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Normandy Sailing Week: Capricious weather!
Despite the muggy, stormy weather with light breeze that coloured today’s races, the DIAM 24ODs were able to complete the Estuary Adventure Challenge, whilst the IRC cruisers and J/80s each managed, not without difficulty, to rack up a couple of races on their scorecards. With regards the multihulls, Sodebo were first across the finish line in Le Havre. Among the J/80 monohulls, Vitel Sailing Team scored a bullet in the first race, whilst the IRC category saw Pintia (IRC 1/2), Foggy Dew (IRC 3) and Bonobo (IRC 4) come out victorious in these introductory races in their respective categories. It was the first real warm-up for the largest craft, which will really begin racing in anger this evening at 20:00pm when they take the start of the nocturnal race…

This second day of racing started off well though for the crews aboard the 16 DIAM 24ODs in this 2015 edition of Normandy Sailing Week. Kicking off with a general recall once again, the Tour de France a la Voile multihulls then set sail for Antifer. From the outset tactical choices were the order of the day! There were two options: hunting down the breeze by making their way along the Norman cliffs, as was the case for Maître Coq, Beijaflore Sailing and Groupama Sailing, and thus initially taking the head of the race, or sailing offshore and leaving those in front to steal a march in a bid to sidestep the forecast calm once around the Antifer headland. And seemingly the second option paid off! With Antifer astern of them, those boats close to the shore came to an abrupt standstill, to the extent that they had to kedge so as not to start going backwards with the current. At the same time, the sailors having opted for the offshore route managed to move up into the lead by avoiding this windless zone. After this leadership change, it was Votre Plus Long Périple followed by Armor Lux-Comptoir de la Mer and Sodebo, which were the first to round the mark off Etretat. The latter were treated to a fly-by from some Rafales from the French army, before linking onto a long and slow descent towards Deauville via Metzinger.

During this time, the start of the J/80 and IRC racer-cruiser competition was taking a while to get going due to the lack of wind on zone… In the end though, at around 15:30/16:00pm local time, the race committees deemed that conditions were favourable for launching the event. The IRC craft enjoyed a nice 2-race warm-up with the crews on Pintia (IRC 1/2), Foggy Dew (IRC 3) and Bonobo (IRC 4) benefiting from the short event to show a little of what they were made off before they get into the thick of the action in tonight’s racing, due to start at 20:00pm local time. On the Bravo zone, conditions weren’t a lot better for the J/80s, which also had to make do with two races to kick off this 2015 edition. The crew skippered by Capucine Vitel aboard Vitel Sailing Team took the first race in this series.

In the DIAM 24OD series, after a full-speed sprint to the finish to reshuffle the cards once more, Sodebo (1st) followed by Vannes Agglo-Golfe du Morbihan (2nd) and Beijaflore Sailing (3rd) made up the podium for this Coefficient 3 event. To round off what has been a hard day for the crews, everyone will get together for a well earned buffet at the SNPH club this evening…

Find all the rankings online on the race website

Maxime Falcone (Translation Kate Jennings) - Sirius Events

Photo : Jean-Marie Liot/NSW 2015
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