Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90

Dragon Gold Cup - Eve of Douarnenez battle

by Véronique Guillou Le Bivic on 19 Aug 2013
2013 Gazprom Dragon Gold Cup Jacques Vapillon et François Van Malleghem
The Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup will commence tomorrow on the water at Douarnenez, the bay that on numerous occasions has been a lauded setting for sailors from all over the globe.

Over the course of the week 78 teams will come head to head; some on a quest for the prestigious ‘Holy Grail’ of the Gold Cup, others for the sheer elegance of the Dragon class and the majority to face the elements.

Whether Olympic medallists, offshore specialists or sailors with a passion for the art of racing, over the next six days they all have one main factor in common– the Bay of Douarnenez along with all its mysteries and beauty.

Three sailors met this morning in the port of Tréboul: - Jean-Luc Nélias, one of the best French navigators and specialists in offshore meteorology; the French academician Erik Orsenna, whose passion for writing and travel is joined by a very privileged relationship with the sea and Brittany in particular; and Yann Kersalé, the artist from Douarnenez and renown worldwide for his talent of sculpting light.

Whatever their differences, all three have come together to share a theme which is truly enchanting the bay of Douarnenez. Whether from the offshore sailing world, the Academy or an artist’s workshop, their words may have differed but their message was the same.

'It’s similar to any bay, except that we are talking about Douarnenez,' Jean-Luc Nélias is quick to state. That may be so, but what is it exactly?

'It’s wild and beautiful. There are no buildings, and you sail among blue surrounded by green. The bay is closed in on three sides and there is some high ground. The current hardly interferes (or not at all) in your strategic choices. The wind finds its own way through and makes its way down there. It’s tricky. You have to try and get a reading of a wind which is often mischievous. When it comes down from the Ménez-Hom (which overlooks the Bay of Douarnenez from 330 metres), it sketches its wake and moves from one side to the other. The hardest thing here is being able to predict it and what is going to happen in the next two or three hours of racing.'

'As it’s going to be good weather all week, there is another factor that will also make a difference when reading the water and that is the thermal wind. When the thermal wind sets in, you feel it coming and you might get a smell of cut hay or sun cream depending on its direction,' explains Yann Kersalé, 'There is a ‘Vent des Mages’ (lit. Magician’s Wind) which is what they call the toboggan that comes down from the Ménez-Hom and which we all go after, as well as the ‘ascenseur’ (lit. ‘the lift’) which is the thermal. The whole fleet might set off to the left for the toboggan and you take ‘the lift’ all on your own. That is the ideal situation ! The toboggan is a safe option and the lift is a possibility.'

Whether in descriptions or paintings the Bay of Douarnenez is the queen of colour. 'There is a continuity in the tones,' explains Erik Orsenna. 'It flows, and has a really melodic sequence of metamorphosis; there is a certain musical order. The sea doesn’t state its presence with the coast coming up to interrupt it. In painting this is called the value of grey. When you are reading the water you have the wind, but you also have the light and its contrasts on the water which also tell us the path that the wind is tracking. The winner of the race is the best reader. Books are far from having the monopoly of the place to be read, the whole planet can be read there.'

Twenty boats may win the Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup.

'Knowing the bay is a serious advantage, but what you really need is a triple Olympic title,' explains Jean-Luc Nélias.

'The Dragon is a learning experience in humility and you can’t win all the time, even if you do have those Olympic medals behind you,' adds Yann Kersalé.

'Yes Yann is right, you need humility and determination. And there isn’t just one right way. It’s like love,' concludes Erik Orsenna.

From Monday 19th to Saturday 2th August – there is one race a day starting at 15h. The boats will leave the dock at 13h.

