French outnumbered in Normandy Channel Race
18 boats are due to be on the start line when the Class 40's Normandy Channel Race sets sail from Caen on 22 May at 1400.
The line-up features 19 international crew from nine nations, 17 French, while five are set to compete in the Global Ocean Race, starting from Majorca in September. In the mix there are two female crews and two mixed and two with disabled skippers (Damien Seguin – Bruno Jourdren).
In terms of hardware all the latest designs are represented including the Akilaria RC 2, Pogo 40 S2, Rogers Class40, Pogo 40, but significant it is due to be the first race for the new Farr-designed Kiwi 40.
|Boat name||Boat type||Skipper||Nat||Co-skipper||Nat|
|TEAM MABIRE - MERRON||Pogo 40 S2||Halvard Mabire||FRA||Miranda Merron||GBR|
|DEFI GDE - TZU HANG||Akilaria||Axel Strauss||GER||Nicolas Boidevézi||FRA|
|RED||CC 40||Mathias Blumencron||GER||Boris Herrmann||GER|
|LIVEWIRE||Express 40||Stuart Dodd||GBR||Steve Kennington||GBR|
|OCEAN ELEVEN||Pogo 40||Stéphanie Alran||FRA||Caroline Vieille||FRA|
|DES PIEDS ET DES MAINS||Rogers 40||Damien Seguin||FRA||Yohann Richomme||FRA|
|PARTOUCHE||JPK||Christophe Coatnoan||FRA||Sébastien Figue||FRA|
|PERASPERA||Kiwi 40FC||Francesco Piva||ITA||Zoccoli Luca||ITA|
|PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM||Rogers 40||Fabien Delahaye||FRA||Bruno Jourdren||FRA|
|SPLIFF||Express 40||Andrew Dawson||GBR||Rune Aasberg||NOR|
|TALANTA||Pogo 40 S2||Jean Galfione||FRA||Eric Péron||FRA|
|MARE.DE2||FS 40||Jorg Riechers||GER||Etienne David||SUI|
|PHESHEYA RACING||Akilaria||Philippa Hutton||RSA||Nick Leggatt||RSA|
|MARIE TOÎT - CAEN LA MER||Kiwi 40FC||Marc Lepesqueux||FRA||Michel Kleinjans||BEL|
|GRYPHON SOLO 2||Akilaria RC2||Joe Harris||USA||Josh Hall||GBR|
|40 DEGREES||Jaz 40 MK2||Hannah Jenner||GBR||Anna-Maria Renken||GER|
|L'EXPRESS - SAPMER||Pogo 40 S||Pierre-Yves Lautrou||FRA||Dominic Vittet||FRA|
|INITIATIVES SAVEURS||Rogers 40||Tanguy de Lamotte||FRA||Sébastien Audigane||FRA|
In terms of crew credentials, the line-up is impressive Jules Verne Trophy holder and recent Barcelona World Race competitor Sébastien Audigane sailing with 2009 Solidaire du Chocolat winner Tanguy de Lamotte. Also fresh from the Barcelona World Race is German Boris Herrmann who is with fellow German Matthias Blumencron aboard the Owen Clarke-designed Red.
From the USA is round the world sailor Joe Harris, competing on his newly commissioned Akilaria RC2 with Global Ocean Race organiser and former round the world solo sailing veteran Josh Hall.
The two all-female crews are Stéphanie Alran and Caroline Vieille aboard their Pogo 40 Ocean Eleven, while this will be the first race for round the world sailor Hannah Jenner and her German co-skipper Anna-Maria Renken on 40 Degrees. Attention should also be paid to another German Jorg Riechers who is sailing with Swiss Tour Voile turned Mini sailor Etienne David, while as he awaits his Kiwi 40 to be delivered to Europe from New Zealand, Michel Kleinjans is racing with Marc Lepesqueux. Similar Norway's Rune Aasberg, winner of last year's doublehanded Round Britain Race is competing with Andrew Dawson on the excellently named Spliff.
Among the other French sailors are former Solitaire du Figaro winner Dominic Vittet, who's impressive track record spans some 20 years and includes eight Transat AG2Rs, 13 Tour de France à la Voiles, while Fabien Delahaye, was the first bizuth in the Solitaire du Figaro in 2009, Eric Péron, who skippers Macif on the Figaro circuit.