The start - leg one
 

The start - leg one

Sharp top Brit in Demi-Cle

Phil Sharp describes his race in the Mini class Demi-Cle

Wednesday July 28th 2004, Author: Phil Sharp, Location: United Kingdom
Chris Sayer and Pierre-Yves Moreau followed up their leg 1 victory in the Open Demi Cle by impressive wins in the second and third leg to claim overall victory. Light winds plagued the end of the last leg from Cardiff to Lorient as most of the fleet spent a whole night and day in under 4 knots of wind. Top British competitor Phil Sharp finished 4th, 6th and 8th in each of the three legs. He describes his race in the long third leg:

After the second leg from St Quay to Cardiff, Dave Parker and I were lying in 3rd place overall after claiming 4th in leg 1 and 6th in leg 2 in the 48 boat fleet which had by this stage diminished to around 40 after several dismasts. Similarly to the 1st leg, the fleet had had another exhilarating downwind finale in leg 2 in 20 knots plus of wind. We had been happy with our leg 2 result after experiencing several problems, namely fishing nets and lobster pots caught around the keel on two different occasions! I had also had the very strange experience of a fish jumping out of the water and over the boat, and walloping me right in the eye, whilst planing downwind in the pitch black at 12 knots! It was one of those garfish with the swords on the front of its head, so I considered myself lucky not to get my eye stabbed out!

We were confident and in good shape for the final 500 mile leg from Cardiff to Lorient which was later shortened due to light winds in south Brittany. After a mediocre start in upwind conditions from outside the Cardiff lochs at 8pm, but managed to pull ourselves back up just behind sistership Karen Liquid and Chris Sayer on NZL403. Here the three of us were neck and neck right across the Bristol Channel until dusk, when Karen Liquid bore off for speed while us and Chris stayed high. Throughout the night the fleet separated, tacking up with the tide until we raced right inshore as the tide turned, to escape the 4 knot foul current. We had rejoined in about 6th place and from there it was a case of who had the most bottle to go closest to the rocks!

Frankly I knew in the back of my mind I had to finish this leg to qualify for the Transat, and so was being somewhat prudent, but we held position into the morning when we escaped the tide and headed on a fetch down along the north Cornish coast. Whereas on leg 2 we had a fishing net wrapped around the keel all night, we suddenly started pointing terribly and discovered a huge bin liner caught around the daggerboard. The only way to remove it was to stop the boat and sail backwards for a while, since the centreboard refused to lift up.

By the time we rounded Lands End we were in around 10th place and realised we had it all to do to catch up with the leaders. The next day the wind was southerly 15-25 knots and so we beat up the channel all day, getting quite wet and sleeping on the rail to sail the boat to the limit the whole day. Despite making reasonable progress we got caught in low winds North of Ushant later on, and so missed the tide gate around Ile de Sein. The wind kept dying and so we frustratingly couldn’t get around the point for good until early the next day, where we promptly hoisted the gennaker and made good speed towards Penmarch Point.

As the wind headed us near the point we sailed high under jib and were delighted to see around five boats ahead of us, tacking up the shore. We caught right up to the backs of them, and after tacking in and out of the rocks at Penmarch to stay out of yet another foul tide, we were soon overtaking. Next stop was the Jument buoy south of the Glenans, and with a dying wind we managed to find a good set up that took us passed three more boats until we could see Karen Liquid, who was lying in third, just ahead of us. By this stage the wind was only 4 knots, and we didn’t reach the Jument until dusk, which we rounded neck and neck with Karen Liquid. As we feared the wind dropped even further that night, until we found ourselves going round in circles with 1 knot of wind. By the morning we were crawling towards Ile de Groix at speeds between 0.0 and 0.5 knots, wondering if we would ever make it to a pizzeria that day - we had run out of food the day before and couldn’t think of much else.

