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Nacra15 World Championship at La Grande Motte - Preview

by Camille El Beze 22 Oct 16:54 BST 31 October - 5 November 2021
Nacra15 World Championships © Didier Hillaire

140 young multihull racers are due to take to the waters off La Grande Motte by Montpellier in the south of France to compete at the Nacra15 World Championships, organized by the YCGM.

Eleven nations are represented: France, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Hungary, Holland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland. With the exception of three Tahitian crews, unfortunately sailors from the furthest away countries - USA, Australia, New Zealand - were unable to make the trip to France during this disrupted post-Covid period.

The largest contingent will from the host nation, France. Among the 27 French duos are some of the favourites for the title at least if the results of the last major international competition - the European Championships contested this summer - are anything to go by; there was a 100% French podium.

But nothing is cut and dried, a large part of the fleet is made up of newcomers (15 years old on average and the youngest are just 11 years old) and there are many from nations capable of springing surprises, like the Swiss who are strong, the English have not really been travelling overseas for competition this year but so too the Dutch and Italians are strong in the Nacra15.

"Apart from the French, a new generation will be on show here. There are many crews we, the French, have never sailed against so we cannot be complacent. " explains Nicolas Jégou, Pôle Espoir Nacra15 coach at the CEM (Centre d'Entrainement Mediterranée).

During the build up period before the start of the first race scheduled for November 1 at 11:00 am, on-site training, organized by the CEM, is scheduled until October 26. These "coaches races" will muster 15 to 20 crews on the waters of the World Championships.

In terms of organization, the idea the Yacht Club de La Grande Motte is to create a sporting event that is friendly and popular. On October 31, the opening ceremony will take place in the town, on the seafront (Promenade Jacques Chirac) attended by local delegations and officials, including Stephan Rossignol, the Mayor of La Grande Motte. It will be followed by a parade of boats at 2:30 p.m. in front of the Digue Est, before the start of a few training races. Throughout the week, the western hard standing area will be the nerve center of the World Championships: launching and recovery there and also the main podium.

Competition will begin on November 1 at 11:00 a.m. for 5 days of racing, with four to six races per day.

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