A tactical and thrilling Normandy Sailing Week 2014

Sunday, 15 June 2014


The J80 Interface Concept rounded off this 2014 edition of Normandy Sailing Week in style, a performance matched by Groupama in the M34 category. CVSAE 2 took the top step of the podium in the First Class 7.5. Dunkerque Plaisance in IRC 1 and 2 and Pinguin Playboy in IRC 3 and 4 both came off victorious too in what proved to be a constant battle for supremacy.*

With a backdrop of black clouds, the bright hulls of the Normandy Sailing Week fleet cast off for the final day of racing this Sunday, the bit between their teeth. A NNE’ly wind of 15 to 18 knots enabled all the series to quickly commence hostilities. The two races for each group were coloured by graceful downwind surfs and some fearsome confrontations at the marks. Less than four hours later, the two races were complete and close to 500 sailors returned to the port of Le Havre!

In the J80, Simon Moriceau on Interface Concept didn’t give his playmates an inch: “It’s been a very fine Normandy Sailing Week for us! We won 6 of the 9 races, with second place at worst, so we’re pretty happy!” Simon Moriceau beamed on stepping off the boat. As such the crew has won this 2014 edition with a 12-point lead over Courrier Junior skippered by Éric Brezellec (22 points) and 17 points ahead of Luc Nadal on Gan’Ja (27 points).

The ranking for the First Class 7.5 saw more upsets and ultimately there were just 10 points separating those who made the podium. Frédéric Moretti on CVSAE 2 pulled off a blinder some 18 points ahead of Aline Mignen on Société des Régates du Havre, scoring 22 points, and Hervé Dispa (CDV 27), scoring 26 points.

Among the IRCs 1 and 2, Philippe Bourgeois secured the win at Normandy Sailing Week aboard the A35 Dunkerque Plaisance, racking up 12 points. He dominated Dream Pearl skippered by Éric Mordret by 5 points and Dieppe Sail Competition skippered by Hervé Barret by 17 points. For the IRCs 3 and 4, Pierre Paris was the standout leader aboard the quarter tonner Pinguin Playboy, bagging 13 points compared with 24 for Bonobo (Marc Duboc) and 25 for Foggy Dew (Noël Racine).

Finally, in the M34, Franck Cammas and his crew aboard Groupama 34 earned ‘another’ win. Securing 10 victories out of 15 races (the 134-mile offshore race counting as 4 races), the skipper from Aix-en-Provence made the top step of the podium with 21 points. Courrier Dunkerque skippered by Daniel Souben took a valiant second place some 21 points shy of the top spot (42 points). The latter battled hard right the way to the very last race of the competition, where they just took the win. Sidney Gavignet and his Omani crew on the M34 Oman Sail happily complete the podium with 49 points: “We wanted a podium place and we got one! We’re very happy with our new recruits. The Omani sailors were fantastic in the manoeuvres. In fact, I’d go as far as to say they were the cleanest of all the boats. I’m very happy with our progress and this event, which enjoyed a superb breeze and a Race Committee that did an excellent job. There really was a great battle on the water with the other boats and a lot of protests. Those who are used to being at the front of the pack are beginning to watch what’s happening behind them and even in front of them, which augurs well for the future, with some great racing on the cards!” admits skipper Sidney Gavignet.

And so the curtain falls on the 2014 edition of Normandy Sailing Week. Once again it was an edition marked by some superb battles across every series in the Baie de Seine, a-much appreciated summery atmosphere and enthusiasm all round from both the competitors and the event’s partners.

 (* Subject to the jury’s decision)

Dockside impressions:

Simon Moriceau (J80 Interface Concept): “It was a very fine Normandy Sailing Week for us! We won 6 of the 9 races, with second place in our bad races, so we’ve known worse. We worked well on our weaknesses such as the starts, where we weren’t very at ease and things are gradually improving. Ultimately and surprisingly we felt at ease all in all and in general those on our tails are usually a lot closer so we must have been inspired. As a result, our analysis of this big weekend is ultra-positive. Our sights are now on the European Championship in Europe in early July, so if we can repeat this performance we’re up for that! Things are likely to be a little more complicated there though”.

Eric Brezellec (J80 Courrier Junior): “It didn’t rain! It’s fantastic! To sum up the week, we enjoyed a very fine competition with a large number of races. We’ll willingly be back for more next year.”

Philippe Bourgeois (A35 Dunkerque Plaisance): “We’re delighted to have won as that’s what we came here for, despite some great competition with the JPK1080 and our other A35 playmates. It was a bit full-on at each of the mark roundings today, which is the appeal of this event. We really like the race zone in Le Havre and its clubs and we were absolutely blown away by their conviviality. This Normandy Sailing Week is great and we love coming back each year!”

Pierre Paris (Pinguin Playboy): “We’ve had three days of superb racing. Everything went smoothly despite a bit of a fright at the end as Foggy Dew fought back hard, but we came good ultimately! Great weather, good breeze, so we’ll be back next year!”

Franck Cammas (M34 GROUPAMA): “We had a bit more breeze today so it was really great and all in all the week has been excellent training ground with a view to the Tour de France à la Voile. There was an almighty battle among the four boats, which were most often at the front of the pack. The potential of the crews on the other boats is also very high. We’ve been familiar with the level of the competition since the start of the year and it’s going to be tough so we’ll really have to cover them during the Tour. After racing in Douarnenez, Normandy has been a great way to rediscover our automatic reflexes and we now feel ready for the next stage in proceedings!”

Sidney Gavignet (M34 Oman Sail): “Things went well at Normandy Sailing Week for Oman Sail. We wanted a podium place and we got one! We’re very happy with our new recruits. The Omani sailors were fantastic in the manoeuvres. In fact, I’d go as far as to say they were the cleanest of all the boats. I’m very happy with our progress and this event, with a superb breeze and a Race Committee that did an excellent job. There really was a great battle on the water with the other boats and a lot of protests. Those who are used to being at the front of the pack are beginning to watch what’s happening behind them and even in front of them, which augurs well for the future, with some great racing on the cards!”

Daniel Souben (M34 Courrier Dunkerque 3): “We’ve had rather mixed results this week. We can see that we’re capable of good things and we have good speed. At times though, we do have some weaknesses and we know that we’ll have our work cut out for the Tour.”

PROVISIONAL RANKINGS – 15 June (prior to the jury’s decision): 

http://www.normandy-week.com and the Results section

Translated by Kate Jennings – Expression

See Normandy Sailing Week images

Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 June 2014 )