The situation didn’t improve when the wind vanished completely just north of Ile de Groix. After sitting there a good few hours going nowhere, the seabreeze started close to the shore and all we could do was helplessly watch boats overtake us inshore. Eventually the breeze reached us and we managed to finish what had been a very painful leg in 8th place. It was made slightly more painful by the fact that Karen Liquid had finished 3rd, and that we had also been given a 2% time penalty for all three legs for apparently not radioing our position frequently enough! This dropped us to 8th overall for the three legs, but we were satisfied by the fact that we had shown consistently better performance than this deserved, through all three legs. I had also completed my qualification for the 2005 Mini Transat, and so had ever reason to celebrate heavily that night. The Demi Cle put on an awesome party and Chris Sayer got his head shaved for doing far too well...

Results

Pos Boat/crew Pro/Ser Tot time Club /Nat
1 NZL 403 (SAYER CHRIS, MOREAU PIERRE YVES) Pro 6d.11:22:23 RNZYS
2 KAREN LIQUID (HARDY ADRIEN, LEBOUCHER PIERRE) Pro 6d.20:06:04 A P C C NANTES
3 PARIDIS (DOUGUET CORENTIN, HENSEVAL ERIC) Pro 6d.20:22:06 WINCHES CLUB
4 LOIRE ATLANTIQUE (BUNOUST NICOLAS, LUCAS FRANCOIS) Pro 6d.22:02:02 A P C C NANTES
5 BIRVIDIK (GLADU SEBASTIEN, COLIN HERVE) Pro 6d.22:32:43 C N DE PORNIC
6 WELDOM (AMIOT STEPHANE, LEYS MATTHIEU) Pro 6d.22:45:45 A P STE ANNE DU PORTZIG
7 INKZONE (MARQUES DE ALMEIDA JOSE, BERTRAND ETIENNE) Pro 6d.23:10:50 CENTRE NAUTIQUE RANCE FREMUR
8 LEGALLAIS.CO.UK (SHARP Phil, PARKER David) Pro 6d.23:54:10 C V DIEPPE
9 CAP MONDE (AVRAM OLIVIER, AVRAM NICOLAS) Ser 7d.01:52:52 CENTRE NAUTIQUE DE LORIENT
10 TOBEDOO - STAR VOILES (MASLARD STANISLAS, MERMOD LAURENT) Pro 7d.02:31:24 SOCIETE DES REGATES DU HAVRE
11 SPORT VOILE (GINDRE PIERRE, HAMLYN ALEXANDRE) Pro 7d.04:02:23 STE DES REGATES ROCHELAISES
12 MAN OF ALL SEASONS (FENWICK MIKE, YOUNG ANDY) Pro 7d.04:30:44 WINCHES CLUB
13 MICROMEGAS (GEDOUIN PIERRE, GUILLEMOT BERTRAND) Pro 7d.04:34:42 S N BAIE DE ST MALO
14 JULES (SORIN FABRICE, LEROUX ALEXIS) Ser 7d.05:45:09 S N TRINITE S/MER
15 GWALARN IV (MIRABEL MICHEL, MIRABEL DAVID) Ser 7d.05:57:18 C N DE ROSNY
16 BILLIT 2 (LEGRAND JEAN PHILIPPE, LEMONNIER OLIVIER) Ser 7d.06:13:27 STE DES REGATES ROCHELAISES
17 CULTISOL MARINS SANS FRONTIERES (MESURE SEBASTIEN, CHAUVIN NATHANAEL) Ser 7d.06:35:18 ECOLE DE VOILE ROCHELAISE
