20 years of the Transat Jacques Vabre Race!

The Transat Jacques Vabre is a yachting race that follows the historic routes followed for coffee trading between France and Brazil. It has become one of the most well-known races in the world since it began in 1993 and it takes place every second year.

The race’s starting point is Le Havre in France, and the end point is in Itajaí, Brazil. The route measures a total of 5,400 miles. There are no imposed waypoints, so the racers must choose what they consider to be the fastest route to their destination.

The route for the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre race
The route for the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre race

Le Havre has traditionally been, and remains to this day the leading coffee importing port in France.  This year, about 40 boats are expected to take part across all categories.

The Transat is a two-handed race, meaning that there are two sailors on each team. For the pair to be successful, they must have a complementary set of skills, and it’s also important that they get along well together too.

Both multihulls and monohulls from the following classes may participate in this race: ORMA, IMOCA, Class 2 Monohulls, Open 50 Class and Class40.

All kinds of navigational aids are allowed in particular for routing, except for the Class40 boats (as this is forbidden in their own rules). MaxSea’s advanced routing module is a very effective tool for calculating the fastest route from one point to another. It takes into account various factors such as wind speed/strength, waves and currents and has been used very successfully by famous racers such as Michel Desjoyeaux.

Racing vs Cruise Boat CTA

Important dates for the 2013 race:

  • October 26: Grand opening of public village Le Havre
  • October 26-27: Exhibition race in the basin of the Eure
  • November 3: Start of the Transat Jacques Vabre
  • November 18: Grand opening of village public Itajai
  • 3rd week of Nov: Estimated finish date of the first boats
  • November 30: Postlogue and first prizegiving in Itajai
  • December 7: Official Prizegiving in Itajai

Here are the current title defenders, who were successful in 2011:

Monohull 60′
Jean-Pierre DICK & Jérémie BEYOU
15days 18h 15min 54sec

Multihull 50′
17days 17h 7min 43sec

Class 40′
21days 17h 59min 8sec

MaxSea proudly supports the Jacques Vabre Transat race by acting as a technical partner.

This video gives a nice overview of the race:

Why use a marine navigation software to prepare a route, a journey, or a marine expedition?

Marine navigation software has become an indispensable tool in the world of offshore racing. It is critical for race directors to ensure the most accurate preparation and conduct of a competitive race.

Route in the Baltic Sea MOD70 European Tour 2012 by Gilles Chiorri
Above screen shot shows a route section of the Baltic Sea MOD70 Step # 1 MOD70 European Tour 2012.

The question of whether to install electronic chart software can arise for coastal navigation (cruises or racing) and for offshore trips, so it is very important to identify the merits of using this type of tool….

If a reminder was necessary, the sea is of course, a formidable environment. It requires accurate planning, both on land and at sea. This anticipation is needed in order to fully understand, prepare and carry out navigation with good seamanship.

The following factors affect each and every route navigated: the distance and time needed to cover it depending on the boat specs, the type of coastline and its dangers, weather and sea conditions, tidal currents, the ports or shelters along the route etc.

Nowadays, a navigation software installed on a laptop such as TimeZero developed by MaxSea, allows integration with, and quick and easy access to all of the above elements in just a few clicks of the mouse.

Whether you are at home in the preparation phase, or in live navigation mode, course preparation is made extremely comprehensive, and also allows a high level of interface customization.

The TimeZero software features a wide zoom level on charts, (which is identical to SHOM charts, and should therefore remain “familiar-looking”) which is the equivalent of having a wide portfolio of paper charts immediately accessible. Thus the tools zoom-in and zoom-out then allow you to have a good visual picture of the desired navigation area.

TimeZero allows you to overlay satellite photos on your chart, so that you can visualize specific places in advance, and plan a correct approach to the area!

Route in Denmark by Gilles ChiorriIn addition, the “divider” tool (bearing/distance) can be used to quickly segment the route, or measure distances and position themselves in relation to geographic points of interest. It is possible to simultaneously create a course outline using the “route” tool and to start live navigation. With just a few clicks along the way, you have your route, distance and direction (true or magnetic option) between each waypoint, as well as the cumulative distance. You can name each waypoint, and insert or move a waypoint at any time during navigation of the route.

Preparing a route becomes fun and you can always refer back to your navigation logbook. By making all the possible adjustments, a basic route gradually transforms into a detailed course, corresponding with your expectations such as your safety criteria in relation to distance from shore or a shoal, a place that you want to see up close etc.

All data created in the software can then be saved with the route name, and even assigned to a specific layer, which as its name suggests can be displayed or hidden according to your wishes. Once activated, this route can be exported to your GPS for rapid access to route information.

