10 expected for first Open 60 GP
Thursday sees the start of the first Open 60 and 50 monohull Grand Prix regatta this season. Running from 1-4 May, the Trophee des Monocoque de Larmor-Plage will be as much a warm up for the class' Regate du Rubicon from St Nazaire to the Canaries and then back to Italy as last week's 60ft trimaran regatta was prior to the Courses des Phares in May.
Taking part in the regatta will be Kingfisher and Mike Golding's Ecover. They will be up against old rival and winner of last year's Transat Jacques Vabre, Roland Jourdain's Sill Plein Fruit, along with Jean Pierre Dick on Virbac (formerly PRB, Michel Desjoyeaux's Vendee winner), Bernard Stamm's 24 hour record holder Bobst Group/Armorlux, Thierry Dubois' Solidaires, Dominique Wavre's highly rated Temenos and Arcelor, Joe Seeten's new Open 60.
In addition there will be Bob Escoffier's Adecco and the smart-looking Berret/Racoupeau designed Open 50 Saving of Renaud Le Youdec. The former Fila, recently sold to Antoine Koch, will be present, but will not be racing.
Sill, Bobst Group, Virbac and Antoine Koch's boat have all been training at the Figaro training camp in Port la Foret, where they have been trying to improved their skills racing these boats (primarily kitted out for solo sailors) with a full crew.
The boats will be based at Port de Kernevel. Thursday will see a race around Ile de Groix off Lorient. On Friday and Saturday there will be banana shaped courses off Larmor beach starting at 10am each day.