Stage #1 – Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue / Cherbourg-en-Cotentin : A very gentle start!

Stage #1 – Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue / Cherbourg-en-Cotentin : A very gentle start!

The first day of the Manche Ports Race 2018. It was a very quiet start for the 85 contestants, with glorious sunshine, calm sea and a gentle breeze. Even though many crews didn’t manage to complete today’s leg due to lack of wind, everyone arrived at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin tanned and happy…

Stage #1: Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue / Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
An early start for the 85 contestants registered for this 34th edition of the Manche Ports Race. The boats began to leave the port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue at 6.30 this morning, accompanied by a magnificent sunrise. As the race committee began the departure process at 8.30am, sailing conditions for the fleet were perfect – wind at 10 knots, sunshine, and flat seas. However, as the hours went by the wind dropped to a very light breeze, barely enough to sail. And although some crews managed to make the most of every ripple in order to complete the course, which had to be cut back to the “Pierre Noire” buoy, others were unable to finish within the time allotted by the race instructions. This can be clearly seen in the results for group 1, where 100% of boats were outside the time limit. In this fleet, comprising the smallest boats in the Race, not one of the 12 contestants managed to cross the finishing line. In group 2, only 3 out of the 14 contestants managed to complete the leg. Axe Sail 2, skippered by Marc Gadbin, won the day. There were more finishers in group 3 – 8 out of 22 managed to reach the end, led by the crew of Idée Fixe. In group 4, Club Dinette Bar Restaurant was the only boat to succeed out of 17. And finally, in group 5, the largest boats, 7 out of 19 reached the finishing line. Axe Sail, skippered by Axel Gadbin, won this leg, ahead of the crew of Crédit Mutuel et Ville de Donville.

Manche Ports Kids – just like grown-ups!
The 2nd edition of Manche Ports Kids took place today in the harbour of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Eleven children, aged between 7 and 13, took to the water on little Optimists provided for the occasion. After 3 rounds in bright sunshine, 12 year old Iban Crestey, of the Barfleur sailing club, took the prize, followed by Grégoire Willot of the Cherbourg sailing school and Isabelle Lewe from Guernsey. “I’m really happy” declared Iban enthusiastically, “I won 2 out of the day’s 3 races!” A budding yachtsman, when asked “Would you like to take part in the Manche Ports Race?” there was no hestitation. “Yes!”

Programme for Monday 9 July
Second leg, destination Diélette, with starting orders at 9.30am in the harbour of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. There are two possible routes, of 45 or 28 nautical miles. The race committee will decide on the day depending on the weather, but whatever happens, the competitors will have to contend with wind and currents, especially passing through the notorious Alderney Race.