Normandy Channel Race sets sail


James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
Early lead for Tanguy De LaMotte and Sebastien Audiagne
The 16 doublehanded Class 40s competing in the Normandy Channel Race set sail this afternoon on a start line off the port of Ouistreham in northern France. With tide against, intermittent sun and a gustly 13-17 knot northwesterly and a moderte sea, the start was a conservative affair with former 2.4m World Champion Damien Seguin and Yohann Richomme getting away first to weather with race favourites Tanguy de LaMotte and Sebastien Audiagne on Initiatives Saveurs first of the main pack down by the pin. There was a small hiccup for the overly new Kiwi 40 Marie Toit-Caen la Mer of Marc Lepesqueux and Michel Kleinjans on the line when the tack of their jib came away, but was quickly reattached. By the weather mark the form boats were powering through to the fore with young local Figaro sailor Fabien Delahaye and Bruno Jourdren (another French paralympic sailor, who won Silver in the Sonar in Beijing) aboard Port de Caen Ouistreham (previously Bernard Stamm's Cheminees Poujoulat) rounding the weather mark first. Doublehanded the crews were not fast on the hoist and there was disaster for Delahaye and Jourdren mid-hoist when they appeared to get their spinnaker tackle caught around one of their yacht's appendages. Perhaps for this reason most of the later half of the fleet prefered to play it safe and didn't hoist their big gear. As a result by the leeward mark, the Ouistreham buoy, the order was as follows with De LaMotte and Audigane into the lead: 1. Initiatives Saveurs (Tanguy De Lamotte/Sébastien Audigane) at 14:49 2. Port de Caen Ouistreham (Fabien Delahaye/ Bruno Jourdren) 3. Défi GDE Tzu Hang (Axel Strauss/Nicolas Boidevezi) 4. Red (Matthias Blumencron/ Boris Hermann) 5. Des Pieds et Des Mains (Damien Seguin/ Yoann Richomme) 6. Phesheya Racing (Phillippa Hutton-Squire/ Nick Leggatt) 7. Mare.de2 (Jorg Riechers/ Etienne David) 8. Talanta (Jean Galfione/ Eric Péron) 9. Partouche

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