Concise 2 leads Normandy Channel Race start
The 15 doublehanded Class 40s set sail on the third Normandy Channel Race at 1700 local time today in perfect conditions: a 10 knot NWerly breeze and sunshine.
At the start it was the Class 40s of Yannick Bestaven/Julien Pulvé, Jean Galfione/Eric Pulvé, Sébastien Rogues/Dominic Vittet who got off the line best heading off to complete the 5 mile inshore course before the boats were free to head out to sea. Upwind the yachts, assisted by the current, quickly made it to the Luc-sur-Mer mark with Bestaven and Pulvé's Phoenix Europe Express first round, followed by Galfione and Pulvé on Talanta and Scott Cavanough and Thibault Reinhart on Jasmine Flyer.
Further down the track it was the young British duo Ned Collier Wakefield and Sam Goodchild on Concise 2, who were the first to hoist their spinnaker and thanks to move into the lead ahead of Talanta, manoeuvring superbly around the Ouistreham mark. En route to the final mark before the Saint Marcouf Islands, situated at the start line off Hermanville, there were no real position changes to note.
The fleet then made their way along the famous Normandy landing beaches upwind and at the first sched it was Concise 2 was leading from Talanta and Jasmine Flyer. The wind is set to ease over the coming hours and the boats will be punching the tide from 1900 local time.
Before heading off Concise 2's Sam Goodchild commented: “We’re happy to be starting the Normandy Channel Race. Ned and I make a good crew and we’re used to sailing together. Added to that, we’re very familiar with the race area as I was born in Southampton! The first few hours of the race will be important. In the light airs and with the tides forecast, we’d obviously prefer to be at the head of the fleet”.
Stéphane Le Diraison, skipper of Class 40 Masai said: “It’s going to tense with a huge amount of strategy and tactics involved. If we’re ahead, it’ll never be a position which is set in stone. If we’re behind, it’ll never be game over. I’m dreading the fishing pots as we approach the Saint Marcouf Islands tonight. We can control a lot of parameters aboard our boat but lumps of wood or fishing pots aren’t among them. We’re going to need to keep an eye open”.
Positions following the bay course:
1 : Concise 2
2 : Talanta
3 : Jasmine Flyer
4 : Phoenix Europe Express
5 : Mare Magazines & Books
6 : Eärwen
7 : Solo
8 : Bodacious Dream
9 : Campagne de France
10 : Eole Génération
11 : Masaï
12 : Avis Immobilier
13 : Les Conquérants-Caen La Mer
14 : Obportus
15 : Lupi