Friday, March 25, 2016

SPI Ouest France Preview

J/80 sailboat- sailing SPI Ouest France regatta(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The 38th Spi Ouest-France destination Morbihan begins this Thursday off the beautiful and quaint seaside village on the Bay of Biscay known as La Trinite sur Mer.  360 boats have registered to race for four days over the Easter Holiday weekend.  Organized and hosted by Société Nautique de la Trinité-Sur-Mer, the sailors can expect wonderful hospitality, great racing and the enduring support of the famous news media organization- Ouest-France.  The regatta is also emblematic of the opening of the tourist season along the western coastline of France.

As the largest regatta hosted in France, the event has achieved enormous notoriety both in Europe and worldwide, especially amongst the offshore yachting fraternity.  Many of the famous names in Vendee Globe and Route du Rhum races assemble in Trinite to catch up with sailing friends and celebrate the start of a new summer sailing season.

This year the throngs of sailors will be rubbing shoulders with such famous names as Dee Caffari (the first woman to have completed a round the world sailing east to west without assistance & 6th in the Vendée Globe 2008-2009 and racing a J/80 for Oman Sail Team); Bernard Stamm (the Swiss Breton); Bertrand De Broc (now in full preparation for the next Vendée Globe), Marc Guillemot (another Vendee Globe veteran) and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (one of the oldest shorthanded sailors from The Netherlands).

The sailors will be treated to a fairly benign, almost ideal, conditions for sailing.  The weather looks pretty mild for the weekend, with cool temperatures in the morning with sunny to partly cloudy skies and nice winds from the west.

The growing tribe of J/sailors in France continues its upward momentum, with 105 J/Teams participating in one-design fleets of J/70s and J/80s and IRC/ OHS classes across the range (fully one-third of the entire fleet!).  The J/70s have grown to a 20 boat class in this year’s SPI Ouest and the fleet is loaded with talent.  Top teams include Luc Sambron’s HEMON-CAMUS from APCC Voile Sportive, Herve Leduc’s JIBE SET- PIERRE OCEANE from SR Rochelaises, Hugo Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES from St Petersburg YC in Russia, Jose Maria’s NEW TERRITORIES from RCN Barcelona in Spain, P. Jesus’ PETITE PALACE HOTELS from RCN La Coruna in Spain, and R. Hurdiel’s VOILE AMBITION DUNKERQUE from Dunkerque YC in France.

The J/80s again have the largest fleet in the entire regatta with sixty-seven teams on the starting line.  A crowded and aggressive group, the J/80 teams will enjoy tight racing all weekend.  Familiar names from past J/80 Coupe de France series are in attendance, including Thierry Launay’s AVEVA from CN St Cast, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA from NDCV Angers, Yannick Tabarly’s JIBI from Sportboat Regatta SC, Jose Maria van der Ploeg’s NAUTICA WATCHES from CN Hodarribia in Spain, Dee Caffari’s OMAN SAIL, Simon Moriceau’s SAILING FRA 29, Andrew Hurst’s SEAHORSE MAGAZINE from Keyhaven YC in the United Kingdom, and Simone Pellissier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE from Virtual Regatta YC.

In the offshore handicap world, we find E Gicquel’s J/133 BLACK JACK from Sn Baie St Malo racing in IRC 1 Class.  In IRC 2 Class are four J/crews, including the brand new J/112E J-LANCE 12 sailed by Didier Le Moal, the J/109 CNP1 J’VOLE skippered by P Barouch, the J/120 HEY JUDE helmed by P Girardin and the J/120 LADY JANE skippered by P Tostivint from CN Pornic.  The lone J/team in IRC 3 Class is B Fagart’s J/97 MISPICKEL VI.  Two J’s are sailing in IRC 4 Class- T Bidon’s J/92S DR JEKYLL and J Croyere’s J/92 RUBAN VERT.

In the OHS handicap classes, there are three teams sailing OH1 Class, P Guennal’s J/111 J4F, E Kerscaven’s J/88 PL YACHTING, and P Jomier’s J/105 J-SQUARED.  Finally, in the OH2 Class are four classic J/24s- B Le Marec’s EL NINO, A Garcia’s INSULARIS, F De Herce’s MAJIC and V Maldonado’s REGATTA COPA MEXICO EUSKADI.   For more SPI OUEST France sailing information