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APCC Voile Sportive crowned French J/70 Sailing League champions

by J/Boats 13 Nov 2019 11:14 NZDT
French J/70 Sailing League Finale 2019 © Arnaud Pilpre / FFVoile

The Yacht Club de Cannes in the French Riviera played host for the French J/70 Sailing League Finale on the Mediterranean for fifteen sailing clubs from across France.

The three-day event saw incredibly sharp racing amongst the top teams, tightly fought starts, amazing choreography of boat-handling and teamwork in the mark-roundings, and close-racing due to very even boatspeeds amongst the competition.

After twelve races for each team (a total of 36 races completed), it was SR Antibes that won the regatta winning a remarkable 10 of 12 races sailed, smoking the competition.

However, it was not enough to take over the overall French Sailing League series; that title went to the very consistent sailing of APCC Voile Sportive that won seven of their 12 races to take second in Cannes and be awarded first overall! Here is how it all went down over the three days of racing.

Day 1 - Friday

It was far from the summer time of Cannes, as the teams would have needed the Umbrellas of Cherbourg for this first day of racing! The rain in the Bay of Cannes did not disturb the good progress of the event since three complete flights and nine races were run from 1400 hours and onward. The teams all delivered a good fight in a wavering and oscillating wind and in a constant rain! Yes, it had to be miserable, but there were smiles on the regatta leaders!

The President of the Yacht Club de Cannes- Jean-Pierre Champion- commented that, "this is an emblematic event of the Federation, with a unique format and clubs that compete on the J/70 one-design sailboats that were provided by the Southern Sailing League Association. This is a test that we like, to which we wish our crews bon'chance and we have the opportunity a wonderful host this year! We are unhappy with the weather, of course, but I think that the quality of reception at the Yacht Club of Cannes will delight the crews!"

Leading after the first day was Sofian Bouvet's team on SR Antibes, he is a formidable competitor, having been the French Olympic 470 Sailing Team representative and a Tour de'Voile winner. Three races, three victories for the excited team on the first day!

Sitting in second was Simon Bertheau's crew on APCC Voile Sportive with a 1-2-1 tally. Third was a top French woman skipper- Mathilde de Kérangat- skippering the SR Rochelaises team to a 3-1-1 record.

A perfect start that places them temporarily ahead of the overall standings just ahead of the Nantais of the APCC Voile Sportive led by Simon Bertheau who have come close to perfection themselves, with two race wins and a second place. At the third step of the podium, the crew of the SR Rochelaises were also part of the club "double winners" with 2 wins and a 3rd place. Tomorrow if the sky should stay cloudy, the wind should climb up a notch and maybe redistribute the cards!

Day 2 - Saturday

After the light winds and relentless rain on Friday, the scenario changed completely on Saturday morning. Clears skies and a fabulous breeze from the south swept the race course with 13 to 18 kts breezes all day. As a result, the strong breezes "redistributed the cards" for the top five teams; some teams excelled in the demanding conditions, some did not.

There was seven knots of maximum wind yesterday, and 13 knots minimum Saturday! To say that the atmosphere was different on the water would be an understatement! The strong got stronger, that was for sure. Excited about the big waves and planing-mode winds were Bouvet's SR Antibes team, posting four bullets and a third to pull further away from the fleet.

However, also reveling in the conditions were Bertheau's Nantais crew on APCC Voile Sportive, winning three of their races and sitting just four points back from SR Antibes. The big mover for the day was the CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf team, winning three races and adding two deuces to climb into the bronze position for the regatta.

Ed Russo, President of the LNVoile Commission and the International Sailing League Association, commented that "we had two great firsts this year for the National Sailing League in France. One was sailing on the lake in Léry-Poses. And, the other was sailing on the Mediterranean here in Cannes. The top four places qualify for the 2020 Sailing Champions League."

Day 3 - Sunday

On the Sunday finale, the teams were greeted with "fresh to frightening" weather conditions on the Bay of Cannes, big breaking waves and 20-25 kt winds offshore! Taking the big seas, big winds in stride was none other than Bouvet's SR Antibes crew, posting another stunning record of 1-1-3-1 to win the Cannes event with ease for a total of 16 pts. Their nemesis all weekend was out to prove they could hang with the best and posted an even better scoreline of 1-2-1-1 to take second with 19 pts. The bronze went to the very excited CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf team, winning their last race in the big breeze to win a tie-breaker over CV Ecole Navale at 23 pts each!

For the overall French Sailing League series, APCC Voile Sportive won a tie-breaker over CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf. Both had identical scores of 2-3 in both Léry-Poses and Cannes. However, the Nantais on APCC Voile Sportive won by virtue of a higher score in the final event in Cannes! Thrilled to race up the overall leaderboard from fifth place after Léry-Poses to the bronze on the podium were none other than the elated team from SR Antibes!

Simon Bertheau (APCC Nantes) commented, "we were very consistent this weekend, but it was tight until the end. We had a nice day of breezes this Sunday and we sailed well, which allowed us to dig a little bit even if the crew of the SR Antibes was a little stronger on this stage. We are glad to offer this final victory to the club, the first for APCC Nantes! And, we are also happy to qualify for the Sailing Champions League Qualifier!"

Timothée Rossi (SR Antibes) also commented on their racing; "we brought experience on the boat with Sofian (Bouvet), Julien (Lacaze) and Frédéric (Minucci) who joined us on this stage with my helmsman in 420s, Angel Delerce. We had conditions that were very different from that of Léry-Poses, and we felt more comfortable here at home in the South. We are really happy with this victory, we thank our sports director who has re-launched the LNVoile project at the club, with a dynamic mix of experience and youth, and it really went very well!"

More information at evenements.ffvoile.fr and www.facebook.com/lnvoile

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