Newsletter : Friday, the 5th of May, 2017
Last weekend, Team France Jeune was competing on every front! Whilst two of the young athletes were setting sail in the Grand Prix Guyader on a Diam 24, four other racers were representing the team at Eurocat on a Flying Phantom. Meantime, Timothé Lapauw, was participating in the second act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao, China, alongside the Swiss crew, Alinghi! Right now, the whole team is gathered together, preparing to take the start of the Riva Cup; the first event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2017, running from 11 to 14 May on Lake Garda, in Italy.
A weekend of regattas in Brittany
Two major watersports events took place in north-west France simultaneously over the May Day weekend: Grand Prix Guyader on the one hand, organised from 29 April to 8 May in Douarnenez, and Eurocat on the other, from 28 to 1 May, in Carnac. Organised by the Société des Régates in Douarnenez, the Grand Prix Guyader is a major maritime festival grouping together multiple watersports disciplines: Dragons, paddle boards, kayaks, Diam 24s, Open Bics and foiling kites… Two representatives from Team France Jeune took part in the Diam 24 competition in the Finistère region (from 29 April to 1 May), with nearly thirty-one crews coming together. In this way, Bruno Mourniac raced alongside Team Lorina Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan, whilst Valentin Sipan joined the crew of Beijaflor. This race was the last opportunity for them to train with their respective teams before the Tour de France à la Voile 2017.
“I’m delighted to have had the chance to participate in the Grand Prix Guyader. We had a great battle and we were neck and neck with Beijaflore and Oman during the raid, which was long and complicated, notably as a result of the very shifty wind (2nd day of competition). It was fun to have Valentin (Sipan) as an adversary; it instilled a very positive, competitive spirit between us. This race was also the final opportunity for me to get my bearings aboard the boat with the team before the Tour de France à la Voile,” says Bruno Mourniac, trimmer for Team France Jeune.
At the end of the competition, Team Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan snatched the lead in the overall ranking, followed by Team Beijaflore. A great performance for both Bruno and Valentin!
During the same period, in Brittany’s Morbihan region, it was time for Eurocat; an unmissable sports catamaran event, gathering together all the existing series (C1, C3, C4, F18 and Flying Boat). Robin Follin, Antoine Rucard, Jean-Baptiste Ducamin and Sandro Lacan were racing in Team France Jeune’s colours, aboard the three Flying Phantoms placed at their disposal by the France’s National Sailing and Watersports school (ENVSN), Bic Sport and the local region, Conseil Départemental du 56. The Follin / Ducamin pairing posted an outstanding performance on the second day of competition, which was dedicated to the long-distance raid. After over two hours of racing, spanning some 51km in total, the two athletes were positioned at the top of the leaderboard in the fleet of ten Flying Phantoms. The final overall ranking was ultimately dominated by the crew formed by Tim Mourniac / Pierre-Yves Durand, followed by the Sandro Lacan / Morgan Lagravière team and the Hainneville brother pairing. Antoine (teamed up with Riwan Perron) secured 4th place in the overall ranking. Meantime, the Follin / Ducamin duo finished in 5th position.
“Eurocat symbolized my first Flying Phantom regatta. Robin and I got on very well. I feel like we’ve made progress. The Flying Phantom is even more of a thrill than the GC32 and enables you to gain a better understanding of how to trim the boat. Yves Clouet, our coach from the ENVSN, was very pleased with the team’s overall performance,” explains Jean-Baptiste Ducamin, bowman for Team France Jeune.
Photo credit : Yacht Club de Carnac
Meantime, in Qingdao…
Timothé Lapauw, bowman and the youngest member of Team France Jeune, was sailing alongside Alinghi during the 2nd act of the Extreme Sailing Series, the Mazarin Cup in Qingdao (China) from 28 April to 1 May. For the second year running, the Swiss crew won the event ahead of five other GC32 teams: SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air, Land Rover BAR Academy, Red Bull Sailing Team and NZ Extreme Sailing Team. Alinghi, led by Ernesto Bertarelli, is currently lying in first place in the overall ranking, followed by SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Oman Air.
It is worth noting that Timothé Lapauw joined the Alinghi crew in January 2016. Since that time, he has regularly raced with the team, where he performs the role of foil trimmer.
Photo credit : http://bit.ly/2oSS2hC
Team France Jeune is competing in one of the legs on the GC32 Racing Tour
The opening race of the GC32 Racing Tour debuts in Italy. Running from 11 to 14 May 2017, Lake Garda will welcome some eleven international teams, who will race aboard the famous 32-foot long (9.74-metre) flying catamarans.
This boat is now a very familiar support among Team France Jeune, which has been training on this craft since September 2016. Indeed, the GC32 is very similar to the AC45F, the official craft for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, (due to take place in Bermuda in June 2017). In order to hone its preparation with a view to this major sports event, Team France Jeune will be lining up for the start of the Riva Cup, on Lake Garda.
“We have one work goal at this GC32 Racing Tour event, which is our final preparation regatta before the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to compete against our fellow GC32 crews, which include a number of professional sailors. We’ll notably be racing alongside two other youth teams participating in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (Team Tilt and Team Bermuda). At the end of the regatta, the whole team will benefit from a 10-day break, before the big day when we head over to Bermuda. This moment of respite is very important for us: it will enable us to unwind and clear our minds. This is a key step to ensure we arrive there in good shape physically and psychologically, as well as being focused and in an attacking frame of mind,” explains Robin Follin, skipper of Team France Jeune.
“During this regatta, there will be five crew aboard the GC32 (Note that during the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, the crews will comprise 6 sailors). We had an opportunity to train in this configuration in early April, during a training session at the École Nationale de Voile et des Sports Nautiques. The aim of this regatta is to detect all possible sources of improvement prior to us leaving for Bermuda. I’m very familiar with the race zone of Riva. Lake Garda is a fantastic playground, with very interesting local weather effects. It has the advantage that it’s always windy, with a northerly wind really making its presence felt in the morning, swept up by the arrival of a thermal breeze in the afternoon. This competition has the promise of some great drag races as the teams hunt down the acceleration in the wind as it funnels through the cliffs (the famous local weather effects)! I think the team will come out the other side even stronger in this regatta,” explains Valentin Sipan, tactician in Team France Jeune.
The eight young athletes are already in position. Today and tomorrow are dedicated to assembling the GC32, which has arrived from France via container. The team is scheduled to get back down to training from Sunday through until the competition kicks off on Thursday 11 May.