18 Class 40s for the Normandy Channel Race

More international entries sign up for next month's 1000 mile doublehander

Thursday April 14th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

With just days to go until the official close of registration, the Normandy Channel Race to date has 18 Class 40 entries. The most recent to sign up have added an international flavour to the event which sets sail from Caen on 22 May on a 1,000 mile course passing England, Ireland and France.

As reported the brand new Akilaria RC2 Gryphon Solo 2, skippered by American Joe Harris and Global Ocean Race organiser Josh Hall, is now officially entered. Hall commented: “This race is a challenge! The course may have a lot of surprises in store for us, especially in terms of the wind. Joe and I have done a huge amount of sailing and we’re ready to take up the gauntlet of the Normandy Channel Race.”

There is also news of a mystery crew, who have already registered their entry and have finally revealed themselves… Phesheya Racing will return with her South African crew of Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt, who competed in last year’s race. Their Phesheya Racing is a 2006 Akilaria which finished sixth in the first Normandy Channel Race. This year they have a double objective: to win the race and qualify for the Global Ocean Race.

Also entered now are another Global Ocean Race duo,  Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken, the second all-female crew to sign up for the Normandy Channel Race. They will sail 40 Degrees, the Class 40 that came second in the 2010 edition. Between the two of them, they’ve racked up over 200,000 miles on the water.

Meanwhile French crews will include Fabien Delahaye and Bruno Jourdren aboard Port de Caen – Ouistreham and the Franco-English team of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron who are gunning for the podium. However, the other French crews, who may have less experience in the Class 40, are still serious contenders, such as Jean Galfione and Eric Peron on Talanta, and the all-female crew of Stéphanie Alran and Caroline Vieille-Olagne…

Others have yet to announce their co-skippers, such as Damien Séguin and Marc Lepesqueux, Axel Strauss meantime has announced the name of his partner, Nicolas Boidevézi. From La Rochelle, Boidevéziwill be racing on Défi GDE – Tzu Hang. At 30, he is a familiar face on the Mini circuit, while Strauss has eight transatlantics to his credit.

. A difficult course, strewn with obstacles which, to the great delight of everyone concerned, will serve to further add to the suspense…

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