Patrick Demesmaeker & Gilles Tas win French Nationals in La Rochelle

Mitch & Jordi Booth, Gilles Tas & Patrick Demesmaeker, Emeric Dary & David Fanouillère

Due to Covid pandemic, French Nationals haven’t been sailed for two years, and it was good to see the event back on 2022 calendar.

It so happens that the Société des Régates de La Rochelle and the Ecole de Voile Rochelaise recently decided to merge and to create new La Rochelle Nautique entity, one of their common aim being to rebuilt famous La Rochelle Week by inviting as many dinghy and sport cats classes to participate in the event.

AFF18 positively answered to the proposal, and French Nationals have then been sailed 26-29 May, gathering a talented field of teams, including reigning World Champion Mitch Booth crewed by his son Jordi, Patrick Demesmaeker & Gilles Tas, 2017 Vice World Champions, as well top French pairs such as Cedric Bader & Paul Normand, Arthur Boc-Ho & Laetitia Lefèvre, or Emeric Dary & David Fanouillère, all teams for which this event was a test run for Europeans to be sailed next month in Arco.

Eight races have been completed by rather strong wind, Cedric Bader & Paul Normand breaking their mast during race 7, then loosing any chance to climb on the podium.

Jordi & Mitch Booth starting at the pin end – picture by Olivier Lhopez / Semaine de La Rochelle

A pretty regular series (4, 2, 2, 1, 4, 4, 2, 1) did permitted Patrick & Gilles to win the event, 3 points ahead Booth father & son, and 7 points ahead Emeric Dary & David Fanouillère, closely followed by mixed team Arthur Boc-Ho & Laetitia Lefèvre.

A friendly prize giving ceremony put a nice end to the event.

We look forward meeting you all in Arco.