Although Covid 19 pandemic strongly affects sailing activities worldwide, Costarmoricaine organisers have been lucky enough to be able to maintain Costarmoricaine Raid, even reduced to two days.
French Ministry of Sports actually prohibited any event to be held until 31st July, whatever sport, so the best option for Club de Voile de la Baie d’Erquy was to keep the last two days scheduled on the calendar to run the regatta, hence complying with government regulations.
Of course, OA paid the highest attention to make the event safe, taking due care of social distanciation and preservation measures, endeavouring responsible behaviour by both competitors and club volunteers.
At the end of day, no less than 19 teams entered the event, including one Belgian team, one from Switzerland, and one from Saint Barth… but missing faithful friends from Great Britain and Austria. On top of this, Costarmoricaine was the first possible opportunity for Nacra Evolution owners to test their new toy against F18 design references, such as Scorpion, Goodall C2, Cirrus R or Nacra Infusion.
Actually, and as usual, Briton Raid kept its promises, the fight being pretty tense at the front of the fleet…
Day One started with no wind, forcing Race Officer to postpone the start by one hour. Then, 15 minutes after the start, the wind died again, leaving the boats stuck on the water, puting competitors nerves to the test, and making RO Pierre-Charles Barraud thinking about possibly shortening the course…
Fortunately enough, a gentle breeze came from North West, steadily increasing to end to a 16 knots wind, making the whole fleet able to complete the 50 NM course planned by the OA.
After rounding La Roselière Buoy, teams started a long windward leg against tidal stream in a choppy sea, and top 8 boats rounded Le Taureau tower within minutes, before starting a gibing battle to reach Le Légué buoy, in the lower part of Saint Brieuc Bay.
Race ended by a full speed leg on the reach, Francis Ferrari & Frédéric Moreau completing the course in 4 hours 39 minutes 19 seconds, one minutes and 31 seconds ahead Arthur Boc-Ho & Laetitia Lefèvre (2019 winners) both teams sailing a Nacra Evolution.
On Day Two, all teams were definitely eager to get the best possible start, and RO had to display Black Flag for the fleet to start the route to Cap Fréhel and Fort-La-Latte.
After a second start, “All Clear”, the fleet sailed downwind under a pretty light breeze to reach Cap Fréhel, all along the magnificent landscapes of North Brittany.
Watching the cloud train and sea surface, it became rapidly obvious to the Race Officer that the fleet could not make the whole course, so it was decided to use SI article 9.8 (i) to shorten the race in front of Cap Fréhel, and to invite sailors to sail directly to the finish.
Once more, top 8 teams were very tight to round the gate, and they sailed back to Erquy on a reach close to the wind, ending by a close finish between Nicolas Bouveyron & Vincent Cuvillier, pure amateur club sailors, winners in 2 hours 48 minutes 55 seconds, 5 seconds ahead overall winners Francis Ferrari & Frédéric Moreau…
Francis Ferrari & Frédéric Moreau Vincent Cuvillier & Nicolas Bouveyron
A no paper race
It is to notice that, in order to both prevent useless printing and protect sailors, the race has been fully administrated through Racing Rules of Sailing website
CVB Erquy addresses warm thanks to its faithful sponsors, Ville d’Erquy & Conseil Départemental des Côtes d’Armor, with special mention to CN Plérin friends for their help in building the rescue team.
All volunteers from Club de Voile de la Baie d’Erquy already look forward to seing you next year, for a five days Costarmoricaine Raid to be sailed 28 July – 1st August!