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The Second Season of Sailing into the Future. Together Is About to Start


Six regattas, the desire to excel, to continue to think about sustainability, to improve teamwork: together with ocean sailor Albert Bona, IBSA’s project Sailing into the Future. Together returns to the sea for its second season. It will be an extremely demanding year, with over 13,000 miles to sail between an ocean and epic seas: from the Atlantic to the Bay of Biscay, to the English Channel, to the Celtic Sea and the Mediterranean.

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Skipper Alberto Bona on the Class40 IBSA (©IBSA | Matteo Garrone)

The year 2022 was exciting”, recalled Albert Bona. “The first six months spent preparing our boat, studying, training both myself and an ad hoc team; then the Route du Rhum, wonderful, enlightening, difficult and incredibly demanding; a regatta that left me with a great desire to go on, with a craving for more ocean and other seas to navigate. I’m ready, the new challenges are many, as are the miles to navigate; a lot of work will have to be done to always have the boat in its best conditions”.

We are ready for a new sporting season, which – while definitely being very demanding – we are sure will also give us great emotions”, stated George Pisani, Vice President Southern Europe of IBSA and Leader of the project Sailing into the Future. Together . “The Route du Rhum was a crucial test bench, an experience that allowed us to test not only the new Class40 IBSA, but our entire team. We now start 2023 with even greater enthusiasm for the competitions awaiting Alberto and his new crew, united and determined to do better and better”.

In the second season, the Class40 IBSA will cross the Atlantic three times, while experiencing a new boat formation, with the building of a crew. “This year’s calendar includes a series of very tough races, designed for a team, rather than for solo sailing. This will be a challenge within a challenge, and we will have the opportunity to reflect, together with IBSA, upon many new topics: besides sustainability, teamwork and crew preparation and management”, explained Bona.

The first is the RORC 600 , starting on February 20: an extraordinary 600-mile “slalom” between the Caribbean islands, starting and finishing in Antigua. It will be the official debut of the Class40 IBSA in a crew regatta, which will see Alberto Bona on board with his friend-opponent Luke Berry, the French owner of a twin Class40, the no. 1 project of Sam Manuard’s Mach 5. As well as Alberto’s friend, Berry is an experienced navigator in this category and – in the full spirit of sharing among oceanic sailors – will be the protagonist in his former adversary’s cockpit. “Together”, clarified Bona, “we will be able to make the boat express its top potential”. On board the Class40 IBSA for the RORC 600 Caribbean there will also be Alberto’s team manager, Luca Bertacchi, and Spanish sailor Pablo Santurde del Arco – who will be a member of the team also in the other regattas of the season – will make his debut. Santurde has a great deal of sailing experience, and has achieved several wins in the Class40 double championship. “I’ve been working with Pablo for months”, continued Bona, “and I think he’s a great choice for me”.

With a view to sustainability – and to “clock up miles” once again – the Class40 IBSA will return to Europe to participate in the Atlantic Challenge , a two-leg regatta Guadeloupe-Horta (Azores Islands)-La Rochelle: 3,500 miles of navigation which will allow the hull and the team to return to Europe and to IBSA’s home, in Brittany. With the departure of the first leg on April 1 and the arrival expected within about 20 sailing days, the Défi Atlantique is the first ocean test bench of 2023 for the IBSA team, who will participate in the regatta with a crew of three: besides Alberto and Pablo, the third navigator is being selected.

In June, the Class40 IBSA will be the protagonist of one of the most complex and fascinating regattas for North-loving sailors: the Normandy Channel , a 1000-mile race for 2 – with Alberto and Pablo on board – starting and finishing in Caen; a route between lighthouses, capes and islands in the Celtic Sea. It will be the boat’s first encounter with the Fastnet Rock this year, but she will push even further north up the Irish coast, along the St. George Channel, where she will find breath-taking views, challenging conditions and plenty of cartography to finish a still little-known regatta in Italy, but wonderful to experience and tell.

Following an extremely ambitious programme, in July IBSA will first go back to the ocean, and then it will face the legend: after transferring the boat to the Atlantic coast of Brittany, at the end of June Alberto Bona and Pablo Santurde will participate in the Le Sables-Horta-Le Sables , another 3,000 miles of ocean, this time in double, with two stages to be sailed in about two weeks. But it will not be enough, because only a week later Alberto, Pablo and a third member of the crew will participate in the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race , one of the toughest, most iconic and best-loved regattas for sailors from all over Europe, departing from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, in Great Britain, and arriving in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France, after rounding (for the second time this season for the Class40 IBSA) the legendary lighthouse on the Irish coast.

