by Kate Jennings (in translation)
One of the season’s major events, Normandy Sailing Week will be held in Le Havre from 11 to 13 June 2011. This 6th edition will once again play host to racers from across the whole of France, as well as the UK, Holland and Belgium… The competitive line-up promises to be top notch. Informed amateurs and professionals, they’ll all be battling for supremacy on the Norman race zone. This year, the Sportsboats, the J80s, the First 7.5s and the IRCs will be out in force, and the M34s will be making a dramatic entrance into the Baie de Seine for the first time. On the agenda are three to four days of competition with some great images already in perspective!
Sportsboats: small boats, one big fleet!
Grouping together the Laser SB3s, the Open 5.70s, the Seascape 18s, the Mach 6.50s, the K6.50, the Open 6.50, the Longtze and the Open 7.50, the fleet of Sportsboats cannot be ignored. Light, recreational and very fast across the water, the Sportsboats are spectacular! The reputation of these high-powered racers is highly established and their growing success marks an important evolution within the Normandy Sailing Week fleets.
Loyal to the event, the Class 6.50 will be strongly represented this year. Along with the Spi Ouest France and the Grand Prix de l’École Navale, Normandy Sailing Week forms part of the year’s major race meet listing. In the Mach 6.50, K 6.50 and Open 6.50, competitors will be battling all out in a bid to win the class’ championship.
Meantime the Laser SB3s are experiencing a genuine renaissance in Normandy. Nearby St Valéry en Caux groups together numerous craft and boasts some special relationships with the English and North European fleets. As a result Normandy Sailing Week will play host to a top of the range line-up, including an exceptional appearance by Jerry Hill, World Champion 2010! (We remind you that there is a 50% reduction on both the ferry and the accommodation thanks to partnerships with LD Lines and Groupe Accor in Le Havre).
For the third year of their European Tour, the high-powered Longtze racer from China, with its flamboyant decoration, is being organised into three distinct circuits: the Alps Trophy, the Med Trophy and the West Trophy. The latter comprises 5 events including Normandy Sailing Week, which will be delighted to welcome these rocket ships to Le Havre, where 3 such craft are already based.
As regards the Open 5.70, a popular craft among the fleets of boats from Dives sur mer, Le Havre as well as Saint Malo, a sizeable group has already been formed. The potential of this class remains significant and its boom in the region augurs well for the next few years.
The Seascape 18, a newcomer to Normandy Sailing Week
Voted boat of the year in 2010, the Seascape 18 has quickly made a name for itself as a reference among the Sportsboat category. For this initial participation in Normandy Sailing Week, around ten boats are expected, but with over 100 craft sold across Europe, the fleet of Seascape 18s won’t sport the ‘newcomer’ badge for long! François Coutant, an importer and distributor of the Seascape 18s, explains why Normandy Sailing Week has been selected: “For our programme, we’ve chosen some events which already have a great aura. The Sportsboat is an extraordinary concept. Thanks to these boats, with a small budget, we can race all over France, across three oceans! For the event in the English Channel, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation; Normandy Sailing Week was an obvious choice for us. It is ‘the’ meeting!”
Normandy Sailing Week 2011 will be equal to its reputation. The conviviality of the event will lure competitors and the spectacle put on by the boats and their crews will delight enthusiasts. The Open 7.50s are still proving a little timid right now but those based in Normandy will be gracing the race zone in Le Havre, to complete what is already an admirable fleet of Sportsboats!
Normandy Sailing Week