Tomorrow is the big day
In less than 24 hours the starting signal for the 2017 edition of the Manche Ports Race will be given at Granville. 81 participants are registered for this major event in the Normandy nautical calendar, and the competition is going to be intense. Tomorrow, the boats will set sail for Barneville-Carteret in the first stage of the race, covering a distance of 30 or 40 nautical miles depending on the groups and on weather conditions. This 33rd edition of the race looks set to begin in the best possible conditions, in bright sunshine with a light breeze.
A strong line-up of competitors
The line-up of crews for this 33rd edition is impressive, as usual! Among the 81 competitors, there are several favourites to watch. In group 1, with orange pennant, the Auguin family in Pied d’Alouette: Christophe won the Vendée Globe in 1996-7 and this boat will be a serious contender for victory. Having come second in the Manche Ports Race in 2015 and first last year, it’s quite clear that the crew has come to defend the title against the regulars Pacha and Ti’moun, also regular winners. In groups 2 and 3, white and yellow pennants, Marc Gadbin’s boat Axe Sails, and Thierry Fortin’s Défi Voile Adaptée, are each in the running for first place in their respective group. But that doesn’t take account of the young crew of Rapido II, skippered by Paul Angot, which has every intention of standing up for itself and will try to do even better than the third place they secured in group 3 in 2016. Competition will be stiff in group 4, blue pennant, because even though the wacky regulars of Rapetous often come first, the crews of Manche Fibre Kunkel Palettes, of la Railleuse, of Gwaihir Venturi and of the Guernesey boat Blue Jade, are all gunning for victory. Finally, in group 5, pink pennant, the category for the largest boats, keep an eye on Ville de Donville, skippered by Olivier Rapeaud and on Crédit Mutuel, skippered by Vincent Bunel, although for this group especially, there are several potential winners….
After a splendid regatta afternoon, the prize-giving ceremony for the Manche Ports Kids took place at the Granville Regional Sailing Centre. The budding sailors, aged between 7 and 12, were able to enjoy perfect conditions on the water and a warm welcome ashore. A wonderful inter-generational event!
For the competitors in the Manche Ports Race, it has been registration day. This evening at 7.30pm they are all invited to a general briefing before enjoying dinner and a concert on the esplanade of the Granville Yacht Club.
Be there tomorrow at 10.00am, for the start of this 33rd edition of the Manche Ports Race!