Victory for Quokka
The sixth Normandy Sailing Week has concluded. After four days of races in very varied conditions, today the winners in each class received their prizes.
After three days of competition and six bullets, Courrier Dunkerque had not need to race on the last day, as the top step of the podium was already theirs. Behind them, tied on points, Toulon Provence Méditerranée and Bretagne – Crédit Mutuel finished second and third respectively. The local crew, aboard Bred – La Normandie, took fourth place overall. The new M-34s for the Tour de France à la Voile really put on a great show throughout the event.
Courrier Dunkerque's Pierre-Antoine Morvan commented: “The offshore course was pretty hard physically, but we got off to a good start and remained in the leading group. Under spinnaker we went very fast and it’s thanks to that burst of speed that we got ahead of the others. To sum up the event, I’d say that in the windward-leewards we knew how to make a difference thanks to our manoeuvring and on the coastals, speed was our trump card. We’re delighted to win the first event of the French Crewed Offshore Racing Championship. We’ve held the title for three years and we really hope to hang on to it!”
Meantime the J/80 Paprec Bretagne continued to put up a great performance all the way to the finish to take honours today. With six out of eight races won, they left no chance for their rivals. Second place was very hotly contested, but ultimately it was the Vog crew who bagged it, just a point ahead of the all-female crew on Jaws.
Sébastien Petithuguenin aboard Paprec Bretagne said: “At Spi Ouest France, we finished at the bottom of the podium, but here at Normandy Sailing Week, we’ve scored a win. We’re really happy. We put up a consistent performance and really enjoyed ourselves in the very varied conditions. We are natives of Le Havre and it’s an absolute delight to win on home waters!”
Today an indisputable victory went to Arthur Herreman and his crew on their First 7.5. This qualifies them for the French Espoir Crewed Championship, due to be held in Le Havre in August. Pierre Viard took second place ahead of Olivier Gonse.
Arthur Herreman commented: “I’m not going to be modest, we won hands down. We were a bit worried at the start of the event as we didn’t know how good our rivals were but we just focused on being more responsive in terms of tactics and manoeuvring. We’re happy to win this Normandy Sailing Week and to earn our place in the French Espoir Crewed Championship!”
In the Longtze series the results came as no surprise. Longtze Team, which have dominated since the first day, won overall with an eight point lead over second placed Rapetous.
Longtze Team's Laurent Berjon said: “It was very interesting to switch race zone each day as we had different wind patterns and different current. It was really hard to hold onto the leadership but we came out well in the end and we were really on our game today!”
In the Laser SB3, the English sailor and 2010 World Champion, Jerry Hill, won all of today’s races and ultimately earned himself the top spot. Behind him the Breton crew on Côte d’Armor, skippered by Cédric Fleury, finished second, followed by the local Lower Normandy team on Bartabac.
Jerry Hill commented: “We’d never sailed together before. My crew have been friends for many years. A few months ago, we decided to put a team together and come along to Normandy Sailing Week and win! As such it’s a done deal and we’re very happy about it as the ranking was really close. Today we were into the swing of things very quickly which is what set us apart.”
The Class 6.50s has remained wide open throughout this event. However, with three victories today, the outright win ultimately went to Némo, which finished ahead of MTD Active/Medical and Krapo.
Némo's Manu Guedon said: “It was fantastic! We had to battle all the way to the finish to earn ourselves this victory. The last races were decisive but this morning, as we headed out onto the water, we’d very much decided that they were ours for the taking!”
Finally, in the Seascape 18, the only English crew of the series earned victory. Gracie, skippered by Peter Wanstall, finished in first place ahead of Atlantiscape and Belisca. “We’re thrilled to have come over to the other side of the English Channel to race. It’s made a welcome change!” said Wanstall.
English domination was undeniable in the IRC 1 class. Quokka 8 ultimately took line honours after a fierce battle against Tokoloshe and Maridadi, which finished second and third respectively. In IRC 2, Mat 1010 skippered by Peter Morton took the rest of the fleet by storm ahead of EMG Happy Hours and Banshee.
Meantime, the local Le Havre crew on Foggy Dew scored a win in IRC 3 and Illico.com followed suit in IRC 4.
“My crew performed very well," said Quokka 8 skipper Peter Rutter. "I think that’s what made the difference against the crew on Tokoloshe… It was a superb event. It’s the first time we’ve come to race in Le Havre and we’ll be back, that’s for sure!”
Full results here