Friday, April 18, 2014

SPI OUEST Regatta Preview

J/80 sailing off La Trinite sur Mer, France (La Trinite-sur-Mer, France)- The 36th SPI Ouest France Intermarche Regatta is taking place this weekend from April 17th to 21st, with four days of racing planned on Quiberon Bay.  Over 300 boats are sailing and, again, the J/80 class will be by far the largest fleet (one-design or handicap) with 86 boats expected on the starting line.  This year’s event also marks the debut of the J/70 class with a dozen boats primed to do battle for SPI Ouest honors.

The J/70s have several notable teams registered, including a new French crew sailing PEN AZEN that will be skippered by Philipe Delaporte, a long-time J owner and past RORC Offshore Champion in his J122 PEN AZEN.  Joining the French J/70 class sailors will be J. Bergh’s HAPPY team from KSSS YC in Sweden and also C. Esse’s crew on DARWIN PROPERTY INVESTMENT from Royal Thames YC in Great Britain.

J/80s have many familiar teams participating in this year’s SPI Ouest with many past champions in the class hoping to be amongst those gathering silverware on the podium.  Leading the top French boats will be Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA, Simon Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT II and Y. Tabarly’s JIBI.  The British are well represented with teams like Jon Powell’s BETTY, as are the Spanish with I. Jauregui’s GOLD SAILING.  One of the top Swedish teams is attending, ROCAD skippered by I. Sunstedt from KSSS YC.  The OmanSail team are sending two crews, including F. Al Hasni skippering one boat and R. Al Habsi sailing the other.  Finally, two J/80 women’s teams are sailing, including C Phillipe on J80 AU FEMININ and LE HAVRE LADIES NORMANDIE with skipper S. Riot.

In the IRC handicap racing world, there are J’s sailing in virtually every class.  Starting with IRC 1, there are three J/122s expecting to break into the top five, including JOLLY JOKER (R Marchais), MADE IN LOVE (Jm. Patier) and SPARKLING CHARTER (F. Lognonne).

IRC 2 class has a mix of 35-40 ft J’s, including a beautifully restored J/35, KNIGHT BUILD LIMITED, sailed by J. Charmers from Weymouth Sailing Club in Great Britain.  They will be up against the J/105 BO GOSS (P. Allain) and the J/120 RHAPSODIE V (JJ. Godet).

Several 35 ft J’s are sailing in the very, very large IRC 3 class and hoping to sail clean and not get caught up in bad “lanes” sailing upwind and having to live with dirty air too long.  Included in this group are two J/105’s- MISS J (F. Guillemot) and J-SQUARED (V. Jomier); and the J/109 FRANJPANE (P. Mouret).

IRC 4 class was going to be so big and unmanageable for the Race Committee PRO that it was split into an “A” and “B” grouping.  Sailing in IRC 4-A are twin duos of J/97s and J/92s’s.  The J/97s are MISPIKEL V (B. Fagart) and PICKWICK (P. Nouzille).  The J/92s are DR JEKYLL (T. Bidon) and SABOT (M. Demazure).

Making up part of the IRC 4-B class are a trio of J/24s, including past SPI Ouest participants like  JINETTE (C. Gury), INSULARIS (A. Garcia) and HORS’J.  For more SPI Ouest France sailing information