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26th Spi Ouest Regatta at La Trinite-sur-Mer overall

by Philippe Guegan & Soazig Gueho 13 Apr 2004 08:48 BST

A beautiful finish

Bouygues Telecom Spi Ouest Regatta proved once again that it was a great complete regatta. The first European test of yachts gathered 500 teams. On the water of La Trinite-sur-Mer, amateurs, Olympic champions and professionals could measure themselves during this Easter weekend.

For its 26th edition, Spi was once again filled completely in the 21 classes. A 15 knot North-Easterly gave excellent conditions on the Friday and the Monday but the weekend saw the tacticians scratching their heads with a fitful wind which did not stabilise in direction. All of the three race course areas saw long waits on the water as the committee tried to set the courses.

Even with the difficult weekend conditions the three race committees managed to complete the series for all the yachts. The 2004 Bouygues Telecom Spi Ouest finished with sunshine and a great wind on the final day.

IRC1 - 49 competitors were registered in IRC 1. Jean-François Nouel on Super Arlequin Hakuna Matata won overall ahead of Christophe Dreyer and Jean-François Ygout.

747 OD - Xavier Lecoeur on Casino d’Yport dominated the series. He won five of the seven races. The winner of the Tour de France à la Voile 2003 on Mumm CapSport once again showed his talent.

Class Sport - The new 30m2 Pinchgut of Pierre-Eric Lys who won easily head of the Max Fun 25 of the Belgian Franz Hawer and the UFO 28 of François Girod.

Fun - The Fun class made a successful return to the regatta. In the 17-strong one-design fleet Obportus won infront of Ruas and Cosi Fun Tutte.

J/22 - With nine boats out of the thirteen registered entries, the Nantes fleet were out in force. Seul Patrick Huet won ahead of the Dutch teams of Hessel Van Benneckom and Edgar Westerhuys.

J/24 - The Jardine brothers, Stuart & Adrian, from Great Britain, won their ninth Spi Ouest title. They were just ahead of Hitch-Hiker skippered by David Ellis and Pierre-Emmanuel Aubert on Julia. All three teams were tied on points going into the final race.

J80 - With 29 entries, the J80 class were out in force. It was Goulven Royer on Ecole Navale who won with Cheyenne Lubrick of Jean-François Desmas second. The Northern team of Bjorn Holm completed the podium. The Swede is from a famous sailing family.

Open 5.70 - The Open 5.70 claim to prefer the 'sailing festivals', - gatherings where socialising counts as much as the results on the water! It was Erwan Gourdon on Armorique Diffusion who won ahead of Pichavant.com and Kotemu of Sebastien Le Bars and the Spaniard Mickel Vasquez. Catamaran specialist Loïc Fequet was fourth with Openloc35.com.

Speed Feet 18 - The Lombard design is a typical sportsboat - a small, fun machine with easy controls. In this series Alexandre Derozière, the boat's designer was joined by 49er sailor Fred Moreau and Damien Seguin who is sailing in the next Paralymics. This crew finished third, behind Push Upodu Deauvillois of Hugues Schreder and Minimir Sailing Team of Jean-René Guilloux.

Surprise - Transat Benodetqui won this regularly competing 26' class. They were ahead of Lune of Jean-Christophe Clerc and Malouin Garfield of Saint Malo of skipper Philippe Reminiac.

Figaro 1 - The old Figaro design always has a strong following. Machefaux finished in front of Caudrelier Benac and Lebarbier.

First Class 8 - Benoit Charon who had let victory escape last year battled until the end to resist the pressure of the Spanish skipper Lopez-Doriga. This was not to thwart the Iberian pressure though. Charon yielded first place on the last race and was classified second in the largest fleet at Spi West, 58 First Class 8's took part in the regatta.

Grand Surprise - For its first time as a one-design class in the regatta, the twenty Grand Surprise's showed a remarkably high level of racing. Polypat Vendée finished in front of Christophe Clevenot's Crédit Lyonnais.

J105 - Didier Moal is the man of the class. He builds the J105, sells them and takes part in all the regattas of the class. For the first time that the American boat took part in Spi West-France as a one-design class, Didier confirmed that he knows the J105 by winning three of the six races!

JOD 35 - Pen Koent confirmed once again that they have a perfect command of the JOD 35. They have won many times on the old boat of the Tour of France. The team of Val-André repeated their success of 2002.

Mumm 30 - Pierre-Loïc Berthet's Bouygues Telecom won for the third consecutive year. However it was a close battle. Mathieu Richard, fourth on the world match race circuit, fought until the end.

Open 7.50 - Amateurs came to race against the professionals in this class. The Open 7.50 is a small carbon sled of sailing and attracts the 'stars'. Thomas Coville, Franck Cammas, Alain Gautier, Fred Peutrec, Marc Guillemot and Bruno Troublé all are regulars in the class. But this year, the professionals had stiff competition from some excellent amateurs. Only Alain Gautier and Thomas Coville, third and fourth overall managed a good result. In front of them Nicolas Groleau Atchoum sailing JPS, and Alain Daoulas sailing Walker Bay - Naval college took first and second.

IRC 5 - Jimmy Pahun won his eighth Spi Ouest title on board the Grand Soleil 45 'Région Ile de France'. Pahun finished in front of X-43 'L’Ange de Milon' and the Grand Soleil 42 'Paprec Recyclage'.

IRC 4 - The J109 once again dominated. Le Nantais Sambron won ahead of Philippe Delaporte and Didier Creneguy, who was victorious at Spi Ouest 2001, in the First Class 8's.

IRC 3 One year after its launch, the JPK 9.60 showed that is sails remarkably well under IRC. Sailed by Erwan Dubois with Jean-Pierre Kelder on board, 'Guyader l’Esprit' won ahead of Jean-Michel Carpentier on the Swann 42 'Xaossa'.

IRC 2 - 'Team Bernard Fournier Le Ray' won once again.

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