It was more than a light breeze blowing over the small world of Belgian shipping on Thursday morning. The news may seem surprising but the captain from Liège leaves no room for doubt. “I will be doing the 2023 season aboard the Volvo 164, including the famous transatlantic Transat Jacques Vabre next November; then, I will sell the boat to face 2024 and the next few years within the Class40 project which will be launched at the end of 2023.
One would think from reading the press release that Jonas Gerckens would be on hiatus, but that is not the case. The Liégeois still plans to continue his career in this yacht category and has already announced that he wants to participate in the Globe 40, a six-round race around the world that will take place from 2025 to 2026 with a confirmed goal of playing. with the help of a strong Belgian crew. “In addition, the 2024 program is already full of Quebec-Saint-Malo or the Atlantic Cup (Charleston-New York-Portland). As for the future boat, the information is still a secret at this time but it promises a good match on the sea!
On Thursday, May 18, Jonas will start the Armen Race (a multi-day race from Trinité-sur-Mer) in a Volvo 164 with a crew consisting of Frenchman Benoit Hantzperg and Belgians Djemila Tassin and Henri Demesmaeker. This race at the beginning of the season will allow the skipper to face other competitors, to test the tips of the Belgian sea but also to practice the quality of life for this opening of the 2023 season. This race and the next one will serve as a preparation for the flagship race of the year, the Transat Jacques Vabre connecting Le Havre and Fort de France (Martinique). Jonas has chosen, as of 2021, Benoit Hantzperg as co-captain. In 2021, the duo on the Volvo164 had moved up to fourth place.