Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2019 - Leaderboard

Normandy Channel Race Day 6: The unbearable sprint finish

by Sirius Events 24 May 09:27 PDT 24 May 2019
Normandy Channel Race 2019 © David Branigan / Oceansport

The competitors in this 10th Normandy Channel Race are on the home straight. With all the Class40s now sailing in the English Channel bound for Ouistreham via the Cotentin Peninsula, it is impossible to announce the future champion of this anniversary edition.

The suspense has reached its peak at every level of the fleet. Will we relive the same unbearable match race that went right to the wire last year? The final act beckons in just a few hours' time!

Who would have guessed that we'd have to experience suspense of such intensity once more? And yet, the history of the sprint finish is about to be repeated in this very special race. Some 90 nautical miles from the finish line set off Ouistreham as we go to press, Aïna Enfance et Avenir and Eärendil are absolutely neck and neck. Indeed, the two leaders, Aymeric Chappellier with Pierre Brasseur and Pietro Luciani with Pablo Santurde del Arco, are giving it everything they've got in the bid to snatch the highest step of the podium, but it could still go either way.

Astern of them, the situation is no clearer. A gybing battle to the south-east of Lizard Point is raging. The nine crews are now squeezed into an 8-mile radius. Suffice to say that from the 3rdplaced boat right the way to 11th, every one of them is still in with a chance of completing the podium in this 10thedition of the Normandy Channel Race. Here too, the crew on Colombre XL is posting an impressive performance on the older generation Class40 number 101, which is continuing its frenetic duelling with the German-Norman pairing aboard Cape Racing Yachts, the latter fresh out of the box and making its competitive debut.

Not far behind, the Lorient-based Breton crew on Beijaflore remain in ambush. It's also interesting to note the southerly position of the local of the leg, one Louis Duc, who's attempting one last option to try to make the difference as he rekindles his ties with Norman waters. In contrast, the Class40 Yoda is gunning for a northerly option, on a more direct course towards the infamous Raz Blanchard. Positioning on the race zone and clean manuvres will be vital if they are to come out on top.

For the last hours of the race, a W/NW'ly wind, forcing the boats to gybe their way down the racetrack to the finish line, will pick up to 20 knots by late evening. However, overnight, the wind is likely to drop away to about 10 knots, allowing the competitors to slip along the home straight. However, it certainly won't be a straight road with the rounding of the TSS and the negotiation of the Cotentin Peninsula on the cards.

Whilst the split between the two leaders and the rest of the fleet stretched to 26 hours at Tuskar Rock, it will likely shrink down to just 6 hours on the finish line. The denouement in the battle between Eärendil and Aïna Enfance et Avenir is expected to take place tomorrow morning, at first light, whilst the chasing pack should make the Baie de Seine by mid to late morning on Saturday.

Related Articles

Ben Ainslie joins the Henri Lloyd Journey
As Non-Executive Director and Chief Technical Advisor on product development Henri Lloyd are delighted to welcome Sir Ben Ainslie CBE to the team and announce that he will serve as a Non-Executive Director on the board of the Henri Lloyd Group. Posted today at 7:00 am
2019 Finn Gold Cup: Entry open and NoR published
The road to Tokyo goes via Melbourne The world's best Olympic sailors will be heading down under at the end of the year to contest the 2019 Finn Gold Cup, the World Championship for the Olympic Finn Class. Posted today at 5:07 am
Hunger & Jess win the 2019 505 Euro Cup in Kiel
Blazing sunshine for third leg of the Euro Cup series held during Kieler Woche Multiple World Champions Wolfgang Hunger & Holger Jess (GER) have won the 2019 505 Euro Cup Kiel, the third leg of the Euro Cup series. Posted today at 4:36 am
Etchells Worlds at Corpus Christi, Texas day 1
The results are in for the first day of the 2019 CITGO Etchells World Championship The results are in for the first day of the 2019 CITGO Etchells World Championships. The Australian teams had a great showing today, as did several US teams. Posted on 25 Jun
Transatlantic Race 2019 underway
Stormy first night ahead for the fleet At 1600 hours ET, four and a half hours after the final start of the Transatlantic Race 2019, the fleet of 13 yachts was south of Martha's Vineyard and was beating in 15 to 20 knots of south/southeasterly wind towards the first virtual mark. Posted on 25 Jun
12 Metres Newport Trophy Regatta preview
One of the last formal opportunities for teams to fine-tune skills As an important lead up to the 12 Metre World Championship in July, the Newport Trophy Regatta will take place off Newport, R.I. over the weekend of June 29-30. Posted on 25 Jun
Midsummer Match Cup day 1
Eric Monnin takes the lead in Skärhamn, Sweden The inaugural edition of Midsummer Match Cup kicked off today with light winds on the Race Arena in Skärhamn. Eric Monnin (SUI) and his Albert Riele Swiss Team got the best start with 5-0 after day one. Posted on 25 Jun
Kiel Week day 4
Hunger quenches his thirst for a 22nd title The international classes concluded the first half of Kiel Week today, with a German legend winning the 505 title after a few years in the wilderness. It was searingly hot in Kiel-Schilksee today, with temperatures touching over 30 degrees. Posted on 25 Jun
Siebel Sailors Program, foiling in NY, Star Worlds
Latest Sail-World USA newsletter from David Schmidt While the past week has seen a flurry of news from events as diverse as the SailGP New York event, and the Star Worlds, and the start of the Transatlantic Race, it was a press release from US Sailing that caught my eye and captured my imagination. Posted on 25 Jun
Am Cup loss in Bermuda 'A blessing in disguise'
Coutts suggests now that Oracle's defeat in Bermuda might have been a blessing in disguise. Leading sailing and America's Cup correspondent for the The Telegraph. Tom Carey was in New York for the third round of the SailGP regatta, and spoke with Sir Russell Coutts, who created the new circuit, using a one design version of the AC50 yachts, used Posted on 25 Jun
RS Sailing 2019 - FooterWindBot-COACH-660x82Gul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTER