Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Moriceau Wins French J/Cup

J/80s sailing off France (La Forêt-Fouesnant, France)- The second part of the season-long J/Cup J/80 series in France just took place off the quaint seaside town of La Forêt-Fouesnant and hosted by Club de La Vallee des Fous.  With many of the top French teams participating in the twenty-one boat fleet, some of the new up-and-coming teams were having to contend with some veteran crews that had re-built their rosters over the winter.

The regatta was blessed with remarkably good weather overall.  On the first day, the fleet was blessed with sun, two races and a 12-18 kts W-SW breezes and flat seas.  The second day was a “dream” according to most sailors; and how could it not be!?  Five races in perfect conditions of 8-15 kts WSW with flat seas and nice shifty winds.  By the third day, the fleet was getting spoiled, this time with a bit more wind and even more sun!  However, the fleet got a bit too much of one thing- wind!  Only two races were run in the 25-30 kts westerlies.  Then, the unthinkable- way, way too much wind on the last day of racing on Sunday!  With even more sun (if you can believe it), the Meteo France was calling for gale force winds of over 35 kts, so races 10 & 11 were canceled for the day. Not many sailors complained about that decision!

J/80 team sailing off Valles de Fous, FranceThe host PRO performed admirably, managing to start nine races for the aggressive teams and enabling the sailors to have a “drop race”.  Continuing where they left off in the previous regatta, Simon Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT crew took two bullets and two seconds on their way to winning with 24 pts net.  Sailing with a new sponsor this year is Eric Brezellec.  This top French team, sailing under the colors of COURIER JUNIOR, took second, also winning two races for a total of 27 pts net.  Herve Leduc and Christine Briand teamed up to create a new crew, sailing PIERRE OCEANE to third overall.

Perhaps the team that has garnered the most experience, and learned a lot from training with champion Eric Brezellec in the two training weekends in La Trinite sur Mer leading up to Spi Ouest France Intermarche, was Matthieu Salomon on CHARIOT PLUS- VANNE UTILITAIRES.  Had this team avoided some big pitfalls and stayed a bit more consistent, they were easy contenders to win the regatta.  Time will bring that experience to their new team.  However, with a “chutes & ladders” scoreline of 2-dsq-1-7-1-15-2-4 for 34 pts net (and the DSQ being a 2nd!), this team clearly has great potential ahead!

J/80s sailing off Valles des Fous, FranceThe top women skippers were Pauline Chalaux sailing PRINCE DE BRETAGNE to 8th place followed by Sophie & Sandrine Riot leading their team on LE HAVRE LADIES NORMANDIE to 13th overall.

A special “Thank you” to the Club de la Vallée des Fous and volunteers, members of the Race Committee and the Jury, PL Yachting and society Interface Concept, for having been able to organize this 3rd edition of Interface Concept J/Cup Interface with remarkable ease and joy for the J/80 fleet.

Also, special mention to the bar-restaurant “La Hune” for the quality of its reception on these four days, and especially during the evening for all the crews!  Next regatta in the J/80 La Coupe de France is the GPEN (Grand Prix Ecole Navale from May 29th to June 1st.  Thanks for contribution from Herve Leduc.  For more Interface Concept J/Çup sailing information