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Spi Ouest Regatta at La Trinite Sur Mer - Days 1 & 2

by Mark Jardine 19 Apr 2003 23:05 BST
Photos © Mark Jardine


It is hard to imagine a more perfect pair of days in April to hold a sailing event. The bay of Quiberon on the West coast of France has brought wind, sun and is currently filled with 500 yachts racing at the 2003 Spi Ouest regatta. Racing is split over three courses a short sail away from the estuary out of La Trinite using windward-leeward legs for the majority of the time.

Friday brought the hottest temperatures with a balmy 26 degrees and a light to moderate Easterly breeze. With two hundred boats sharing the same race course finding the lanes with clear air and sailing a clean race are the most important factors. The course areas are a sea of sail and there is constant concentration needed by all of the crews to plan a path on both the windward and leeward legs.

There are several British crews sailing at the event including Rob Greenhalgh helming the Mumm 30 ‘Mammy’ with Prof O’Connell calling tactics. In the J/24 class several British boats are taking part with a close tussle at the top between six-times Spi Ouest winner Stuart Jardine and David Ellis.

Today (Saturday) brought stronger winds and a little cooler temperatures just to remind people that it is still only April! The racing though was excellent with the North Easterly providing some testing shifts and gusts.

The second race of the day was the traditional ‘offshore’ race that the organisers insist on still running. This round the bay race uses bouys and temporary marks but rarely brings any great or tactical racing. This year was no exception with many processional fetches and long biased runs. Luckily the weather has been good enough to overlook this blemish on the regatta and everyone is enjoying the sparkling conditions.

Racing continues on both Sunday & Monday. We will bring you a closing report on YachtsandYachting.com with full overall results.

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