34th Manche Ports Race: D-1

34th Manche Ports Race: D-1

The 34th edition of the Manche Ports Race will set off tomorrow, Sunday 8 July, from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue. With the island of Tatihou forming a spectacular backdrop for both crews and spectators and 85 competitors registered for the race, the departure promises to be a magnificent sight combining competition and heritage.  As they wait for the starting gun to be be fired at 8.30am precisely, the crews are busy with last-minute preparations. Under the sunny Manche sky, the pontoons are buzzing with pre-race excitement… 

34th Manche Ports Race: D-1

At Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, preparations are under way. While the crews are getting on with registrations and last-minute adjustments, the committee is ranking its event flags. The week is going to be intense for both competitors and organisers, but the good news is that the sun should be shining for all 6 stages. “We can already say that this 2018 edition of the Manche Ports Race is going to be magnificent”, enthuses Marie-Pierre Fauvel, Vice-President of the Manche Département Council, who is in charge of sport. “I hope we’ll have enough wind as well, so that the participants can get the most out of this wonderful nautical event which is part of our region’s DNA. I wish fair winds to everybody!” 

Stage #1: Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue / Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Tomorrow, Sunday 8 July, the 85 registered competitors for this 34th edition of the Manche Ports Race will start out on the first stage – Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue / Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. The tides impose an early start for the sailors. The fleet will start leaving port from 6.30am in order to line up near the island of Tatihou.  The starting gun will go off at 8.30am for the crews to set sail on a course of about 26 nautical miles. The crews will have some exciting sailing right from the start, particularly as they round the Barfleur Race and its famous lighthouse. Although they should arrive at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin pretty early, no doubt in the early afternoon, there will be no let-up for the fleet as they will go on to a race in the Bay of Becquet. The race committee will of course adapt the programme to weather conditions because, according to the forecasts, the north-easterly wind won’t be more than 8-10 knots. That means the contenders will be enjoying light and sunny conditions.

Manche Ports Kids,  2nd édition!

While the grown-ups are sailing from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, the kids will be competing in Optimists at Port Chantereyne for the 2nd edition of Manche Ports Kids. About two dozen pupils from the Cherbourg, Diélette, Guernesey and La Hague hub sailing schools will be setting out on short races which have been set up, starting at 2.30pm.  Later in the afternoon, at 5pm, the Cherbourg sailing school will welcome the kids and their families for an enjoyable prize-giving ceremony. “Manche Ports Kids gives children an opportunity to get a sense of adventure, and the taste of salt in their mouths. The event enables even the youngest kids to share unforgettable experiences and to take part in the fun alongside the adults. This meeting of generations has gradually become a defining feature of the Manche Ports Race” concludes Marie-Pierre Fauvel.

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