domenica 29 aprile 2012

Grand Prix Guyader - Dragons and M34 on stage

The festivities of the Grand Prix Guyader kicked off this morning at 11.30am with the Longtze, Open 7.50 and Mach 6.5 followed by the Dragons early afternoon competing for the “Brittany Coupe Crédit Mutuel” and the M34s in the Volvo DRIVe Race. 
The Grand Prix hallmark - As well as being a perfect sailing arena for the M34s the Douarnenez Bay provides the same ideal conditions for the Dragons; and it has made the Grand Prix Guyader referential on the world Dragon circuit. Attracting many of the top sailors in the series, the list of medal-holders in the line-up is quite staggering for any large race organizers.“We started this story twenty years ago with the boats we were using back then,” remembers Yann Kersalé the famous visual artist, “In the 1995 Gold Cup there was the very same spirit of enjoyment right from the beginning, and it is what has led to the success of this sailing event - it is what really distinguishes it.”
The same point of view is shared by the majority of Grand Prix Guyader participants including the event’s General Delegate Gwen Chapalain,

“The Grand Prix is a festival around the sport – and that is our hallmark.”
The 52 Dragons on the start line began with a general recall at 14.40h which meant the first chapter of racing starting under the black flag and an entire fleet setting off wisely on a steady race that ended at 16.18h. The heavy weights made their mark early on with victories from the Danish boat African Queen (DEN 406), the Ukrainian Bunker Prince (UKR 9) and the Russian Alisa (RUS 2) to complete the podium.
The M34 racing with the Russian team
“This morning our first race counted for little more than’ du beurre salé’” explained Corentin Douguet as sharp as ever referring to the famous Brittany salted butter - out of the two M34 races today, having retired from the first (won by Bretagne Crédit Mutuel) Corentin and his crew managed to come back to take the second.

The skipper of the M34 Nantes Saint Nazaire E.Leclerc continued, “And this afternoon we were really racing.
The wind gradually built and by the end of the day we had up to 20 knots. We really made the most of it because tomorrow we don’t know if we will be able to sail.” (If conditions are over 25 knots the Race Committee will suspend racing).
“Although the low pressure system coming from Spain is taking such a random route that it could still change.”

The eight boats from the Sailing Tour de France in the Grand Prix Guyader are very much the favourites of the great sailing tour (apart from Toulon-Hyères).
“There are going to be some fabulous battles out on the water,” added Corentin, “the Russian team are new to the circuit and although they are newcomers they are definitely ones to be watched; they are real contenders.”
Among these top sportsmen a competitive spirit is always present yet one competition greatly varies from another and Douarnenez attracts a particular show of commitment and loyalty, “We are always happy to come to the Grand Prix Guyader,” admits Corentin, “and in my personal ranking of different bays, and I haven’t sailed in them all yet, Douarnenez Bay is still the most beautiful and really perfect for racing.”

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