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J-Boats at the 43rd Spi Ouest France

by J/Boats 14 Oct 2021 06:24 PDT 7-10 October 2021
43rd Spi Ouest France © David Ademas / Ouest-France

The 43rd edition of the Spi Ouest France - Banque Populaire Grand Ouest delivered on its promise of great sailing and great camaraderie after three days of competition.

341 boats and 1,646 sailors enjoyed great sailing on the Bay of La Trinité-sur-Mer. Interestingly, the big winners of the event in the largest class by far, the 52-boat J/80 fleet- was Patrick Bot's ECOLE NAVALE CG29 SIRIUS.

The Societe Nautique de La Trinite sur Mer again hosted the amazingly popular event. The regatta continues to attract racers from France and across Europe. More than 330 boats (90 are J/Teams- 28% of the fleet) are expected in La Trinité-sur-Mer for this 43rd edition.

In what may be described as an unprecedented scenario, this traditionally huge spring regatta is still managing to have an enormous attraction for sailors thirsty to go sailing and get a chance to re-unite with friends they haven't seen in up to two years.

As has been the case in recent history, J/Boats one-design classes not only dominate Europe, but they also dominate France in terms of active participation. Over the past decade, the J/80 class has seen widespread participation in every province north, west, and south. And the latest addition to the J one-design stable- the International J/70 Class- has seen steady growth amongst the most competitive sailing teams in France.

J/80 Class

With fifty-two boats, the J/80 class was, again, the largest class by far in the regatta. BOT'S ECOLE NAVALE CG29 won just two races and recorded all top six finishes in their ten-race series for 32 pts net to win by a significant 30-point margin... a HUGE win by any standard in the largest, most competitive, one-design class in France.

The Spanish showed up in force, with Per Roman's GP BULLHOUND taking the silver with 62 pts net. Rounding out the podium was Pierre Laoenan's ELITE ECOLE NAVALE in third with 69 pts net. The other Spanish team taking fourth place was Inigo Jauregui's ENBATA 80 with 72 pts net, with Simon Moriceau's ARMENT HABITAT and PL YACHTING rounding out the top five with 77 pts net.

J/70 Class

With seventeen boats, the fleet witnessed the proverbial "schooling" of fast, consistent sailing and tactics by Damian Michelier's SAGE ENGINEERING SAILING TEAM. Counting only podium finishes after eleven races, winning only one race, but counting six 2nds to win with 21 pts net. Winning four races, the most of any team, and counting all top six finishes, was Spain's Luis Martin-Cabiedes crew on the famous NOTICIA (2021 J/70 European Champions). Rounding out the podium was Cyrille Teston's J-BECRE.

IRC Double

With worldwide interest growing in shorthanded sailing and, in particular, doublehanded mixed crews sailing, it's not surprising the biggest trend has been the increasing participation in this category with thirty-nine teams racing SPI OUEST. In the end, it was Phillippe Girardin and Gwenael Thomas' J/120 HEY JUDE that took the silver with 12 pts.

OSH I Division

Amazingly, in the twenty-two-boat field of mixed sportboats and classic spinnaker boats, the venerable J/24 JERONIMO sailed by Aorelian Garcia too the silver medal with 14 pts net, counting all top five finishes... an amazing performance.

OSH II Division

This twelve-boat class was certainly not expecting a tour'de'force of various J's that nearly swept not only the podium, but the top five. Winning was Phillippe Guennal's J/99 J IN MOTION, counting three bullets in five races to win with 5 pts net. Third place went to Charles Gury's J/105 PASSIFLORINE with 10 pts net. Then, Pascal Rialland's J/88 AXE SAIL took fifth place with 17 pts net and Christophe Jomier's J/105 J-SQUARED placed sixth with 22 pts net.

OSH IV Division

The sixteen-boat fleet was incredibly competitive for the three podium spots. In the end, the top three ended up just two points apart. After five races, Samuel Blevin's J/109 JOKE took the bronze medal counting just podium finishes for 9 pts net!

More information at evenements.ouest-france.fr/spi.

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