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Grand Prix Guyader - Spectacle of boats head for the Bay of Douarnenez

by Véronique Guillou Le Bivic on 2 May 2013
Grand Prix Guyader 2012 Jacques Vapillon © www.vapillon.com
The 2013 Grand Prix Guyader is set to take place from 3-12 May and Douarnenez will be to sailing what Cannes is to cinema: The capital! with the famous palace steps catwalk shaped, the bay as the main stage, and a whole host of international stars for a permanent show on land and at sea!

In welcoming the best of offshore racing on Friday 3 May, the Grand Prix Guyader 2013, begins with spectacle of boats setting sail on the Bay of Douarnenez, visible to all because throughout the Grand Prix, all races can be viewed from onshore.

The first race will be held Friday 3 May with a inshore race for the entire fleet of racing boats. The weekend sees the start of the famous 'Nautic' Challenge, backed up by the Paris Boat Show, which includes the debut of Kite, Moth, Windsurfers, 'sailing speed machines' as well as Maxi, IMOCA, Multi50 and Class 40. The rules are simple, with the a starting line open from 13:00 to 17:00, skippers attempt their best time by racing up or down between the Rosmeur harbour and a buoy located three miles away in the bay. Skippers can make as many runs as they wish. This first weekend will end on Monday with a final offshore race.

The list of contenders is long and prestigious, and there is no clear favourite for this 'David and Goliath' battle. In the 7O foot multihull Class, both competitors Sydney Gavignet (Musandam) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec), the latter will participate in his first race on his new boat, with Vincent Riou and Roland Jourdain on board. In Maxi Multihull, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), assisted by François Gabart and Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne) will both, like JP Dick, race their new boat for the first time.

In the 'first time' series, in Multi50s, Yves Le Blévec will christen his new Actual like Lalou Roucayrol his Arkema-Aquitaine, partnered by Thiercelin. In IMOCA 60, four boats are expected, Skipper Jeremie Beyou at the helm of Maitre Coq (former Banque Populaire) recently acquired and returned to the water, while his former single hull Mare will be sailed four handed by JörgRiechers and Sebastien Audigane. Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) and Tanguy Delamotte (Initiative coeur) will also star in the Grand Prix.


With eight boats registered in each class, the Class 40 and Multi 50 are the two largest fleets. For Class 40 fleet, the dreaded Bruno Jourdren (Lord Jiminy), will compete with Catherine Pourre (Earwen), Sébastien Rogues (GDF SUEZ), Lionel Regnier (Deltacalor) and Victorian Erussard (Solidaires en peloton), while Multi50s include Yves Le Blévec and Lalou Roucayrol, the most experienced of the circuit, Loïc Fequet (Maitre Jacques), Erwan Le Roux (FenêtréA-Cardinal), Erik Nigon ( Vers un monde sans sida), Pierre Antoine (Gamin), Etienne Hochede (PIR2) and Gilles Bukenhout (Nootka).

The brave 'Davids' on their Kite, Windsurf, Moth or sailing speed 'machines' come in full force with 25 registered. These faithful and fearless acrobats are also be among the star attractions of the Nautic Challenge! Where, however s small they’ll measure up against the 'Goliaths'. It takes a lot more to impress champions like Alex Caizergues, Sebastien Neck, Eric Langlois, Pascal Le Boulanger, Albert Schaffer, Damien Houérou, Deffert Eric and many more...

And, for the first time in the midst of this magnificent parade the fleet of La Barquera, leaves Douarnenez on 4 May for Gijon in Spain. The 10 entrants return Thursday 11 May, with this friendly competition opening and closing the Grand Prix Guyader 2013.

The three Douarnenez harbours celebrate the Grand Prix Guyader, from Port rhu to Rosmeur via Tréboul marina. In Tréboul a 400m2 Village will host the Quimper Cornouaille chamber of commerce taste of Cornwall with tastings and entertainment. Boat runs at full speed can be followed only a few metres from the quayside in the Rosmeur fishing harbour, while the highlight of this first weekend will be held at Port Rhu with 'le Port Rhu en fete' becoming a tradition of the Grand Prix Guyader.

This weekend (3 – 5 May) also includes recreational and educational activities, maritime heritage showcased and available for everyone to see, young or old. The entertainment programme has be established thanks to an outstanding effort by local community associations.

These three days provide an opportunity for anyone to discover a variety of free activities including guided site visits showcasing the maritime world, exhibitions, skills demonstrations, films, sculling competitions and short tours of Douarnenez’s famous museum afloat (Le Port Musée). There is plenty to entertain, surprise and delight the whole family Grand Prix Guyader website

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