18 LENDUR (TAMME Jaanus, QUELEN JEAN-FRANCOIS) Ser 7d.07:01:56 SMS ESTONIA
19 TECHNIQUE CHAUFFAGE-LE TRIMARAN BREST (HAIZE XAVIER, FLOCH REGIS) Ser 7d.07:57:12 S R DE BREST
20 WAKE UP (LE DOYEN LOIC, COLOMA TRISTAN) Ser 7d.07:59:46 SPORT NAUTIQUE DE SAINT QUAY PORTRIEUX
21 POP UP (MORISSEAU LAURENT, SALABERT FRANCOIS) Pro 7d.08:10:25 SPORT NAUTIQUE DE SAINT QUAY PORTRIEUX
22 DCF (CHOMBART DE LAWE MARINE, CHOMBART DE LAUWE PASCAL) Ser 7d.08:21:43 ECOLE DE VOILE ROCHELAISE
23 NEW DREAM (BEAUDART DAVY, BERGMANN Hanns) Ser 7d.08:36:33 CENTRE NAUTIQUE DE LORIENT
24 GWENN HA DU (SUDRIE ERWANN, LE CORGUILLE PHILIPPE) Pro 7d.09:09:02 C N DE BINIC
25 MARIOLE (MONEGIER QUENTIN, DUC LOUIS) Ser 7d.09:43:57 S N TRINITE S/MER
26 GARCIMORE (BORDIEC SEBASTIEN, CLERC THOMAS) Pro 7d.09:44:39 A S P T T LA ROCHELLE
27 POSITIF (PONTU SYLVAIN, HENRY SYLVIE) Ser 7d.10:32:47 WINCHES CLUB
28 ULMAN SAILS (BAUWENS ERIC, BAUWENS Sabine) Ser 7d.12:53:30 WINCHES CLUB
29 BLANCHARD OXYCOUPAGE (DARAMY JEAN BAPTISTE, ITURALDE OROTZ) Pro 7d.13:38:53 YACHT CLUB BASQUE
30 KOATI (LE BORGNE JEAN, RAUDE PIERRICK) Ser 7d.18:10:25 SR CONCARNEAU
31 YELLOW SUBMARINE (DU CLEUZIOU GILDAS, COSTAGLIOLI BRUNO) Ser 7d.19:07:16 YACHT CLUB CROUESTY ARZON
32 AFOU (ANGIBEAUD STEPHANE, NOIRBUSSON Matthieu) Ser 7d.23:07:13 CENTRE MARITIME DE NANTES
33 BOIS CARRE (SEYRIG JACQUESARNAUD, DEHENEFFE Gaël) Ser 8d.05:26:25 ASS. SPORTIVE ET NAUTIQUE DE QUIBERON
34 LA LIGUE CONTRE LE CANCER (CHARMET NICOLAS, JUILLOT FREDERIC) Pro 8d.06:31:07 WINCHES CLUB
35 GILL MARINE (SIMPSON Stephen, CRICHTON ALAN) Pro 8d.06:36:02 C V DIEPPE
36 HAIZEKO (ORTIZ DE URBINA INIGO, DURANA JON) Pro 8d.11:29:44 CENTRE NAUTIQUE DE LORIENT
37 LAURENT (GRAULLE BENEDICTE, CUSIN OLIVIER) Ser 8d.12:16:10 Y C DE GRANVILLE
38 DINGO-CHANTIER MAREE HAUTE (BOSSEY DAMIEN, LOXQ YVON) Pro 13d.15:34:49 STE DES REGATES ROCHELAISES
39 HORNET (HOPE-LANG CHARLIE, LINDLEY STEPHEN) Pro 16d.13:06:00 WINCHES CLUB
40 VECTEUR PLUS (LE CLAQUIN ALOYS, LE VOURCH DIDIER) Pro 16d.15:25:06 ASS. SPORTIVE ST PHILIBERT
41 PAROLE (JOSCHKE ISABELLE, CURRIER ADAM) Pro 16d.21:00:28 C V DIEPPE
42 FUJIFILM (BENETT Alexander, PEDLEY Ifor) Pro 17d.02:14:10 ROYAL WESTERN YACHT CLUB
43 BREIZH MOSQUITO (PERRIN PHILIPPE, LEROUX AURELIEN) Pro 19d.07:56:10 CENTRE NAUTIQUE RANCE FREMUR
43e SRADA BIZKAIA (GARAI Jon, MATHEZ-MARIET CORINNE) Pro 19d.07:56:10 CLUB MARITIME HENDAYE

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