(Cameret-sur-mer, Brittany, France)- This year’s Grand Prix De L’Ecole Navale (GPEN), sailed over the Ascension weekend, from Thursday May 29th to Sunday June 1st 2014, was yet another well-organized and fun sailing event for the participants.
L’École Navale (French Naval Academy) and their Race Committee PRO’s conducted excellent racing across three racing sites- the bay of Crozon-Morgat, the bay of Camaret and le port du Château in Brest (Brest marina).
The J/22s were hosting their European Championship concurrently with GPEN. With sixteen entries from France, Germany and the Netherlands, the racing was apparently going to be close and competitive. However, one boat upset the proverbial apple cart, not only dominating the event after winning the first two races, but closing with nearly straight firsts in races 6 to 10. Standing tall were the BEASTIE BOYS team (skipper Jean Queveau with crew Damien Iehl, Pierre Laouenan and Elizabeth Ricaud), finishing with 14 pts net and a 15 pt winning margin! The race for silver and bronze behind them was fierce, with two past champion teams dueling for the positions. Charles Michaux’s JAZZY started slowly, but ultimately got their train rolling, too. The JAZZY crew (Michaux plus Christophe Declercq & Reiner Brockerhoff) sailed consistently in the top three to take second with 29 pts net. Even though they were the only other boat to win races (three in a row, in fact), the Andre family team onboard MAJIC (Bernard Andre, Pascale Andre, Thomas Andre & Remi Nobileau) had their hands full trying to beat JAZZY, settling for third place with 33 pts net. In fourth and fifth, respectively, were the Netherlands team on RANGER (Michiel Eijsink) and the German team of JOLLY JUMPER (Christian Rieckborn).
The nearly sixty-boat J/80 class, the largest at GPEN by far, saw many new and familiar faces finishing in the top five since this event was also part of the season-long series for the class- the Coupe de France. Simon Moriceau’s team on INTERFACE CONCEPT (Herve Corlay, Hugo Kerhascoet, Christian Ponthieu & Vianney Guilbaud) had their work cut out for them to hold off the hard-charging CHARIOT PLUS- VANNES UTILITAIRES team skippered by Matthieu Salomon. After sailing nine races, the INTERFACE CONCEPT team won their class with 31 pts net, just 3 pts ahead of CP-VU! Taking third on the podium was long-time class veteran Luc Nadal, skippering GAN’JA in a hard-fought fight battle over Maxime Mesnil’s CO PILOTE- NORMANDY ELITE TEAM (she was also top women’s skipper). Fifth was Gael Jaffrezic’s EJP X team from APCC Voile Sportive.
In the J/70’s, top boat was Ludovic Senechal’s team on LULU LA NANTAISE (Francois Loisel, Bertrand Maillard & Rodolphe Deschamps) winning with 12 pts net. Just two points back was Thomas Mellano’s team on LE HAVRE NAUTIC and in third was Philippe Delaporte sailing PEN AZEN. For more Grand Prix L’Ecole Navale (GPEN) sailing information