Out to Hunt
Out to Hunt
Campagne de France: Normandy Channel Race - Day 1
Yesterday brought the start of fourth edition to The Normandy Channel Race in near perfect conditions: 18 knots of breeze, blasting sunshine and a calm sea state. With Campagne de France chartering the stunning three masted vessel ‘Marite’ we could not have asked the weather gods for anything better it was certainly a day enjoyed by all. The crowds builded and lined the pontoons 5 deep as everyone looked to wish Bon voyage to there favored skipper. The fleet then preceded to make their way up the cannel to Ouistreham headed for the start line.
As the 4:52pm warning signal went several boats were shaking out reefs whilst several were still reducing their sail area as the wind fluctuated teams started running lines and preparing for the off. As the gun went Campagne de France helmed by Halvard was midfleet and building momentum. Lines honors went to Geodis as Earwen had to take a turn for crossing early. Before the fleet were allowed to head for the first mark on the 1000 mile long course they were set a 7 mile starting lap allowing the guests, and photographers time to savor the moment.After the boats passed the start line for the second time it was Mare that took the lead putting in a decent gap between themselves and the chasing pack. Red held second with Miranda and Halvard hot on their heels. As the fleet made their way along the race course Campagne de France took second and began hunting down Jorge and Mare. Rounding the first mark the fleet was within 11.8nm of each other with only 400m separating the first 5 boats. As night fell the shifty winds took effect turning the fleet on its back, with first place Mare and second place Campagne de France ending up 7th and 9th respectively by this mornings rankings. On hearing from Miranda this morning she said: “Things were going just fine up to St Marcouf, then we got caught out. So now we are hunting, one prey at a time. A few targets in sight. South of the IOW, and it's not raining”
This evening has also seen its first retirement. Are thoughts are with the crew of ‘Pascall Atkey and Son of Cowes’. With a cold front hitting the crew tonight the guys are expecting winds of up to 40 knots so a bumpy night will be endured by all!
Current positions (9pm French time)
More tomorrow, Sam