Courrier Dunkerque ahead
Glorious sunshine and 17 knots of breeze graced the first day of competition at Normandy Sailing Week today in Le Havre. Competing on the Baie de Seine, the 17 Farr 30s sailed three races.
The Farr 30 teams are preparing for the forthcoming Tour de France à la Voile and their crew demonstrated their high level with some tense starts, clean manœuvres, impeccable mark roundings, gybes, tacks, spinnaker hoisting and close contact racing. The seven crews aboard the Bruce Farr designs are put on an impressive performance.
The powerful current and cliffs that characterise the north of Normandy make sailing in the Baie de Seine highly tactical and strategic. The best Farr 30 on the water today was the crew of Courrier Dunkerque skippered by Pierre-Loic Berthet, reigning French champion, who took the lead in the provisional overall results thanks to a consistent performance - a 2-2-1.
“We’re leading with just a two point lead over the Toulon sailor Fabien Henry,” explained helmsman Pierre-Antoine Morvan. “We’re a bit frustrated as we rounded the first three windward marks at the head of the fleet. We took a bit of time to find our speed when sailing downwind”.
In second position is TPM – Coych followed by Oman Sail Renaissance skippered Volvo Ocean Race sailor Rob Greenhalgh, and with Cédric Pouligny at the helm. “Three new sailors from Oman are sailing with us,” states Pouligny. “As such it’s a good result. Our aim is to get into the top 5 in the overall results by Sunday”.
In fourth place, the Dutch boat Tu Delft was the big surprise of the day. “We did a lot of training in Scheveningen this winter” explains skipper Bert Schandevyl. “This Farr 30 fleet is fantastic with a number of international projects. It’s nice to hear English on the race zone”. Figaro skipper Nicolas Lunven, mainsail trimmer on Team Sog-Safran, lying seventh, appreciated this fine day of sailing. “15 to 20 knots of breeze, current, waves and a great atmosphere aboard; what more could you ask for?”
During this time, the other series and their crews (IRC, J80, Sportsboats, First 7.5) were making some final adjustments to their boats in preparation for their first day’s racing tomorrow. 100 craft will take to the water from 1200 hrs local time, at which point the Normandy Sailing Week will really take off!
Farr 30 Group (FAR) after 3 races
1: "Courrier Dunkerque", Pierre Loic Berthet ( / A P C C Nantes) 5 points
2: "Tpm-Coych", Fabien Henry ( / Cercle Org Yachting Competition Hyerois) 7 points
3: "Oman Sail Renaissance", Robert Greenhalgh ( / Oman) 13 points
4: "Tu Delft", Bert Schandevyl ( / Hollande) 17 points
5: "Ile de France 2010", Jimmy Pahun ( / S N Trinite S/mer) 18 points
6: "Manche Basse Normandie", Benoit Charon ( / Y C de Granville) 20 points
7: "Team Sog-Safran", Julien Villion ( / S N Trinite S/mer) 20 points
8: "Groovederci", Deneen Demourkas ( / Etats Unis D'am) 24 points
9: "Nouvelle Caledonie", Michel Cohen Addet ( / Yacht Club de la Grande Motte) 26 points
10: "Mumma Duck", David Vanderberg ( / Hollande) 33 points
11: "Csc Hec Ecole Navale", Herve Gautier ( / Porh Loeiz Skiff) 33 points
12: "Rapetou", Alban Mesnil ( / Societe des Regates du Havre) 33 points
13: "Bred", Yann Rigal ( / France) 35 points
14: "Purflo les Thermes Marins St Malo", Ronan Desert ( / S N Baie de St Malo) 38 points
15: "Region de Bruxelles-Capitale", Laurent Declercq ( / Belgique) 42 points
16: "Essec - Hanploi.Com", Damien Seguin ( / Sport Nautique de L'ouest Nantes) 47 points
17: "Normale Sup - Lagardere", Eric Brezellec ( / Centre Nautique de St Cast) 48 points