ATLANTIS Dominates Field of French Sailing Legends(La Trinite Sur Mer, France)- This year's SPI Ouest fleet was blessed with good racing and an experienced committee was able to get off a full flight of races for all three days for all three courses. The winds were strong, mostly offshore NNE and blowing with one moderate spell (somewhat similar to what they saw in Marseilles for SNIM). The 93 boat J/80 fleet, by far the largest fleet at SPI OUEST, had some tight racing behind the runaway leader, Louis Sambron racing ATLANTIS. The J/24s enjoyed tight racing as did the J/105 and J/109 fleet. Over on the handicap course, the various J's had a tougher time getting off the competitive, crowded starting lines and picking the shifts to stay in contention.
The talk of La Trinite and the French sailing community was the domination of the 93 boat J/80 class by Louis Sambron sailing ATLANTIS. Sailing to five firsts, a second and fifth in the first seven races, Team ATLANTIS didn't sail the last race to win by 32 points! Quite an achievement when you have some of France's more renowned sailing talent and legends like Pierre Follenfant, Bruno Trouble, Christine Briand, French J/80 National Champion Luc Nadal and Yves Tabarly. With teams representing Italy, England, Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden it was clear to most competitors that it was not going to be difficult to be consistent to do well in the event with so many good sailors fighting to get off the starting line. Nevertheless, behind ATLANTIS's remarkable performance, that view held true for all other competitors. Pellisier sailed VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE to second place just three points in front of Pierre Follenfant on TBS. Christine Briand sailed very well to finish fourth overall and was Top Woman for the event!
On the J/105 and J/109 class course, there was a good regatta for the boats vying for top honors. At the end, Blanchard's J'ADORE finished first by staying out of trouble, winning by just three points, despite having to drop a DNF/ 11th in the fourth windy race. In second was Tostivint's J CROIS PAS sailing quite consistently, but having to eat a sixth in the ninth race and tossing an 11th/DNF in the seventh just to be a contender. Third was the most consistent boat in the fleet, Barouch's J'VOLE finishing only three points back and tossing only a fifth! Were it a no throw-out series, Barouch and team on J'VOLE would've tied for first but lost the tie-breaker!
In the J/24s, Aubert on JULIA finished strongly with two firsts in the last two races to win over Lemaistre racing MARTA and Cahto racing COUTOT ROEHRING. For more SPI Ouest Regatta and Sailing information