Lighthouses race delayed

60ft trimaran fully crewed offshore race now to start Wednesday

Sunday May 19th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Boat Designer Skipper Navigator Crew
Banque Covefi Irens Bertrand de Broc Yann Jameson Pierre-Yves Collet, Olivier Gimmig, Steven Jourdrain, Christophe Castagne
Bayer CropScience Irens Frédéric Le Peutrec Thierry Duprey Franck Citeau, Alexis de Cénival, Loïc Linglois, Fred Dahirel
Belgacom Van Peteghem/Prevost Jean-Luc Nélias Luc Bartissol Sébastien Godefroid, Pierre Mas, Sébastien Josse, Florent Chastel
Biscuits La Trinitaine-Team Ethypharm Irens Marc Guillemot Armel Le Cleac’h Yann Guichard, Erwan Le Roux, Xavier Dagault, Yvon Daniel
Bonduelle Van Peteghem/Prevost Jean Le Cam Bruno Jourdren Jacques Caraës, Philippe Laot, Sébastien Audigane, Ronan Legoff, Christophe de Pavant
Foncia Van Peteghem/Prevost Alain Gautier Ellen MacArthur Nicolas Bérenger, Ewen Le Clec’h, Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Philippe Péché
Fujifilm Irens Loïck Peyron Loïc Le Mignon Yann Elies, Bernard Pointet, Pierre Pennec, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant
Groupama Van Peteghem/Prevost Franck Cammas Pascal Bidégorry Franck Proffit, Stève Ravussin, Benoît Briand, Ronan Lucas
Sergio Tacchini Irens Karine Fauconnier Damien Foxall Marc Emig, Philippe Cairo, Antoine Mermod, Christophe Clévenot
Sopra Group Lombard Philippe Monnet Jacques Delorme Yves Pajot, Mathieu Hars, Armand Coursodon, Sylvain Pélissier, Mayeul Riffet

Ten 60ft trimarans were due to take the start line of the Courses des Phares from Calais at 1900 local time tonight, but with severe weather forecast it has just been announced that the start gun has now been delayed until Wednesday.

The ten skippers taking part unanimously agreed to the delay as required by Race Committee President Rene Boulaire This decision was accepted by Race Director Philippe Facque. "The weather situation resembles that of the 1979 Fastnet. It is not possible to make leave the ten multihulls under these conditions."

Skipper Jean le Cam commented: "We all know what 40 to 50 knots is like in the Bay of Biscay. It was the only possible decision. In the three next days, no fishermen around this coast will go to sea."

By Monday night a southwesterly wind of 35-40 knots is expected at Ushant, at the same time as the fleet will be basing. Another even more intense depression is expected the following day, with gusts of 50 knots in the Bay of Biscay.

.The 'lighthouses' race is the first offshore event of the season for the Offshore Racing Multihull Assocation's 60ft trimarans. The 2,541 mile course takes the boats first round Ouessant and south to the Sein lighthouse. From there they continue down the Biscay coast to Ile de Yeu and then to Belle Ile off the sailing mecca of La Trinite-sur-Mer.

From here the boats head off towards Cape Finistere and the Tour d'Hercule lighthouse off La Coruna and then on round and south down to the Belem light off Lisbon. This is followed by a long 780 mile leg north across the Bay of Biscay to the Fastnet Rock before the boats head along the south coast of the UK taking in Wolf Rock and Dover.

For the last week the 60ft square racing yachts have been lined up on Calais' Fournier quay as members of the public have been streaming by. Following the breakage of Banque Populaire last week en route to the start, 10 boats are taking part in this event.

The event will be the first major outing for the new tris - Fred le Pautrec's new Bayer CropScience and Sopra Group the new Marc Lombard design of westabout singlehanded non-stop round the world record holder Philippe Monnet.

In this fully crewed event most of the boats will be sailed by six with the exception of Jean le Cam's Bonduelle and Sopra Group who are taking seven.

Aside from the regular 60ft trimaran faces there are many crew from Tornado and dinghy cat backgrounds such as Frederic le Peutrec ( Bayer CropScience), Yann Guichard ( Biscuits the Trinitaine-TEAM Ethypharm), Jean-Christophe Mourniac ( Foncia), Pierre Pennec ( Fujifilm) and Christophe Clévenot ( Sergio Tacchini). Others come from the Flying Dutchman or Finn classes like Sebastien Godefroy ( Belgacom) or Yves Pajot ( Sopra Group), or the singlehanded Figaro class like Bruno Jourdren ( Bonduelle), Yann Jameson ( Covefi Bank) and Pascal Bidégorry ( Groupama).

Several members of Orange's crew are in the race including Sebastien Josse and Florent Chastel on Belgacom, Benoît Briand on Groupama, Philippe Péché, back with Alain Gautier on Foncia II, while Ronan le Goff is on Bonduelle. A recent addition is Yann Eliès who was contacted at the eleventh hour by Loïck Peyron to replace Thierry Brault on Fujifilm. after Brault suffered an ankle sprain while crossing the trampoline on Peyron's trimaran. All the former Orangemen are said to be more than delighted to get out to sea again.

Another Jules Verne Trophy representative is Sebastien Audigane, who sailed on board Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo and is now with Jean le Cam on Bonduelle.

Among the non-French taking part are, of course, Ellen MacArthur on board Foncia II, Scot Yann Jameson on Banque Covefi and Irishman Damian Foxall who has just stepped off Tyco in the Volvo Ocean Race to take part on board Karine Fauconnier's Sergio Tacchini.

Leg Distance
Calais-Ouessant 310
Ouessant-Sein 25
Sein-Belle Île 95
Belle Île-Yeu 80
Yeu-Belle Île 80
Belle Île-Tour d’Hercule (La Coruna) 320
Tour d’Hercule-Belem (Lisbon) 330
Belem-Fastnet (Ireland) 780
Fastnet-Wolf Rock 280
Wolf Rock-Dover 220
Dover-Calais 21
Total: 2,541

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