Once the software is integrated with onboard navigation hardware (GPS and other suitable instruments) TimeZero is transformed into an even more powerful navigation aid. Your boat is symbolized by an icon to scale that moves in real time on your screen, as simple as a video game.

Route in Marseille MOD70 European Tour 2012 by Gilles Chiorri
Above screen shot: Marseille and landing zone changes MOD70 in Marseille (source MOD70 European Tour 2012).

After importing the marine weather forecast file (commonly known as a “GRIB” file), you can launch the routing function to optimize your route by integrating the effects of weather conditions on your route. You can also calculate the ETA on the next waypoint or decide the fastest route to reach your end point. The routing function and comprehensive weather of TimeZero opens the door to anticipation, and accurate planning.

In conclusion, after many years at the chart table equipped with a Cras Ruler, a handheld compass and dividers, with an eye on the GPS, it now seems essential to have TimeZero onboard, whatever the intended sailing, inshore or offshore, whether racing or cruising!

Happy navigating to all of you this summer.

Gilles Chiorri

Race Director – Navigator

Gilles Chiorri - french sailorGilles Chiorri is a French sailor and Merchant Navy officer with an impressive background as a skipper.

He is the new race director and race manager of the MOD70 European Tour and other major ocean races.  He works also as OC Events Director and Yachts Consulting Executive Director.

Chiorri won the Mini Transat in 1987, the Jules Verne Trophy in 2002 (with Bruno Peyron) and finished second in La Solitaire du Figaro in 2002.

Gilles Chiorri is currently using MaxSea TimeZero marine software, nautical charts and modules as a sailor and race director.


MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: April 2 to 5 and 10 to 13


With two short weeks due to Easter Holidays, we decided to publish pictures from April 2 to 13 altogether. Many fishing-related images but also colorful and impressive pics of mediterranean ports and boats.

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Remember that you can view these wonderful images every day on our wall at MaxSea International Facebook Page.

Do you want to know who’s the author? 

Have a great weekend!

Past weeks:

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 20th to 24th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 27th to March 2nd

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 5th to 9th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 12th to 16th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 19th to 23rd

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 26th to 30th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 26th to 30th

This week was very busy for us as we launched an update of our sailing range (MaxSea TimeZero Navigator & Explorer v1.9.7)  and we announced the renewal of our partnership with british yachtswoman Sam Davies.

Besides that, here are the wonderful pictures that we published from monday to friday:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Remember that you can view these wonderful images every day on our wall at MaxSea International Facebook Page.

Do you want to know who’s the author? 

Have a great weekend!

Past weeks:

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 20th to 24th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 27th to March 2nd

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 5th to 9th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 12th to 16th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 19th to 23rd

MaxSea et Furuno partenaires de la navigatrice britannique Sam Davies

MaxSea International et FURUNO FRANCE SAS sont heureux de renouveler leur partenariat avec la navigatrice, ingénieur, maman et fan des réseaux sociaux britannique, Samantha Davies.

Sam Davies - Savéol - MaxSea et Furuno partenaires 2

Pour la saison 2012-2013, Sam Davies bénéficie du résultat d’une alliance technologique, le nouveau PC radar, et devient ainsi une des premières sportives à l’utiliser à bord de son nouveau bateau Savéol, récemment mis à l’eau.

PC Radar MaxSea - Furuno

Cette solution révolutionnaire permet aux coureurs de bénéficier d’un équipement très performant tout en préservant les contraintes de poids et d’espace à bord (connexion directe du PC à l’antenne radar).

Sam Davies - Savéol - MaxSea et Furuno partenaires

La skipper, qui se prépare d’ores et déjà à la prochaine édition du Vendée Globe, a mis son nouveau bateau à l’eau la semaine dernière et a commencé à naviguer à Port-la-Forêt afin de tester Savéol dans des conditions réelles.

Sam Davies - Savéol - MaxSea et Furuno partenaires

Suivez le blog de Sam Davies sur http://www.samdavies.com/, sa page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Davies/112138698811863, Twitter https://twitter.com/samanthadavies and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/saveol60

MaxSea and Furuno sponsor British sailor Sam Davies

MaxSea International and FURUNO ELECTRIC CO. are glad to renew their sponsorship deal with British yachtswoman, mechanical engineer, mum and Social Media heavy user, Samantha Davies.

Sam Davies - Savéol Boat - Sponsored by MaxSea & Furuno 4

This 2012-2013 season, Sam Davies will benefit from a unique joint venture technology, the new PC radar, and be one of the first racers to sail with on her recently launched Savéol boat.

PC Radar MaxSea - Furuno EN

This revolutionary and lightweight solution allows racers to have highly-performing equipment without sacrificing speed and space by connecting her PC directly to the radar antenna.

