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Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre

transat jacques vabre

Thirtieth Year of the
Historical Race

2023's destination is Martinique!

2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Transat Jacques Vabre, and for the second year running, the finish will be held in Martinique, in the port of Fort-de-France.
For the occasion, the island of flowers will be welcoming sailing enthusiasts from all over and celebrating its love of sport and the ocean in style.


Useful Information

Nearly 200 skippers will take the start in Le Havre in Normandy on October 29th, reaching Fort-de-France around November 12th.

This year, a record fleet of nearly a hundred boats will set off from the Norman coast, including 40 IMOCAs, 44 Class40s, six Ocean Fifty boats and five ULTIMs.

Four routes have been devised, with distances of 4,500, 6,000 and 7,000 nautical miles, depending on the class.
This should allow all the skippers to arrive in Martinique within a short space of time and celebrate their arrival in style, because as everyone knows, in Martinique, we love to party!
After cutting the start line, each class within ten minutes of each other: 

  • The Class40s will set off across the North Atlantic, passing via the island of Sal.
  • The IMOCAs and Ocean Fifty trimarans will head for the South Atlantic, with the monohulls passing via Brazil’s Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, and the multihulls via the island of Fernando de Noronha.
  • The ULTIMs, the world’s largest sailing boats, will be sailing even further south as far as Ascension Island.

Key Dates & Festivities


Anniversary concert at the start village.


Fireworks display in the port of Le Havre.


Transat Jacques Vabre race start.


Arrival of the boats in Fort-de-France.

Start village in 
Le havre

To celebrate the race’s 30th anniversary, Le Havre will be decked out in its finest colors from October 20th to 29th, as host to the start village for the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre. There will be things going on for all ages and you might even catch a glimpse of the skippers, too. A number of measures have been taken to limit the environmental and social impact of the start village:

  • Creation of a special green ticket for getting to the village on public transport,
  • Design of infrastructure with reduced mobility access in mind,
  • Welcome of school groups at the village and publication of a teaching materials kit,
  • Optimization and recycling of waste generated at the site.


We can’t wait to see you on the finish line! In the meantime, see what’s going on at the village in Le Havre for the 2023 edition.

See the program
transat jacques vabre

Arrival Village in

The Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre arrival village in Fort-de-France is committed to an eco-responsible approach in order to preserve our island, which is now a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. 

From 11 to 19 November, the village in Fort-de-France will open to visitors from 10 am to 6 pm, to celebrate the arrival of the skippers opposite the pontoons.

On the agenda: exhibitions by local craftspeople, cultural activities, competitions and exclusive offers to discover the treasures of Martinique. 

Come celebrate the 30th anniversary of the race with us in the stunning bay of Fort-de-France! 

La Savane FDF

Who'll Be Next?

The 2021 edition saw victories from Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier aboard their ULTIM Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Sébastien Rogues and Matthieu Souben on their Ocean Fifty Primonial, Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière on their IMOCA Linked Out and Antoine Carpentier and Pablo Santurde Del Arco on their Class40 monohull Redman.

But which will be the four winning duos of this year’s race?
Transat Jacques Vabre
Transat Jacques Vabre
plage sable noir

Embark on the Original Coffee Trail

Martinique, a Land of Coffee, Sailing and Biodiversity

Three centuries ago, the island of flowers was the first place coffee was planted by the French. Coffee plants were sailed from the west coast of France, arriving on the green coasts of Martinique after a long voyage across the Atlantic ocean.
It was an ambitious crossing that has proven rich, throughout history, in every way.
For this 16th anniversary edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Martinique has been chosen, for the second time, to host the arrival of this demanding race.

With its seas, mountains, forests, beaches and waterfalls, the ‘island of flowers’ is a sumptuous place, home to incomparable biodiversity and a multitude of animal and plant species. It is a land of lush vegetation with a fragile ecosystem where plants and animals live together in harmony.

Martinique is also a superb place for nautical pursuits and its waters have some of the finest dive sites in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. As well as idyllic fine sand beaches and amazing islands, Martinique has an exceptional underwater world. It is a real sanctuary of underwater life and a mecca for watersports and sailing enthusiasts. It is a rich, authentic and generous island to which lovers of the ocean like to retreat.
So, what better a destination to pay tribute to the 30th anniversary of the Transat Jacques Vabre?

Nord Caraibe
transat jacques vabre

Retracing the
"Route du Café"

History of the Transat Jacques Vabre

The Transat Jacques Vabre, also known as the Route du Café, is a double-handed transatlantic race, held every two years.

The race, which is the longest transatlantic race in the world, has been retracing the coffee trade route since 1993.

A Battle Across the Atlantic

The Race Route

Every two years, the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre sets off from Le Havre, its historical start port and France’s original coffee trade hub, heading for different coffee-producing destinations.
Over the years, the race finishes have become increasingly impressive, arriving in some of the world’s iconic coffee-growing countries, like Colombia, Brazil and Costa Rica. 

  • For the first four editions of the race from 1993 to 1999, the arrival port was Cartagena in Colombia.
  • From 2001 to 2007, the race finished in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil.
  • The 2009 and 2011 editions culminated in Costa Rica, in Puerto Limon.
  • In 2013 and 2015, the arrival port was Itajaì in Brazil.
  • The races of 2017 and 2019 returned once again to Salvador de Bahia.
  • For the 15th edition, in 2021, the race finished in Martinique in the port of Fort-de -France.
  • The 2023 race is an anniversary edition and once again, the arrival will take place on our wonderful island in the port of Fort-de-France.

Transat Jacques Vabre

The Rendezvous of Sailing giants

Monohulls and multihulls

Over the years, many types of monohull and multihull boats of 40, 50 and 60 feet have taken part in the Route du Café, such as ORMAs, MOD70s, ULTIM 32/23s, Open Fifty (ex-Multi50s), IMOCAs and Class40s. Today, the number of boat types has been reduced and only the IMOCAs, Class40s, Ocean Fifty and the ULTIMs will compete out on the Atlantic.
Traditionally, a different itinerary is set for each class of boat in the race, to ensure that all the duos cross the finish line within a short space of time.
The Transat Jacques Vabre is a race of the highest caliber that many skippers dream of experiencing and that often serves as a preparation race for the famous round-the-world Vendée Globe race.
Ready for the 16th edition?

transat jacques vabre