10 expected for first Open 60 GP

Larmor Plage Monohull grand prix kicks off Wednesday with Kingfisher and Ecover taking part

Tuesday April 30th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
STOP PRESS: Offshore Challenges have withdrawn Kingfisher from this regatta. Mark Turner says they are training for the Regate du Rubicon and need some time to bed in their new PBO rigging.

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.

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