.

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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Contacts

For more information, visit www.ibsasailing.com/en/ -
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FOR PRESS INFORMATION
Francesca Capodanno – francesca.capodanno@wordpower.srl – mob: +39 349 881 0482
Benedetta Salemme – benedetta.salemme@noesis.net – mob. +39 324 800 7570

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