Final push towards class title
PHIL SHARP begins the final, and most challenging leg of the 2017 Class 40 Championship campaign on Sunday as he sets sail for Brazil from the west coast of France.
The Transat Jacques Vabre will take sailors on a 4,350-mile journey across the Atlantic from La Havre to Salvador de Bahia, and after winning two of the previous four races the Jerseyman holds a 138-point lead at the top of the Championship standings.
Partnered by former rival Pablo Santurde, who won the Les Sables-Horta in July, 2006 Route du Rhum winner Sharp requires a top-ten finish to all-but guarantee overall victory – providing nearest challengers Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron [Campagne de France] do not win.
‘We’ve got a very healthy lead but the TJV has a bigger weighting, so there are a lot of points at stake,’ said Sharp.
‘Winning the Championship would be a huge success ... it would definitely be up there with the Route du Rhum victory.
‘Our main objective is to be consistent and to be the fastest boat this year – not just in one race. It’s an accumulation of all the work we’ve put in and it would be amazing to consolidate our success so far with victory in the TJV. We’re very hungry to go for a top result, and the Championship would be a huge bonus, but it’s not over until we cross the finish line.'
More in Wednesday's JEP.
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