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Southern Spars

Nacra 17 Europeans - Teams prepare for La Grande Motte action

by Andi Robertson on 21 Jun 2014
Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), Nacra 17 © Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre http://www.sailingstock.com
2014 Nacra 17 European Championships - The beaches of La Grande Motte by Montpellier in the south of France will witness one of the strongest fleets yet for the European Championships of the Nacra 17 Olympic catamaran over the period 4-12th July 2014. Already crews, including a strong French contingent, are in the area practicing, learning the winds and waters of the race area, preparing to deliver their best performance at this key regatta this season.

Competitors are due to arrive not just from Europe but from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the USA, Canada and South America and activity around the town of La Grande Motte and the race venue will ramp up during late June.

The class has seen an exponential growth in interest since it was chosen as the mixed sex (one male one female) two person catamaran class for the 2016 Olympic Games. It has attracted a strong cross section of Olympic medallists and world champions from other classes as well as leading multihull exponents from all around the world. Included in the field are America’s Cup, Little America’s Cup. Volvo Ocean Race, Route du Rhum and Olympic medal winners.

As might be expected the host nation have a full, strong team ready to battle for the title, among them world champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou, Franck Cammas / Sophie de Turckheim. Four top French crews are on the water daily just now training under the Grand Mottois water, under the guidance of legendary local coach Frank Citeau.

Up to 20 races are scheduled from July 7 up to the Medal Race (the single showdown race between the 10 finalists) on July 12. At the prizegiving the European Champion and the Nacra 17 Champion of France titles will be awarded.

The race village is open to the public and is situated to the west side of La Grande Motte. Two sessions will be scheduled each racing day: in the morning from 11:00 and the afternoon from 14:45 with a podium show every day rewarding leaders in the overall standings.



The 'Stars' of the Nacra 17 European Championship

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (France): World Champions in the Nacra 17 and Formula 18. Marie double match race world champion.

Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (France). Franck wins (among others) of the Volvo Ocean Race, Route du Rhum, Little America's Cup, the Solitaire du Figaro, triple winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Orma multiple champion, author of several records sailing (Jules Vernes Trophy Atlantic ..). Sophie was double Laser world champion.



Darren Bundock (Australia): Double silver medalist in Olympic Tornado (2000 and 2008), seven Tornado World titles, winner of the 34th America's Cup with Oracle USA.

Iker Martinez (Spain): Gold medalist at the Athens Olympics and silver in Beijing in the 49er. Triple world champion 49er. Three Volvo Ocean Races.

Santiago Lange (Argentina): two Olympic bronze medals (Athens and Beijing) Tornado. Five-time OG.

Pippa Wilson (Great Britain): Olympic champion in 2008 Yngling, double world champion Yngling.

Sofia Bekatorou (Greece): Athens Olympic champion and bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics. Quadruple world champion 470.

Mandy Mulder (Holland): Silver medalist in the Beijing Olympics Yngling.

Allan Norregaard (Denmark): Bronze medal in the 49er class at the 2012 Olympics.

Lucy Mc Gregor (Great Britain): World Champion match racing.

And many more ...

Program

Friday, July 4
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration and Measurement

Saturday, July 5
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration and Measurement
7:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony City of La Grande Motte

Sunday, July 6
2:00 p.m. Practice Race

Monday, July 7
11:00 Qualification Race Fleet 1
2:45 p.m. Qualifying Race Fleet 2
6:30 p.m. Podium Show

Tuesday, July 8
11:00 Qualification Race Fleet 2
2:45 p.m. Qualifying Race Fleet 1
6:30 p.m. Podium Show

Wednesday, July 9
11:00 Qualification Race Fleet 1
2:45 p.m. Qualifying Race Fleet 2
18:30 Podium Show

Thursday, July 10
11:00 Race Silver Fleet
2:45 p.m. Race Gold Fleet
6:30 p.m. Podium Show

Friday, July 11
11:00 Race Gold fleet
2:45 p.m. Race Silver fleet
6:30 p.m. Podium Show

Saturday, July 12
11:00 Regatta
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Medal Races - Water Stadium - East Dike
18:30 Prizegiving - On the north pier (Mercure)
20:30 Closing Dinner at the Yacht Club La Grande Motte

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