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DRHEAM-CUP 2020 opens to the Figaro Bénéteau class

by Caroline Muller 26 Mar 15:03 GMT 18-27 July 2020
Cherbourg skipper Alexis Loison © Jean-Marie Liot

The third edition of the DRHEAM-CUP, from 18 to 27 July, starting in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and finishing in La Trinité-sur-Mer, is continuing to open to more competitors, as the Open de France de Course AU Large -labelled race will welcome a Figaro Bénéteau 3 fleet. An opportunity for the solo sailing experts to warm up on the DRHEAM-CUP 400 course, one month before the start of the Solitaire du Figaro.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisers are having to postpone or cancel races, including the Solo Maître CoQ, the Solo Guy Cotten and the Transat AG2R, the last three races in the Figaro Bénéteau class season. Drheam Promotion, organiser of the DRHEAM-CUP, has stated that they intend to welcome the Figaro Bénéteau 3 fleet this year.

When he launched the DRHEAM-CUP in 2016, its founder Jacques Civilise dreamt of an OPEN race, taking place in the summer, open to all boats, formats and sailors, enabling everyone to enjoy a real high-level competition in a sharing and celebratory atmosphere. This openness, which led to it being awarded the Open de France de Course AU Large label, allowed the two first editions to welcome a multi-class fleet, from Ultimes to Classic Yachts, including Imocas, Class40, Multi50, Multi 2000, IRC, Osiris and Mini 6.50 boats.

In the run-up to the third edition, this quest for openness continues, since the Figaro Bénéteau class has accepted the organiser's invitation to include the DRHEAM-CUP in its official 2020 calendar.

"When Jacques Civilise told me that he wanted to welcome Figaro skippers, I immediately loved the idea and I submitted it to the board members, who agreed, explains Yvon Breton, Chairman of the Figaro Bénéteau class. First, because it takes place at an ideal time for the Solitaire du Figaro, which starts just over a month later, and because participating in a multi-class race is an opportunity for our class to open up. This challenge can encourage other participating sailors to join us, we always aim to grow. Finally, it is important for our partners, as the DRHEAM-CUP is well-covered by the media, offering them more visibility."

Cherbourg skipper Alexis Loison has jumped on the chance to be the first Figaro sailor to enter. "I just had to take part in a race that starts in my home town and has the backing of my sponsor, Région Normandie. The timing is perfect as well, five weeks before the start of the Solitaire du Figaro, it isn't too early or too late, and the DRHEAM-CUP 400 course could be a leg of the Figaro. For us it is a good rehearsal, a warm-up that will enable us to make sure everything is working onboard."

In 2006, he competed in his very first Solitaire du Figaro starting in... Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and he is delighted that his city will once again host such a prestigious race: "Cherbourg has always looked out towards the sea, but recently, its maritime side has been increasingly obvious, since it welcomed the 2018 edition of the DRHEAM-CUP and will be arrival port of the Rolex Fastnet Race from next year. It is an opportunity for me, as a Cherbourg local to encourage the efforts made by the city and the council. Cherbourg has all it takes to make this DRHEAM-CUP a fantastic celebration, there is always a crowd on land to welcome the sailors, and I trust that many of my Figaro friends will be there in July. And if they want, I will even invite them for a barbecue!" I bet they will!

Jacques Civilise concludes: "Despite the difficult times we are experiencing, we are still working hard with all our partners to enable the third edition of the DRHEAM-CUP to take place in the best conditions.

We are saddened by the events that we are all living through, and wish to thank all the people working to maintain vital services, particularly healthcare professionals, who are taking enormous risks to combat this pandemic. We hope that the "war" against Covid-19 will be won as fast as possible."

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