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French 4000 National Championships at Club Nautique de Lancieux

by Neil Heffernan 26 May 2018 17:20 BST 19-21 May 2018
French 4000 National Championships at Lancieux © 4000 Classe France

Over the last few years the Rooster 4000 class has become increasingly European with competitive fleets established in Italy, the UK and most recently in France. Teams from different countries are now competing not only at the annual Europeans, but increasingly at respective Nationals and other series events.

Last year in addition to the Europeans in Quiberon, two British teams crossed the channel to race at the French Nationals in Préfailles, with two French boats then joining the UK class for their Nationals at Stone. This year the French Nationals saw fourteen French boats, four British boats and a few Italian and Anglo-Belgian crews in the mix too – creating some excellent racing, and excellent socials.

Day 1 of the event saw crews assemble at the beautifully located Club Nautique de Lancieux, close to St Malo in Brittany. Clear skies and a building sea breeze provided an excellent back drop to the first day's racing, with the committee banging in four quick races. Four different crews scored first places in each of these, including Trevor and Adrien from Belgium and ex-Olympic sailor Florence and her crew Aubin.

Racing over, and the tide now fully out, crews returned to find a very extended walk to the trolleys and then an opportunity to burn some extra calories pulling boats 800m across the sand – unless of course you're Tim and Alex who decided that a 4000 on a trolley makes a good land yacht and sailed their way, spinnaker hoisted, up the beach. Still for the rest of us the calories burnt made the welcome drinks from the club all the more welcome!

Day 2 dawned to a similar forecast, perhaps not building quite so much, but again providing excellent racing conditions. Racing remained tight, but John and Fran started to cement a lead that ultimately endured, indeed getting so carried away that at one point they started a race a full minute early, only to turn back and see the rest of the fleet waving at them! With concerns over the wind forecast for Day 3, the committee squeezed in 5 races, but ensured that everyone was back in good time for the beach bbq that evening.

Day 3 was again very sunny, and the sea breeze filled in more than had been expected, allowing two final races and the conclusion of a great event. John and Fran took top spot, with Florence and Aubin second and this year's French National Champions. Third was taken by Cedric and Anthony, with the next two places being taken by the two yellow boats from the UK (4th - Tim and Alex, and 5th - Neil and Jo) on exactly the same number of points. Other UK (or Anglo-Belgian!) boats included Trevor and Adrien who scored a top 10 finish at ninth and Martin and Tom who finished in 18th.

Huge thanks to the French 4000 class and their president Michael Duflos for organising the event and inviting us over, to CNL for a brilliant event, and to Rooster for their continued support of the class. Next (international) stop will be Como at the start of August for the Europeans and in the meantime we have the UK series events at Paignton, Grafham and Mumbles to look forward to, as well as the 4000 match racing at Rutland.

There are still a few slots on trailers to Como, and even a couple of boats to borrow, if you're interested: uk4000.wixsite.com/4000/como

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