Crepes Whaou! rally

All three of Franck-Yves Escoffier's trimarans to compete in the Vendee-St Petersburg race for the Multi50s

Monday April 19th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Nine crews are set to line up on the start line of the first Vendée–St-Petersburg race for the Multi50s, as it has been confirmed that the former Crêpes Whaou! 2 also be taking part.

The new race forms part of the celebrations of 2010 France - Russia Year, to restore and build on the historic links between Russia and France, and to set up cultural, scientific, economic and sports projects between the two countries. Among the stand out initiatives, there is the Holy Russia Exhibition at the Louvre in Paris, the celebration of Russian and French literature at the Etonnants Voyageurs festival and the launch of the Soyuz spacecraft - the result of a joint collaboration between scientists in the two countries.

The Vendée–St Petersburg race fits perfectly into this, as the brand new route for the race not only links for the first time Vendee, the French department, is so proud of its maritime heritage, with Russia’s largest port, but it will also offer an opportunity to engage in wider discussions. Looking beyond the race aspects, the Vendée – St. Petersburg will also be an occasion to expose various facets of the cultural and social life of both ports - a Russian village in Saint-Gilles Croix-de-Vie for the start and an exhibition on the Vendée at the foot of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg at the finish. The race will offer an opportunity to establish promising economic partnerships, as several dozen business leaders from Vendée will be accompanying the organisers to Russia.

A new crew and a change of name

After a promising Transat Jacques Vabre, where they finished in second place, Loïc Féquet and Victorien Erussard have now entered the Vendée–St Petersburg. Things worked out perfectly with their fellow citizen from St Malo, as Bertrand Chambert-Loir, head of sponsorship for Crêpes Whaou!, decided to offer the two young sailors the possibility of taking over Franck-Yves Escoffier’s old boat. They will be joined by Mathieu Souben, one of the rising stars of multihull racing. This means that Crêpes Whaou! will have two trimarans in its livery in this race.

The crew of Gamin has found some new partners. The boat will be called La mer révèle nos sens, carrying a message that the partners wish to spread concerning the protection of the oceans. Gamin is of course none other than Franck-Yves Escoffier’s first 50ft trimaran. So, three of the boats lining up at the start will have been at one time or another sailed by the sailor from St Malo. We can well imagine that Franck-Yves will have some good advice to give on the pontoons in Saint-Gilles Croix-de-Vie.

- Number taking part: 9 crews, FY Escoffier, Y Le Blévec, E Le Roux, H Cléris, A Caseneuve, L Roucayrol, P Laperche, E Hochédé, L Féquet.

- Crewed race for three, with the possibility of changing crew prior to the return leg from Saint-Petersburg.

- Start on 16 May 2010 from Saint Gilles Croix-de-Vie: finish expected in Saint-Petersburg around 23-24 May 2010.

- Start from Saint-Petersburg on 31 May 2010: finish expected in Saint Gilles Croix-de-Vie around 6–7 June 2010.

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