Sunday 25 May 2014

Normandy Channel Race : The inhabitants of Lower Normandy and the Class40 - an ambitious cocktail

Ambiance in Caen as the Class 40s prepare for the start. Image copyright Sirius Evenements

by Kate Jennings

On the eve of the Normandy Channel Race, the low-down on 3 natives who will cross the start line at 1400 hours local time!

For the past 4 years, the Normandy Channel Race has set off and returned to the town of Caen. As such it is only natural that the Class40 is proving to be a great attraction among the region’s skippers. Louis Duc, Halvard Mabire, Brieuc Maisonneuve and Marc Lepesqueux (the latter not participating this year due to his boat being in build) have shown their support and form a solid group of racers from Lower Normandy, who have come together to create a Class40 training centre. Its long-term objective is to bring all the other racers together to create a strong training base in Lower Normandy.

Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron are long-time Class 40 sailing partners and know their boat, Campagne de France, very well indeed. Image copyright Jean Marie Liot/Normandy Channel Race

At 57 years of age, Halvard Mabire has racked up over 300,000 miles to his credit! With 30 years experience ocean racing, he’s still just as crazy about the Normandy Channel Race course where the tactical and meteorological stakes can reshuffle the cards in the blink of an eye! This will be the third participation for the famous duo Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on the same yacht, CAMPAGNE DE FRANCE.

39 years of age, Brieuc Maisonneuve has had a very atypical career. 
An experienced sailor (Mini Transat, Solitaire du Figaro) and business manager of an industrial SME with some 250 employees, he is a man who likes a challenge and likes to win and communicate. He’s going to have all that and more on his Class40 GROUPEMENT FLO with a high-quality master sailmaker Rémi Aubrun as co-skipper!

Louis Duc, 30, already boasts 11 transatlantics to his credit! The Transat, Transat Jacques
Vabre (10th edition in 2013), Quebec - St Malo... “There’s nothing like a Normandy Channel Race to get to know your boat inside out! With the chance to defend the colours of our region, this race has become a key stage in a thorough preparation for a Transat Jacques Vabre or a Route du Rhum. All four of us (Halvard, Brieux, Marc and I) are convinced that the next winner of the Route du Rhum/ Destination Guadeloupe will be a skipper from Lower Normandy!” he beams from his boat ADVANCED ENERGIES – Carac.

The Normandy Channel Race is keen to bring together a class of technical boats, with a great future, comprising experienced amateur racers and professional skippers alike, in a common spirit of conviviality and shared experience. It’s also the perfect top-flight race to to hone your skills and experience the best and probably worst(?) sailing conditions!

See you tomorrow then, 25 May at 1400 hours local time, in what is forecast to be a light southerly wind for the start of the Normandy Channel Race 2014!

Some traditional visitors to the Class 40 Normandy Channel Race village in Caen. Image copyright Sirius Evenements

REMINDER: The Normandy Channel Race is on Virtual Regatta! Register for the race now:

Follow the positions of the 17 Class40s on the cartography with an updated position report of the boats every 3 hours (02H00, 05H00, 08H00, 11H00, 14H00, 17H00, 20H00, 23H00):

To find out more on the Normandy Channel Race: