Grand Prix Petit Navire 2008
by Translated from French/Sail-World.com on 13 Mar 2008
Twenty minis, a dozen 40 feet and 60 feet yachts, and the IMOCA class will gather in Douarnenez for the Grand Prix Petit Navire 2008 in April.
For four days from 25 to 29 April, the great family of loners will be represented in Douarnenez. This single-handed race is the first to gather together such a large number of monohulls racing together - ranging from the smallest to largest.
Vessels intending to race in the upcoming Vendee Globe, some of which already sailed in the Petit Navire Grand Prix last year, are back in the bay of Douarnenez. PRB, the boat of Vincent Riou, winner of the last Vendee Globe, will be measured by opponents such as Loïc Peyron on Gitana 80, Arnaud Boissières Akena on Veranda, Kito de Pavant on Bel Group, Yann Eliès on Generalli, Samantha Davies on Roxy, Marc Guillemot on Safran and above all, his' mentor ', Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia.
The Grand Prix Petit Navire will be the first and last chance for these vessels before the English Transat (starting May 11 from Plymouth) and especially before The Vendee Globe, for which some competitors have been preparing for several years.
The Class 40
The Class 40 made a big impression on the circuit at the last Route du Rhum in 2006. These yachts are potential 'speed slides' and are as impressive as their larger counterparts. A large number of the skippers who led the last Transat Jacques Vabre and a few newcomers, including Damien Grimont, Bruno Jourdren, Christian Chardonnal, Wilfrid Clertow, Peter Harding, François Angoulvant, Olivier Rabine, Marc Smith and Alain Barazer will take part.
It is a fleet of 20 vessels that will join in Douarnenez to participate in the Grand Prix Petit Navire, including the last winner of the Mini Transat, the prototype of Lombard Yves Le Blevec which will be skippered by the Belgian Jonas Gerckens Pierre Brasseur. At the helm of the prototype Magnen, second in the 2007 Mini, will be Stéphane Bonvin; Romain Le Gall, Stéphane Le Diraison, (second boat standard on the Mini), Thomas Ruyant, Sebastien Marsset, the young Louis Mauffret, and Vincent Kerbouriou will also start.
The Friday and Saturday will be devoted to 26 runs in the bay of Douarnenez, visible from the coast. On Friday, it will be the trophy of Finistère and Saturday, the Douarnenez trophy.
Races include a long inshore race over the three days with departures from the port of Rosmeur and returns to port in the late afternoon for all crews.
Finally, on May 3, the 60-foot yachts participating in The Transat leave for a race between Douarnenez and Plymouth.
The organization of this race is provided by Douarnenez and the Winches Sailing Club.
Programme summary of the Grand Prix Petit Navire
From April 26 to May 3: Dragon
From April 25 to 29: 60 feet, Class 40 'and mini
From 28 to 30 April: The Optimist
Championnat d’Europe de Kite crossing From 1 to 4 May: European Championship Kite crossing
3rd and 4th May: open days at Port Rhu
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