Fleet faces taxing conditions in the first running for this two handed triangle race.
In wet, windy and cold conditions, the fleet of 23 Figaros set out on this a new cross-Channel two-handed race from Le Havre. Due to the extreme weather, leg 1 which was to be Cowes on Sunday was abandoned and replaced by a short 32 mile ‘sprint’ to Fecamp, further along the french coast. The start, under a stormy sky, was in 20 knots of breeze – but by the time the skippers had beaten their way to the upwind mark, there was a stiff 30 knots and a big sea. At the turning mark, the leading boats had no hesitation in hoisting their kites….for an exciting surfing session with speeds of over 20 knots recorded.
Just two-up on these powerful 32 footers, it was a battle of boat-handling skills and nerve. New to the Figaro class, British Olympic sailor Phil Lawrence teamed up with more experienced Figaro sailor Marcus Hutchinson for this event. The pair had an excellent downwind leg, managing to finish in a fantastic 3rd place. A protest against Drouglazet/deBroc last night was successful (improper course sailed), pushing Hutchinson up in to 2nd place and giving leg 1 victory to Bidegorry/Elies.
Figaro leg winner, Damian Foxall, was unlucky to break his spinnaker pole during a gybe in amongst the surf, but managed to still bring Barlo Plastics in at 11th place, and still in contention in the race overall.
The start to Cowes is scheduled for 1600 today, Tuesday.
Finishing order Leg 1 : Le Havre – Fecamp
1 Eric DROUGLAZET – Bertrand de BROC (later disqualified for infrigement)
2 Pascal BIDEGORRY – Yann ELIES
3 Marcus HUTCHINSON – Phil LAWRENCE
4 Roland JOURDAIN – Gildas MORVAN
5 Sébastien JOSSE – Jimmy PAHUN
6 Gilles CHIORRI – Damien GRIMONT
7 Marc GUESSARD – Bruno JOURDREN
8 Jérémie BEYOU – Gaël LE CLEAC’H
9 Christophe ARTAUD – Eric DUMONT
10 Sébastien et Nicolas AUDIGANE
11 Damian FOXALL – Nicolas TROUSSEL
12 Frédéric THOUROUDE – Jérôme LECOEUR
13 Christophe LEBAS – Ronan COINTO
14 Jean Baptiste L’OLLIVIER – Michel LESCANNE
15 Luc POULLAIN – Romain TROUBLE
16 Alain FEREC – Guillaume GOT
17 Jean Baptiste EPRON – Jean Philippe SALIOU
18 Gilles DADOU – Fabrice FORASTE.
19 Christophe COATNOAN – François COQUEREL 21 Jehan de FRANCE – Yves COURBON
DNC Yvon FAUCONNIER – Xavier MARCHAL
DNS Benoît DUCHEMIN – Ludovic SENECHAL