The end of the summer will be used for training and test regattas, and will see the presence of Alberto Bona at the two main Italian nautical events: the Genoa Boat Show and the Barcolana, in view of the last major undertaking awaiting him in 2023: the second half of the year, indeed, will be entirely dedicated to the Transat Jacques Vabre , the great objective of the season, an event eagerly awaited by all European ocean sailors. Starting from Le Havre on October 29, the regatta will end in Martinique after 4,250 miles of navigation with a crew of two.

It will be a demanding season, one which I would define “herculean”, also considering that we will go far north twice. Many ocean sailors will make the same choices I made in terms of calendar, and therefore there will be more opportunities to compete and improve in view of the Transat Jacques Vabre. The Route du Rhum left me with great determination and a desire to improve myself. These months we have been working a lot on the boat, the sails, the electronics. We will make further improvements and we will all work hard to have a well-functioning team, one characterised by important additions, compared to last season. Thirteen thousand theoretical miles is a lot aboard a Class 40, but I have only one thing to say: I have an incredible desire to start and make the Class 40 IBSA run”, concluded Bona.


THE PROJECT: Sailing into the Future. Together started in January 2022; the partnership between IBSA and Alberto Bona was born on common bases and values, and aims to use sailing as a vehicle for corporate communication, towards the market and the nautical world. Ingenuity, courage, innovation, responsibility are elements that unite IBSA and Alberto, and the oceanic challenge, in addition to the sporting race, also metaphorically represents the company’s history, philosophy and vision, which are always oriented towards the future and are part of a path that brings IBSA increasingly closer to the topics of environmental and social sustainability, inclusion and integration. The Route du Rhum was the first stage of the three-year programme Sailing Into The Future. Together, which the Swiss pharmaceutical company started with Bona and which continues in 2023 with a busy calendar of regattas, including the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Transat Jaques Vabre.

THE BOAT: The boat with which Alberto Bona participated in the Route du Rhum in November is a latest generation Class40, with a scow bow. Designed by French naval architect Sam Manuard and built by the JPS Production shipyard, the boat is a Mach 5 model, the latest evolution of Manuard’s Class40.

The characteristics: rounded bow, created with the aim of increasing performance while running; water lines and appendages designed to make the hull an all-round fast even upwind; large and protected cockpit to face navigation in the most comfortable and safe positions possible.

THE SKIPPER: Alberto Bona is from Turin, and has a degree in philosophy. As a university student, he won the Panerai trophy with Stormvogel, fast ULDB and historic boat with which he crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, winning the ARC with a New Zealand crew. In 2012 he took part in the Minitransat, finishing 5th, one of the best Italian results ever in this category. In 2015, he switched to the prototype category Mini 6.50 with Promostudi La Spezia: he won the Italian championship and finished second in the ocean crossing Les Sables-Azores. In 2017 he discovered the Class40: on Giovanni Soldini’s formerTelecom Italia, he participated in the Transat Jacques Vabres, where he was forced to withdraw when he was in sixth place. In 2019 he was aboard the Maserati Multi 70 trimaran, one of the fastest boats in the world, where he practiced on the foils before moving on to the Figaro Beneteau 3, aboard which he participated in the Solitaire; the only Italian registered, he finished 7th among the rookies in the first year and 16th overall in 2020. In 2021 he won the Italian offshore team title and the Europeans in mixed doubles aboard the Figaro 3. In 2022 he started the new project, with the support of the IBSA Group: with the new Class40 IBSA, he participated in the Route du Rhum 2022, finishing in eighth position.

IBSA: IBSA (Institut Biochimique SA) is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical Company, founded in 1945 in Lugano. Today, its products are present in over 90 Countries on 5 continents, through the Company’s 17 subsidiaries located in Europe, China, and the United States. The company has a consolidated turnover of 800 million CHF, and employs over 2,000 people between headquarters, subsidiaries and production sites. IBSA holds 90 families of approved patents, plus others under development, as well as a vast portfolio of products, covering 10 therapeutic areas: reproductive medicine, endocrinology, pain and inflammation, osteoarticular, aesthetic medicine, dermatology, uro-gynaecology, cardiometabolic, respiratory, consumer health. It is also one of the largest operators worldwide in the area of reproductive medicine, and one of the world’s leaders in hyaluronic acid-based products. IBSA has based its philosophy on four pillars: Person, Innovation, Quality and Responsibility.

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Contact information

IBSA press office – Italy
Valeria Riccobono – – mob: +39 392 962 5892
Ornella Reccia – – mob: +39 329 393 1922

IBSA Press Office – Switzerland
Francesca Rossini – – mob: +41 77 417 93 72

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