One of Britain's most successful offshore racers, Phil Sharp, has added to his collection of silverware after winning the Class 40 2017 European Trophy
Phil Sharp has won this year’s Class 40 European Trophy, after winning both the Grand Prix Guyader and Normandy Channel Race, and coming second in the Sables-Horta and Rolex Fastnet Race.
The Jersey-born yachtsman and his team have dominated the championship leaderboard this season.
They currently have a 138 points lead as the teams go into the final race of the championship – the Transat Jacque Vabres – making Phil Sharp Racing clear winners.
Commenting on the win, the 36-year-old sailor, who sails his Class 40, Imerys, said: “It is really pleasing for the whole team, including our partners, to be rewarded with the European Trophy.”
“It demonstrates that we have not only achieved some great race results, but have also shown real consistency as a result of the dedication and enthusiasm of all those that have been involved in the project this year,” he added.
Currently in second place in the championships is Campagne de France (GBR/FR) on 473 points, followed by Serenis Consulting (FR) on 469 points.
Class 40 president, Halvard Mabire, said the European Trophy highlighted the “vitality and diversity” on offer within the Class 40 race programme.
“While primarily designed for transoceanic racing, Class 40s also make for appealing boats for any offshore racing,” he commented.
“With the ever-increasing level of competition in Class 40, it is important to reward performance. Congratulations to team Imerys on their victory!” added the president.
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Success in all four demanding European racing events means Phil Sharp and his co-skipper, Pablo Santurde should be well prepared for November’s Transat Jacques Vabre.
In just under two months, more than 40 race boats from four classes will embark on the 4,445 nautical mile race from Le Harve, France to Salvador, Brazil.
As the largest fleet, Class 40 will see 20 boats battling for a win.
Sharp said team Imerys are “fired up for the challenge” after winning the European Trophy.
“The trophy is a great boost prior to this year’s grand slam, but there is no underestimating the strong competition we have for this marathon event,” he said.
“We still have significant boat preparation, development and training to do in order to maximise our performance and reliability in our quest for a top result,” stressed Sharp.
“We will be giving it everything as the Transat Jacques Vabres is a race I would really like to win!”
2017 Class 40 Championship
29 April-1 May: Grand Prix Guyader: 1st Phil Sharp Racing / Imerys
14-21 May: Normandy Channel Race: 1st Phil Sharp Racing / Imerys
2-20 July: Les Sables – Horta – Les Sables: 2nd Phil Sharp Racing / Imerys
6-11 August: Rolex Fastnet Race: 2nd Phil Sharp Racing / Imerys
5-30 November: Transat Jacques Vabre