2019 has definitely been a good vintage for Costarmoricaine Raid, despite difficult weather conditions.
2018 Raid Worlds clearly had a positive effect on participation, as most of non French competitors came back with one or more friends, raising entries to 24 teams from 8 nations, even 3 of them resigned at the last minute due to a scaring forecast or travel issues…
All pictures by Paul Malécot
Day One – Erquy to Bréhat Island
Whatever the case, 21 teams did started from Erquy on Day One to reach Brehat Island, before entering in a dead calm zone, forcing Race Committee to abandon the race and to start towing the fleet.
Fortunately enough, a gentle breeze raised close to South Caffa cardinal buoy, permitting Race Officer Pierre-Charles Barraud to launch a second start, being the good one!
The wind then kept increasing up to 16+ knots, and the fleet rapidly approached Bréhat Island, leading boats crossing the line at Men Joliguet tower after 2 hours sailing, before to park the boats ashore, thanks to Les Albatros Sailing School.
Day Two – Bréhat Island to Perros-Guirec
On Thursday morning, it was clear from all weather stations that Friday would suffer from strong gales (over 40 knots), slightly decreasing on Saturday, so organisers had to make a difficult choice: sail to Perros-Guirec, or stay in Saint Brieuc Bay…
Decision made was as follows: reach Perros-Guirec on Thursday as scheduled, permitting competitors to discover Ferlas, Héaux lighthouse, Tomé Island as well Les Sept Iles bird reservation, and to have dinner on Trestraou Beach. Then to charter a bus to bring sailors back to Erquy on Friday morning, pick up cars and trailers, drive back to Perros, put masts down, load the boats, and join Saint Quay Portrieux by the road to get dinner and breakfast… and so was it done!
This choice was the right one! After starting in front of Arcouest Point, the fleet rounded Vieille de Loguivy and sailed smoothly downwind to Vieille du Tréou, La Moisie, La Jument des Héaux, Basse Crublent and Roche Guazer, the wind steadily shifting to the right, forcing sailors to put kites down.
As it was certain it would not be possible to race on Friday, Race Officer decided to broaden the course, by displaying Charlie flag, hence inviting competitors to sail round Tomé Island before rouding Les Dervinis, and to finish in front of Trestraou Beach.
Arthur Boc-Ho & Laetitia Lefevre won the leg in 4 hours 19 minutes & 26 seconds, five and a half minutes ahead Cedric & Delphine Fleury, closely followed (7 seconds!) by Daval brothers, getting the best from their old but efficient Diam, a group of three (Touchot-Durand, Ferrari-Moutarde, and Lutz-Schlatter) finishing four minutes later.
A superb reception, offered by Perros-Guirec City, put an end to a pretty good sailing day!
Day Three – Perros Guirec to Saint Quay-Portrieux
Forecast stations did announced on Friday morning 40+ knots winds to be expected by noon, confirming the rightness of the decision to put in place a shuttle bus to bring competitors to Erquy, so that they can drive cars and trailers back to Perros-Guirec, and then join Saint Quay-Portrieux.
If the whole teams succeeded in driving to Trestraou Beach, there was still trouble to come, when a tree falled down on the road to Saint Quay-Portrieux, preventing most of the teams to drive further for at least one hour…
Please find below some pictures taken from very sheltered places in Saint Quay Portrieux, where we got 48 knots gusts …
At the end of the day, all is well that ends well, and the whole group did enjoyed the dinner served at Les Plaisanciers restaurant, on Port d’Armor!
Day Four – Saint Quay-Portrieux to Erquy
RO Pierre-Charles Barraud did presented to sailors what was planned for the day at the end of the breakfast: drive back to Erquy, and be prepared for racing by noon, would the wind decrease significantly, course being then to sail from Erquy to Dahouët.
Unfortunately, the wind was rather increasing than calming down, so Saturday has been a second day with no racing, everybody crossing fingers for weather conditions on Sunday to sail the legendary last leg, sending the fleet to Laplace Buoy and return, rounding Cap Fréhel and Fort La Latte.
Whatever the case, everybody did fully appreciated the no less legendary banquet at the club, where the Boss himself is slicing roasted hams…
Day Five – Erquy to Laplace Buoy and return
Costarmoricaine final leg is used to produce many changeovers among leaders, and to declare final winners. 2019 edition did not missed tradition, top four teams playing cats and dogs all race long …
On Sunday morning, after two days staying ashore, all teams were eager to race, and none was late on the starting line when RO displayed Warning Signal at 11:00 sharp.
After a good start, brother and sister Cédric and Delphine Fleury demonstrated an amazing speed downwind, and were from far the first to round Cap Fréhel, ahead from Daval brothers, and Arthur Boc-Ho & Laetitia Lefevre, Nicolas Touchot & Pierre Yves Durand being at short distance with the rest of the fleet.
As usual, Cap Fréhel passage was a difficult balance to find between waves, current and wind, and some teams were much lucky than others playing this game…
Under the magnificent scenery provided by Fort La Latte castle, Laplace Buoy represents the far East end of Costarmoricaine, where competitors have to build new strategies after rouding it in order to pass back Cap Fréhel the best possible way: not too close to keep wind pressure, not too far to reduce course distance, strong current being in the middle…
Last part of 5th leg has been sailed windward, and Cédric & Delphine Fleury, as well Arnaud & Benoît Daval, could not resist to the fantastic comeback of both Arthur Boc-Ho & Laetitia Lefèvre and Nicolas Touchot & Pierre-Yves Durand, those two teams finishing the course in respectively 2h 59 min 26 sec & 2h 59 min 51 sec !
It is now a tradition for Costarmoricaine to end up prize giving ceremony with oysters tasting, so it came to be !
Complete results here
That’s all folks ! See you next year, 28th July – 2nd August !