Those taking part in the 2012 edition of the Normandy Channel Race enjoyed it so much that they might well sign up to do another straightaway! Such is the appeal of the week-long sparring match between Normandy, the United Kingdom and southern Ireland, the latest version of which finished nearly a week ago.
And potential candidates can do just that now with today’s publication of the Notice of Race 2013 and the opening of registration on the website (with its usual special rate for those registering prior to 31 December 2012).
This event will return to its usual spring slot for its fourth edition after the programme for Class 40 transatlantic races in 2012 saw the event pushed back to the tail-end of the summer this year. As such, the start will take place on Sunday 14 April 2013, with the event as a whole stretching from Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April.
This earlier slot will make it the first official event of the Class 40’s European schedule for 2013. A fine opportunity for the crews who have high hopes for the 2013 sailing season to hone their skills and trial those boats built or revamped over the course of the winter.
The relationship with the Class 40 has also been boosted by the recent signing of an agreement registering the Normandy Channel Race on the official calendar for the next four years from 2013 / 2016.
With regards the course, the event has been developing into a classic with an identical route to that of previous years. However, the richness and complexity of this 1,000-mile course and the vagaries of the weather mean that every year the racing is different to the last. One constant though is that Sylvie Viant will once again be Race Manager.
Will they see the Fastnet this time around? The bets are on for the 2013 course after two course reductions, which denied the skippers the chance to navigate this legendary place over the past two years.
Back on land, this year’s event drew unprecedented crowds to the race village on start day with the celebratory descent of the canal and the passage down to the lock gates at Ouistreham and the sea. Indeed the lure of being able to get up close to the competitors, share in the emotion and learn about the value of a sport which isn’t always easy to access, are the main aims of the onshore experience of the Normandy Channel Race and have certainly enhanced the notoriety of the event.
With this in mind, there will be some brand new operations organised in 2013, including the reopening of the race village for the weekend of the skippers’ return to Caen, a sizeable programme of school visits during the week of preparations and the development of the general public experience during the live radio link-ups with the skippers during the race.
Normandy Race website
by Kate Jennings translation
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2:42 PM Mon 1 Oct 2012GMT
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