Sam Davies - Savéol Boat - Sponsored by MaxSea & Furuno

The female skipper, who started training for the upcoming Vendée Globe, officially launched her new boat last week and started her sailing sessions off Port-la-Forêt in order to test Savéol in real conditions.

Sam Davies - Savéol Boat - Sponsored by MaxSea & Furuno 2

Follow Sam’s blog at http://www.samdavies.com/, her Facebook page, Twitter account and her YouTube channel.

Furuno NavNet TZtouch: our partner’s newest platform

This month, our partner Furuno launched NavNet TZtouch™, a new platform combining TimeZero™ technology with the industry’s first multi touch control MFD,  a high-sensitivity, edge-to-edge glass multi touch screen, giving total control at your fingertips.

Some of its features:

  • Multi-Touch Control
  • Wireless Hotspot Connectivity
  • Tablet & Smartphone Apps
  • TimeZero Technology

Here’s NavNet TZtouch guided tour:

For more info about the product visit http://www.navnet.com/prodcut/index.html

Follow Furuno on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/furuno

Read the press release on Furuno’s website http://www.furuno.co.jp/en/news/product/20120217_001.html

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 20th to 24th

Here are the pictures of the first week of “Our picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon”:

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They are published daily on our MaxSea International Facebook Page.

Do you want to know who’s the author? 

Have a great weekend!

From Brittany to the Antilles Islands: MaxSea user testimonial

Jean-Michel and Annette André, sailors and MaxSea TimeZero users, describe how they take advantage of their marine navigation software. The testimonial was kept in its original language (french).

Annette planning her trip with MaxSea TimeZero

Utilisateur de MaxSea depuis de nombreuses années, j’ai acquis en 2009 la version TimeZero qui m’a accompagné sans faiblesse tout au long d’un parcours Atlantique de Bretagne aux Antilles par le Sénégal et le Brésil. J’apprécie la fiabilité de la cartographie (celle des cartes papier que j’utilisais antérieurement) et la fluidité dans le changement d’échelle.

J’utilise bien sûr les diverses fonctions proposées pour la navigation (points, routes, routage) mais la possibilité de recevoir des fichiers météo (fichiers grib de Sea Chopper) à tout moment et en tout lieu avec l’iridium est pour ma part, déterminante. Ces fichiers sont de plus en plus précis et complets (vent, précipitations, vagues etc..)

Certaines fonctions m’apparaissaient secondaires. Les photos satellites appartenaient à cette catégorie jusqu’à ce que je découvre que celles-ci pouvaient être beaucoup plus précises que les cartographies officielles peu fiables en certains endroits peu fréquentés de notre parcours.

Je suis donc un utilisateur très satisfait de MaxSea et si je peux me permettre une réserve, celle-ci concerne la possibilité de mise à jour en ligne, des cartes.

Are a you a MaxSea user?  How about sharing your experience with fellow sailors? Send your testimonials to info@maxsea.fr or vist us at: http://www.facebook.com/maxseasoftware

From the Azores Islands to La Rochelle Route: user testimonial

David Shaw, sailor and a heavy MaxSea TimeZero user, describes a part of his trip  between the Azores Islands and the french port of La Rochelle. The testimonial was kept in its original language (french).

Azores Islands to La Rochelle Route - David Shaw

Nous avançons tout droit vers cette masse sombre et très haute. La lune n’éclaire rien et nous devons attendre l’alignement, sur babord, des deux feux avant de changer de cap et ne plus pointer sur la « tour d’Hercules ».

Le barreur s’inquiète un peu même si le sondeur nous indique une confortable profondeur. A la table à cartes, sous MaxSea, je suis la progression du bateau que je consolide par des sorties dans le cockpit. Cela fait maintenant 2 jours et 9 heures que nous sommes partis de l’ile d’Yeu et nous avons optimisés notre trajet en utilisant les fonctionnalités de TimeZero. A 23 heures et après le changement de bord, comme je l’avais dessiné sur ma route, nous approchons de l’entrée du port de La Corogne. Une demi-heure plus tard nous sommes amarrés au ponton.

David Shaw using MaxSea TimeZero marine navigation software

Le confort, la sécurité, la facilité d’utilisation ainsi qu’une base complète d’informations font de MaxSea TimeZero un outil d’aide à la navigation très important sur un voilier. Il ne faut surtout pas oublier les règles de bases d’une bonne gestion de la navigation mais, tout au long de notre périple entre la France, l’Espagne, le Portugal, Madère et les Açores, nous avons appréciés toute l’aide que MaxSea TimeZero a pu nous apporter et tout le temps qu’il nous a laissé pour vivre de bons moments en navigation.

MapMedia chart on screen in David Shaw's boat cabin