CLASS40 REIMAGINED: #159 - Banque Du Léman

DESIGN: Mach 40.4

BUILT: 2019

SKIPPERS: Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster

BEST RESULTS: Normandy Channel Race (1st), Transat Jacques Vabre (2nd)


It’s time for the third edition of our bespoke illustrative design series, Class40 Reimagined, showcasing Class40’s finest stories and designs.

This week it’s the turn of #159 Banque Du Léman, a Class40 frontrunner since her impressive debut in the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2019 – finishing 4th. Its red, white and black colour scheme is one you simply can't miss!

Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster, who both hail from land locked Switzerland, are two of the most successful Class40 skippers currently racing, having achieved almost non-stop success in every race they have taken part in since the start of their career. After both sailing as children, they started building up their sailing and racing experience with many Atlantic crossings, before competing as part of Classe Mini in the Mini Transat.

The two skippers decided to join forces and make the step up to Class40 in a combined project, helped by securing the backing of Swisse bank, Banque Du Léman. They realised they had the same goals and discovered putting their individual projects into one would be a recipe for success.

This allowed them to work together and make the most of their respective strengths, Simon, who has a history as an electronic engineer, spent time refining and developing the boat to achieve the nuances that they wanted, and Valentin was left to handle the management side of the team, including getting in the all-important sponsorship deal from Banque Du Léman which allowed them to really push on with their efforts.

Since their initial debut, the success has not dried up, with Banque Du Léman achieving five top-five finishes in the every race they have entered since. This included a win in the 2020 Normandy Channel race and a second-place finish in the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre.

After a brilliant first few years on the water in Class40, Gautier, Kosta and Banque du Leman will be one to watch and a favourite going into this season. See the boys in action next week in the Les 1000 Milles Des Sables!


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