TROPHEE CLAIREFONTAINE DE VALENCIA
‘Alinghi red’, helmed by Luc Dubois, won the 19th Trophée Clairefontaine today after a two day regatta in Port America’s Cup.
Regular Valencia America’s Cup visitors would recognise the familiar refrain of ‘sunny sea breeze’ and today was a classic: a 6-12 knot southeasterly greeted the fleet of eight one design cats for the final day of the Trophée Clairefontaine.
The crews geared up just after lunch for three races to decide the winner and it was all on for last year’s runner up, Luc Dubois at the helm of ‘Alinghi red’. Ed Baird helming ‘Alinghi black’ would have liked a bit more time on the boat, but both Alinghi teams adapted to the challenge of extremely close-quarter racing in Port America’s Cup! In fact it was good practice for Ed Baird and the crew for next weekend’s iShares final in Amsterdam!
Luc Dubois lifted the Trophée Clairefontaine on behalf of his team; Pierre-Yves Jorand and Yves Detrey.
Luc Dubois, who came second only by one point in last year’s edition, couldn’t hide his joy at winning today: 'It was pretty close in these last three races. We didn’t start very well; we were a little bit over in the first race, we got a penalty in the second, but we did a good job overall and in the end finished in a decent position and then we won the last race. It was a great effort from the entire team to stay up there until the last race. Very often in the Clairefontaine it is like this: very tight and then whoever wins the last race wins the event!'
Alinghi is doing quite well on all fronts, with victories in both the monohull and the multihull circuit: 'This victory, like any others on the water, is very important. This is what Alinghi is about: a group of people who love sailing and even in difficult times like we are going through now everyone is still trying to do their best on the water.'
Ed Baird, helmsman on board ‘Alinghi black’, explains how the day went for his team: 'In one sense we are disappointed. We’d like to be in the top three at events like these, but on the other hand we understand that it’s quite difficult as we haven’t sailed these boats before and we are trying to learn about them and at the same time we are getting around this very short, exciting course. For sure I didn’t get the best out of myself and I think all of us could have got more out of the boat with a little more time and learning but it’s great to see Luc (Dubois) and his team win the event. They sailed really well; were always fast and seemed to get through the difficult situations to finish in front of the group.'
Do events like this one help you on your multihull learning curve? 'Definitely, it’s all about position and timing, acceleration and deceleration. Each time we go around the course with these kinds of boats we learn and this weekend has been no different. It’s been frustrating to be stuck in the middle and not be able to spring to the front, but it’s taught us a lot of things about going around the marks and even though our results weren’t so good towards the end of the weekend our thought process actually got better as we went along.'
TROPHEE CLAIREFONTAINE DE VALENCIA 2008 VALENCE LE 14/09/08 Champagne MENTION OBLIGATOIRE POUR TOUTE UTILISATION : PHOTO © JEAN-MARIE LIOT/TCE08 - Trophée Clairefontaine
Luc Dubois, helmsman
Pierre-Yves Jorand, mainsail trimmer & tactician
Yves Detrey, bowman
Ed Baird, helmsman
Rodney Ardern, mainsail trimmer & tactician
Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen, bowman
Race 7- 3rd
Race 8- 6th
Race 9- 1st
Race 7- 5th
Race 8- 5th
Race 9- 3rd