Friday, May 25, 2018

TU DELFT BROACH Wins J/22 Europeans

J/22 Europeans sailing under spinnakerMoriceau Crushes J/80 French Championship
(Lanveoc, France)- The Grand Prix Ecole de Navale in Brest/ Lanveoc, France hosted their annual GPEN Championnat de France from May 10th to 12th on the choppy, windy waters of the Bay of Biscay- it’s one of Europe’s largest one-design events.  The event also marked the 2018 J/22 European Championship, where eleven teams from the Netherlands, Canada, France, and Germany managed to sail eleven races.  Concurrently, a forty-two boat J/80 class enjoyed the third event in their France J/80 Cup- a season-long series of eight regattas.

Women crew sailing fast on J/22sThursday- Gorgeous Spring Sailing
The fleet was blessed beautiful, mild weather conditions on the first day sailing off the tip of Brittany.  The J/22s and J/80s both enjoyed three races in a weakening northwest breeze that started early in the day at 12-18 kts and slowly diminished to 8-13 kts by late afternoon.

It was the Canadian team of Johann Koppernaes on RAISED J (Michele Cimon, Mike Marshall, Adrienne White) that took the lead in the J/22 Europeans after a 3-2-1 score for 6 pts. Perhaps the Dutch and French teams were surprised, but it certainly helped to have J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall from North Sails on board as trim/ tactician! Second on the day was Jesper Overbeeke’s Dutch crew on TU DELFT BROACH with a 1-3-4 for 8 pts.  Sitting in third was Patrick Huet’s French crew on EUROPEAN HOMES, one of the pre-regatta favorites that managed a consistent 2-5-2 for 9 pts.

Over on the J/80 course, the forty-two boats were creating havoc, getting off the starting line was difficult and it was hard to recover if any of the top boats were deep early.  Nevertheless, avoiding those pitfalls and winning the first two races were Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, finishing with a scoreline of 1-1-4 and 6 pts for the day.  Second after posting a steadily improving tally of 12-2-1 for 15 pts was another top crew, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA.  Rounding out the top three were Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 with a 4-8-5 score for 17 pts.

J/80s sailing off Brest, FranceFriday- Grey, Chilly, Windy!
After enjoying a lovely day of sailing to start out the regatta, everyone knew the forecast was going to change dramatically for the second day, with grey skies, cold temperatures and 15-25 kt southwest winds producing big seas.

Four boats stand out overall after 6 races in the J/80 class. Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT dominated the first day but still managed to post all top five races of 3-5-5 to end the day at the top of the leaderboard.  Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA also posted good scores of 2-9-2 to hang on to his second place from day one.  However, below them it was chaos.  Leaping up the standings was Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS with a white-hot tally of 1-3-1 to snatch the bronze position.

Simon Moriceau from APCC Sports Sailing commented on their performance, "It was a harder day for us today. We lost some points to our opponents. We were more in trouble off the line today. We have a new crew, two of the crew members had some boathandling issues- but, fixed now! Tomorrow, it will be a battle, we will have to be focused and watch our opponents."

Luc Nadal from NDCV Angers said, “We were very happy to sail fast and smarter today. We have sailed several times in the GPEN regatta and we dreamed of having a great day in Crozon-Morgat. And, finally, we did! We are now in second and happy with our place, despite two or three little issues slowing us down. Tomorrow will be a decisive day, if we do three races, the top five is still totally open."

Patrick Bot from CV Ecole Navale offered his perspective, "This day went well for us. There was a lot of wind and waves, so it was fast and exciting! We are quite happy with ourselves, our speed and our sails. Yes, we dropped to fourth place with a 4-7-3, but tomorrow we will fight to be on the podium!”

The J/22s also had four good races in the big seas and big breeze. No one was going to slow down the dominance of Overbeeke’s Dutch crew on TU DELFT BROACH.  Loving the big stuff, they smoked the competition with a 1-3-1-1 to easily take over the lead for the title of European Champion.  Dropping to second place were the Canadians on RAISED J with four 2nds!  And, moving into third was Auke Holtrop’s RSZ ROTTERDAM WORLDGATE with a 5-1-3-3.

J/80s sailing GPEN in FranceSaturday- Grey & Cool & Light
After an exhausting wet and windy day on Friday, the sailors appreciated sailing more benign weather conditions. Though still grey and cool, the wind had moderated to 8-12 kts from the west.

The battle for the title of J/22 European Champion was not decided until the end. With four more races scheduled and completed, it was anyone’s guess how the cards would drop on the table for the top three boats. In the third race of the day, the regatta leader TU DELFT BROACH got DSQ’d, adding 12 pts to their scoreline and potentially torpedoing their chances of winning.  Meanwhile, Holtrop’s RSZ ROTTERDAM WORLDGATE posted a sizzling 2-2-1 with a chance to win the crown!  Furthermore, the Canadians on RAISED J slipped a little with their 3-5-4 scores.

As a result, the three boats were essentially tied, with the outcome riding on the final race.  It must have been a wake-up call for Overbeeke’s crew to get tossed in race 10, as they simply sailed fast and smart to win the last race and be crowned the 2018 J/22 European Champions by just 3 pts!  Doing their best to close the gap, but never quite succeeding was Holtrop’s crew, taking 2nd in the finale to grasp the silver.  Meanwhile, the Canadian’s on RAISED J slipped yet again, finishing with a 6th to hold on for the bronze.

The rest of the top five had Patrick Huet’s EUROPEAN HOMES in 4th and Annefleur De Zeeuw’s DJINN HISTOS in 5th place (she was also top women’s skipper).

In the J/80s, Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT started the day with their worst score of the regatta, a 12th.  Then, followed it up with a 7th and closed with a 2nd for the third and finale race of the day. While not their best outing, it was enough to be take the title of “J/80 Championnat de France Monotype Habitable.”  Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 stayed mostly out of trouble and finished the event with a 7-4-4 to take second.  Like Moriceau, Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS crew started off with a horrendous 18th (their toss race) and then closed with a vengeance, smoking the fleet for two bullets to take third place.

The balance of the top five was Nadal’s GAN’JA in 4th and Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE in 5th (she was also top women’s skipper).  Second women’s skipper was Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES (7th overall) and third was Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS (8th overall). It was a fantastic showing for these three women skippers to crack the top ten and between them win two races and get seven podium finishes!

No question, the competition is getting hotter in the Open and Women’s divisions as the J/80 teams are preparing for their J/80 World Championship that will be sailed at Les Sables d'Olonne, France, also on the Bay of Biscay in very similar wind/wave conditions.

After winning, Simon Moriceau (Armen Habitat) commented, "It was very tight, as we were only two points ahead this morning. It was hot! The first race of the day, we gained control over the next three boats, despite our 12th place! It was not necessarily obvious what to do, because at that time, the wind was moving in all directions.  But, we always had an eye on our competitors and didn’t lose them. Without a bad race this morning, it would have been much easier. We had a new crew that responded very well, we had a good cohesion in the team.  I am really happy to win my third title of Championnat de France!  With a wind like today, it was very shifty, adding a little spice and challenge to the regatta! Thank You to GPEN for a great event!”  For more J/80 GPEN and J/22 Europeans sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.