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Normandy Sailing Week - An ambitious expansion plan for 2012

by Kate Jennings translation on 14 Oct 2011
Normandy Sailing Week 2011 © Manuel Couette
Normandy Sailing Week, organised by the company Sirius Evénements, is being held from 8th to 10th June 2012 in Le Havre.

For its seventh edition and its third year in Le Havre Normandy Sailing Week has set its sights high with 150 entries being targeted (114 in 2011) and nearly a thousand competitors. Already the biggest racing event on the French side of the Channel, the event is asserting itself as one of the major national gatherings and is aiming to take its rightful place among the major international meetings of northern Europe.

After some fine years in Deauville, the set-up in Le Havre since 2010 has given the Normandy Sailing Week the means to achieve its objectives: a deep-water port accessible at all times, the support of three major clubs (CNPV – SNPH – SRH), a highly involved Marina team and the particularly active Ligue Haute- Normandie (Upper Normandy League). Furthermore, the City of Le Havre has launched a very determined sailing project, which boasts both a sizeable event programme (Transat Jacques Vabre, French Espoirs Championship and Student sailing) and an extension of the current infrastructure, with the imminent opening of a marina in the very centre of town in the Bassin Vauban.

With a more spaced out event schedule in 2012 compared with other French events, there will be time for a special operation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cowes-Deauville, giving English crews the chance to race offshore the weekend before racing starts in Le Havre for Normandy Sailing Week. The race zone is also set to accommodate even bigger fleets as well as some new series (Open 5.70, Open 7.50). All of these elements should enable the competition to move up to the next stage in its development.

The Notice of Race is available, and registration is open, on the Normandy Week website.

The fleets are again split into three main groups, each featuring around 50 boats:

The One-Designs: as has been the case since 2006 and the creation of the M34 (previously Farr 30) event, on a competitive level this will be the leading series with a fresh candidacy for the FFVoile’s (French Sailing Federation), Championnat de France de Course au Large en Equipage (French Crewed Offshore Racing Championship). Meantime, in the J80 class, the gradual equipping of Normandy and the North of France should enable a continued increase in the number of participations in what is the most popular one-design series in France. Finally the twenty or so First Class 7.5’s will use the event for another selection round for the Championnat de France Espoirs (French Espoirs Championship) in August 2012.

The Sportsboats: the four series present in 2011 will be racing in Le Havre once more: The 6.50 Class with the very dynamic international Laser SB3 Class, which is seeing a resurgence in Normandy, the Longzte, whose development in Europe and continued competitive prowess goes without saying, and the Seascape 18, which is still creating waves across France.

Two new series are also expected to form some significant fleets: the Open 5.70, as it gathers together the fleets of northern France, Normandy and the western Channel, along with the Open 7.50, which has seen a recent revival with a new class organisation and a new programme.

The IRC classes: expanding regularly each year, the IRC fleets in the UNCL’s 4 Trophée Manche Classes, will benefit in 2012 from two favourable elements: the 50th anniversary operation for the Cowes –Deauville in collaboration with the RORC and the Deauville Yacht Club and a fresh approach from the Trophée IRC Normandie, launched this year. Indeed the latter is grouping together the most attractive events in Normandy, to provide crews with a comprehensive regional circuit in this practice. Furthermore, 2012 is a Commodore’s Cup year.

Numerous practical facilities are again on offer to racers from all series: lifting and marina facilities free of charge for two weeks, 50% reduction on LD LINES for crossings from Le Havre –Portsmouth for foot passengers, vehicles and trailers, as well as special hotel rates.

An event rooted in its territory and a relay station for the marine network.

The support of media partners, Groupe Presse Normande (Norman Press Group), France Bleu Haute-Normandie, France 3 Normandie and Sport +, has popularised the event in its home territory.

Beyond the sporting world the Normandy Sailing Week is also an image and public relations tool for Norman businesses, such as the Caisse d’Epargne Normandie (Normandy Savings Bank), present as official partner for the past two years. As such nearly 500 business clients took part in the event in 2011, where they enjoyed some fine days of relaxation and networking.

The development of a major marine event also serves as a relay station for developing relations between marine businesses, which are regional and event partners in the main. These include Karver Systems, All Purpose, All Mer and Maxsea.

Finally don’t forget that the Normandy Sailing Week is also boasts a fine festival on shore in the marina and in the clubs, with three highly entertaining evenings lined Normandy Sailing Week website
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