by Stephanie Nadin
The season is now full on, and Sebastien Col just finished the second event of the RC44 Championship, with the 3rd place on the podium of the Cagliari RC44 Cup, in Sardinia. As a reminder, he finished 2nd of the first event in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias, in February.
But the priority for Sebastien Col in 2009, is the World Match Racing Tour Champion title, which remains his main goal, and the one for which he trains so hard.
In order to progress again and again, and to sail against the “top” skippers as much as possible (the ones who are most of the time his competitors in America's Cup racing format, like for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series last February), Sebastien Col chose to reinforce his sailing programme by bringing his expertise to other circuits, and in order to get rich experiences from well-recognized sailors.
Farr 30s Grand Prix Atlantique with TPM-COYCH
Just back from Sardinia, Sebastien didn't have much time home before leaving straight away to Pornichet, where he's starting this week a Farr 30 Competition : the Grand Prix Atlantique (29 April - 3 May). He's joining Fabien Henry's team, TPM-COYCH, a team that he knows very well after having sailed a number of times together.
Sebastien Col explains his role: “I'm going to be at helm. I have a double sailing interest here. The goal is to spend hours at the helm of a “small” boat, as I feel I need to do it. But it is also the opportunity for me to sail once again with Erwan Israel who will call tactics, after the very good collaboration we had during the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland with K-Challenge. Last but not least, the TPM-COYCH team members are my friends above all, I know them for 10 years. It is a real pleasure to sail again with them for this event. I will try to bring in my expertise for the development of their new set of sails, which will be ordered after Pornichet looking towards the The Tour de France à la Voile.”
The event's format is a mix of coastal race and regatta, which is actually quite close to the Tour de France à la Voile.
Melges 24 European Championships and World Championships with Flavio Favini
Seb Col also chose to get involved on the Melges 24 circuit with Flavio Favini's crew on Blue Moon, owned by Franco Rossini (SUI).
Sébastien Col comes back on his choice: “I chose this option for the crew experience with very talented sailors. Flavio Favini's prize list is impressive (Melges 24 World Champion, IMS Champion), and he's a well recognized helmsman. Now he's also a member of America's Cup team Luna Rossa. He's particularly known for being such a good developer. Despite his “huge” big boat experience, he keeps on working with smaller boats. I will particularly pay attention to the way he's organised, how he makes adjustments and developments, transferring his expertise from one boat to an other. Flavio and his crew are always trying to ask themselves the right questions, it is really interesting, and I think I will learn a lot from them. Moreover, the crew is really competitive, always in the top 5. Our goals together are the European Championships and the World Championships, with a few events before to get ready.”
Don't forget that Sebastien is also managing the Melges 24 subject really well, as he has been European Champion in 2000 and World Champion in 2004.
Training programme for the World Match Racing Tour with the French Match Racing Team
Looking at the World Match Racing Tour, the next event will take place in Germany in Langenargen, from May 27 to June 1.
Until that, two trainings are on the schedule of the French match racing team : first one in Valencia, Spain, on the K-Challenge base, from May 4 to 7, and the second in Saint Quay Portrieux, from May 19 to 22.
Sebastien Col: “the goal will be to work on all the points we noticed during the last competitions (MIMR and Congressional Cup). For now, we don't have enough training hours yet on small boats, as we spent a lot of time on a big boat at the beginning of the season for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series. I need to get my sensations back and confidence, and in order to do so, I need to sail hours with my crew, finding again tactical reflexes and more anticipation. We still miss a bit of rhythm when the game accelerates. We will have two coaches in Valencia, Marc Bouet and Damien Iehl. It is really interesting that Damien will be there, he will help us a lot, and we really find the values of the French match racing team here:
communication and sharing inside team, all put in place by Marc Bouet. I'm also very happy to go back to Valencia, as we will work from our K-Challenge base during that week.”
Melges 24 Calendar of events
Italian Volvo Cup, Lerici, 15-17 May
Italian Championship and Volvo Cup, Cagliari, 11-14 May
Melges 24 European Championship, Hyères, 24-29 August
Melges 24 World Championship, Eastport YC/Annapolis Sailing School, Annapolis, MD, 27-31 October