Since 1954, Gazprom International has been the first producer and the first exporter of natural gas in the world. In 2005, Gazprom International became a major player on the global oil market. Today, the corporation is managing over 30 projects in 15 countries Dragon Gold Cup
RS Sailing 660x82NaiadMackay Boats

Related Articles

Delta Lloyd Regatta – Medal race time for 470 and Laser
The wind was a bit tricky but Laser and 470 were able to start as scheduled giving them some time before the medal races An exciting Friday saw the last of the races before the medal races are sailed. The wind was a bit tricky in the morning, but Laser and 470 were able to start their races as scheduled, giving them some time before the medal races to prepare.
Posted today at 6:36 pm
Delta Lloyd Regatta - Badloe takes over lead from van Rijsselberghe
Another day with light wind conditions at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. It’s the warmest regatta in years Another day with light wind conditions at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. It’s the warmest regatta in years and sailors have sailed every planned race, so the vibe is really good. Due to the light conditions today, there were some delays. The 49erFX sailors had time to relax in the sun, awaiting their first race.
Posted today at 3:24 am
Tricky winds and new leaders in the second day of Delta Lloyd Regatta
The day started with a delay, and only once the Laser Radial had set off at noon, could the racing start. There were tricky winds for the sailors and the race committee. The day started with a delay, and only once the Laser Radial had set off at noon, could the racing start. Due to the shifting winds, a lot of overall results have changed since the first day. The race committees had a long day on the water, however, they still managed to finish all planned races.
Posted on 25 May
Great conditions and close competition at Day 1 of Delta Lloyd Regatta
The 33rd edition of the Delta Lloyd Regatta started with great competition across seven classes. The 33rd edition of the Delta Lloyd Regatta started with great competition across seven classes. Many Olympic sailors raced their first event since Rio. There were also a number of sailors, training here in Medemblik, aiming for Tokyo 2020. The conditions on the water were great, with a nice breeze and plenty of sun.
Posted on 24 May
Exciting competition at the Delta Lloyd Regatta
Delta Lloyd Regatta starts on 23rd May in Medemblik, Netherlands, and it’s looking to be an exciting race this year. The 33rd edition of the Delta Lloyd Regatta starts on Tuesday, 23rd May in Medemblik, the Netherlands, and it’s looking to be an exciting race this year. With the World Championship in sight, many Olympic sailors are ready for a new campaign. We’re also set to see several young talents training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Posted on 23 May
OK Dinghy World Championship – 80 sailors from eight countries
OK Dinghy fleet is descending on the island for two weeks of great racing, great camaraderie and no doubt, a little rum. OK Dinghy fleet is descending on the island for two weeks of great racing, great camaraderie and no doubt, a little rum.
Posted on 21 May
Sailor of the Month – Graceann Nicolosi
Reports indicate that Freshman Graceann Nicolosi became the first crew to earn this recognition. The Yale coed sailing team has completed a dominant regular season and are now preparing for the ICSA Semifinal National Championship in Charleston, S.C. in early June. The Bulldogs captured more individual awards than any team in NEISA, including Rookie of the Year. Reports indicate that Freshman Graceann Nicolosi became the first crew to earn this recognition.
Posted on 20 May
Olympic medal glamour at the Kiel Week
Approximately 4000 active sailors from more than 60 nations are expected to be sailing in 50 different categories As the beginning of the sailing activities at the Kiel Week, there will again be the Welcome Race on the inner fjord in Kiel. On Saturday at 9:30am, the first group of the yachts with an ORC rating will be sailing across the start line in front of the Kiel Yacht Club.
Posted on 15 May
RS:X European & Youth European Champs & European Open Trophy - Day 6
Marseille definitely saved its best for last and provided a fitting finale to a week of some fantastic racing. Marseille definitely saved its best for last and provided a fitting finale to a week of some fantastic racing. For the 265 sailors in the RS:X European and Youth European Championships, the day started slowly as the sea breeze woke up and started to fill in. A short delay ashore, perfect to make nervous sailors almost taught with tension, before being sent out to race and fight for the titles
Posted on 15 May
A few rays – no water, no way?
Sunscreen that won’t wash off with spray or capsize … if only! Sunscreen that won’t wash off with spray or capsize … if only! Let’s go back a bit. Water is repelled by the skin. Thankfully so, or we would be in trouble when it rains, or when we swim or take a bath.
Posted on 15 May