Sailing into the Future

Alberto Bona’s Class40 IBSA on the podium: third place at the Transat Jacques Vabre 2023

Alberto Bona and co-skipper Pablo Santurde del Arco conquered the third place with the Class 40 IBSA in the Transat Jacques Vabre, the transoceanic regatta from Le Havre (France) to Martinique (Caribbean). The finish line was reached after 18 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds of navigation, and a total of 5,466 miles covered.

The 16th edition of this regatta – one of the world’s most challenging, prestigious and competitive – will remain in history for the complexity and strategy that characterised it, with extreme weather conditions at the start and a finale with very variable weather conditions: truly compelling.

An important result, in one of the most difficult regattas I have ever participated in”, stated Bona upon arrival. “We had all possible weather conditions, from storm to calm; we changed direction by gybing for a countless number of times – therefore moving two hundred kilos inside the boat each time; we made very complex decisions and got over the cold, the heat and the fatigue. Third place is an objective achieved: we did a good regatta! Thanks to IBSA, which welcomed us here with uncommon enthusiasm, awaiting our arrival and celebrating this podium with us, which, for the three-year project Sailing into the Future. Together, is a great achievement”.


In the 2023 edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre there has certainly been no shortage of last-minute unexpected events. Given the prospect of a storm of rare intensity, the Race Committee decided to modify the route by providing – for the categories Class40 and Ocean Fifty – a stop in Lorient, Brittany, after approximately 300 miles of navigation. Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde, on the Class40 IBSA, closed this first stage in eighth position, after sailing in a real storm for a day and a half.

In the second stage, which started on November 6 from Lorient, the Class40 IBSA remained firmly in the leading group. The second stage led the crews to face massive waves, strong currents and powerful winds along the Bay of Biscay.

After about a week of sailing, Alberto and other boats opted for the “Southern route”, in search of favourable winds. However, on November 13, a significant part of the fleet began to head west/northwest, waiting for a depression that would bring wind to the centre of the Atlantic: a new route that opened up unexpectedly.

The Class40 fleet therefore split apart in two groups, almost as if they were two different regattas with the same finish line. IBSA’s descent to the South proceeded with determination, with the skippers managing to maintain control over both the leading group and the crews that were chasing them from the rear.

The countdown to the arrival began on November 21, with a calm that slowed down both fleets. Finally, on the last night of the regatta, the Class40 IBSA recovered some positions, as well as the advantage necessary to secure a place on the podium. A third place which seals a season of successes and satisfactions for Alberto and IBSA who, together, sailed for over 13,000 miles, taking part in six regattas and winning the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables.


After the Route du Rhum 2022, the project Sailing into the Future. Together lands again in the Caribbean, achieving yet another important sporting milestone within its three-year program, which will see IBSA and Alberto collaborate again in 2024.

Giorgio Pisani, Vice President IBSA Group and Project Leader of Sailing into the Future. Together, commented: “A place on the podium that shows the determination of our skipper Alberto Bona and his crewmate Pablo Santurde and repays the team for the enormous effort to get here after two seasons of intense work. This regatta is a perfect metaphor of the determination necessary to achieve the objectives set, at sea as well as in any other context. This month, we followed the Class40 IBSA, living with Bona all the difficult conditions he faced and skilfully overcame, and it was a great pleasure for IBSA’s entire welcoming team to hug him at the finish line in Fort-de-France, celebrating third place in one of the toughest regattas of the international Class40 circuit.

The Transat Jacques Vabre closed the second year of Sailing into the Future. Together on the sporting front and, once again, highlighted some of the distinctive features of IBSA’s: the ability to face challenges and adversities with courage and the will to reach the goal and to always go further, without stopping. These elements – combined with the talent of the skipper, the innovation and technology of the Class40 IBSA, as well as the competence of a great team – turned this competition into a successful experience... a dream that took our breath away and kept a vast audience of ocean sailing enthusiasts (and many others) glued to their screens.

Transat Jacques Vabre 2023