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23rd Spi-Ouest Regatta at La Trinite-sur-Mer - Day One

by Mark Jardine 13 Apr 2001 19:14 BST

Day one of Spi-Ouest started with the Atlantic high giving light easterly winds to the 500 boats amassed in the Bay of Quiberon. This year racing is split onto three windward-leeward courses to allow more space.

The first race saw light, shifty winds with the sportsboats and larger french-designed Open 7.5s going away first. The 7.5s are an inshore version of the smaller transat boats with huge rigs, wide transoms and twin rudders - they are very eyecatching on the water and are the latest French fleet to attract sponsors, with many companies website address written along their spreaderless wing masts.

British interest mainly lies in the Sportsboats with Jo English helming a Cork 1720 and also Stuart Jardine & David Ellis helming in the J/24s. Things started well for Stuart Jardine on Stouche, winning race one after a tight battle with Jarnicotton.

The second scheduled for today has been postponed after the light wind disappeared. The race committee tried a start, but this was abandoned after the fleet went no distance in the calm.

Day One Photographs: Click thumbnail for full image - © Mark Jardine

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