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A 100% female 'Surprise' crew in The Round Martinique Regatta

by The Round Martinique 15 Jan 18:06 GMT 8-10 February 2019
A 100% female “Surprise” crew in The Round Martinique Regatta © Event Media

She is actively involved in Martinique sailing and even more so in the category of Surprise monohulls, but now Délice Nouel and her crew on Dénébola - Didier are ready to take up the challenge of The Round Martinique Regatta.

In about twenty days, the 23 registered crews will embark on three days of racing around Martinique. All teams are now beginning their preparations while they eagerly await the start of this event.

"This event is important for our crew on Dénébola - Didier because we are more accustomed to sailing between three buoys than offshore. We love the format of the race. It is going to be a great event," said Délice Nouel, skipper and helmswoman of the only all-female crew entered in the competition.

With a fleet in Martinique of 12 Surprise boats including six which have already entered The Round Martinique Regatta (RMR) 24 days before the start of the competition, this category will certainly be one of the toughest with the crews from Kreyol Sandwich, Digilife and La Morrigane regularly on the podium.

With all the boats being identical, only the tactics and smoothness of the manoeuvres will make the difference. "We entered as soon as registration for this race opened to show just how motivated we are, and we are thrilled to be able to participate in this 2019 edition. We have been sailing as an all-female crew on Surprise for ten years now. We are constantly looking to improve our performance and we finished third in our last regatta.

Our craziest goal would be to finish this regatta in the same position and we will do our best to achieve it. Having the opportunity to sail around the island will be a real bonus for us. We will need to fully concentrate on navigation because of the coral reefs between the waves and the currents. We cannot wait to be there," concluded Délice Nouel.

While some crews will choose to stay leeward on the second day, the other part of the fleet will opt for a multi-faceted navigation. Usually raced from north to south, this year the racing will be clockwise. This course is far from trivial.

fter shifts in the wind and wind holes in the western (leeward) part of the island, the crews will have to sail upwind to enter the canal between Dominica and Martinique. Sea conditions here will not be comfortable either. The sailors will also have to manage the strong accelerations on the flanks of Mount Pelée. They will then head towards the tip of the Caravelle peninsula before a long tack with the wind on the beam, then downwind towards the tip of Cap Ferré, Ilet Chevalier, Baham Point and Ilet Cabrits where competitors will find calmer conditions in the shelter along the coast.

An appealing and adventurous programme lies ahead, but the 23 crews already entered, with just 24 days to go before the start of the regatta, are focused on the final equipment preparations and training. This event, which all are eagerly awaiting, is just around the corner.

There are only a few days left (before the end of this week, Saturday 19th January) to complete your registration and benefit from reduced rates!

Register your entry at theroundmartinique.com.

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