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The IBSA Class40 – the Craft That Will Take Alberto Bona to the Route Du Rhum – Was Launched in Trinité-Sur-Mer


Latest-generation Class40, “scow” bow, five months of production: the IBSA craft with which Alberto Bona will participate in the Route du Rhum in November was launched yesterday in La Trinité-Sur-Mer (Brittany, France). It’s the first project of the three-year program Sailing into the Future. Together that the ocean sailor started in early 2022, together with the Swiss pharmaceutical company.

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Class40 IBSA: technical launch (Photo: © IBSA | Carlo Borlenghi)

Designed by Sam Manuard, one of the great French naval architects when it comes to ocean classes, the IBSA Class40 was built by the JPS Production shipyard. It’s a Mach 5 model, the latest evolution of Manuard’s Class40, and will be present at the start of the Route du Rhum as one of the most innovative and modern boats. Much attention will surely be drawn to the rounded bow, created with the aim of increasing performance when sailing downwind, but also the hull promises high performance, thanks to the shape of the water lines and appendages, designed to make it a fast all-rounder when reaching too. Distinctive is also the design of the cockpit, large and well protected: a choice that will allow the sailor to face navigation in the most comfortable and safe positions possible. “This boat perfectly reflects our approach to the program”, summarised Alberto Bona. “It’s the result of the search for detail, of the improvement in every single aspect: we were looking for a fast hull, clearly at the limits of the box rule, reliable in all weather conditions and sufficiently innovative to make a difference”.

The project Sailing into the Future. Togetherstarted from scratch last January with a partnership – that between IBSA and Alberto Bona – born on common grounds and values, with the aim of using sailing as a corporate communication vehicle towards the market and the nautical world. “Ingenuity, courage, innovation, responsibility are elements which unite us - explained Bona - for this reason we are facing together this challenge, which is clearly sporting but which also metaphorically represents the Company's history, philosophy and vision always turned towards the future, and is part of a path bringing IBSA ever closer to environmental and social sustainability, inclusion and integration. In this type of challenge, the solitary navigator stands out but, as in the industry, the commander exists as a function of his team. With IBSA, we first of all built a team”.

As for the team, we start with Sidney Gavignet as a coach: the very experienced French navigator laid the foundations and objectives, with a strict rule: always be prepared, to foresee all aspects of the challenge, on land and at sea. “Sidney put us in a position to divide this great challenge into many small steps. A long roadmap of stages to be reached, training and testing in preparation for the start, since building a challenge like the Route du Rhum from scratch in seven months is extremely demanding”. For the physical preparation part, Bona relied on Andrea Madaffari: he has been working with him for months on endurance and strength, as well as on the management of the energy peaks necessary during a regatta. “When sailing, one needs stamina and does a lot of pulling and hauling: you pull sheets and halyards, you need endurance and peak strength”, explained Bona. “We are working on this, as well as on the aerobic part”.

The choice of Sam Manuard as a designer was virtually natural,” recalled Bona, and is based on a solid relationship dating back to the time of the Mini class, on the sharing of a design vision and on the innovations that Bona was looking for his IBSA Class40. On the sails front, Bona chose Remi Aubrum, whom he entrusted with the choice of innovative materials, compatible with the rigorous box rule of the Class40. The last operational entry is that of the Boat Captain, the Breton expert Pierre-Edouard Regaud.

In recent months we have all been working with the same philosophy, that of the goals to be achieved day by day. We are working on fatigue management, on finding the best solutions in all aspects of the project. It was a huge team effort, between us and IBSA, that led us to yesterday’s technical launch, said Bona.

In the afternoon, at 5 pm, the IBSA Class40 made on board a truck the short journey between the shipyard and the marina that will host it, which is located in front of “Casa IBSA”, the operational headquarters. Alberto Bona now has one month to set up the boat and to qualify, by sailing a thousand miles by the end of August. On September 9, the actual launch – the ceremony that will officially make the Class40 enter the IBSA world – will take place in La Trinité-sur-Mer. In mid-September, Bona will participate in the Malouine Lamotte regatta; then, he will transfer his operational base to Saint-Malo, from where the first regatta of the three-year program will start.

We willtalk to sailing enthusiasts and to the entire IBSA world,” explained Bona, who also underlines the existence of a comprehensive sustainability project, incommon with IBSA: “Navigators are experts in circular economy; they live for long periods on the ocean, they replace fossil fuels with solar and wind energy, they recycle everything they can, they live in true harmony with the sea, that they help protect: this is a very important message that, together with IBSA, we wish to promote and share, using the solo oceanic challenge as a great metaphor of what can and must be done for the environment”.

In its program associated with sailing, IBSA is also committed to inclusiveness: in fact, the inclusive sailing projectinvolving the Associazione Velabili based at the Circolo Velico Lago di Lugano (Switzerland), the Société des Régates d’Antibes (France)and the Yacht Club Punta Ala (Italy)has also been activated. The project aims to support inclusive sailing by promoting initiatives involving people with disabilities in experiences in contact with the sea and the sailing world, and consists in supporting a team of disabled sailors in participating in the Special Olympics World Games of 2023 and in the purchase of Hansa 303 boats for the Clubs of Punta Ala and Antibes.


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 17 subsidiaries located in Europe, China, and the United States. The company has a consolidated turnover of 800 million CHF, and employs over 2,000 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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Contact information

IBSA Press Office – Italy
Martina Baldazzi – – mob: +39 339 222 9911
Valeria Riccobono – – mob: +39 392 9625892
Ornella Reccia – – mob. +39 329 393 1922

IBSA Press Office – Switzerland
Francesca Rossini – – mob: +41 77 417 93 72

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