It’s Fred’s Day in Douarnenez…..

FRA 207 “Q TI TOO” helmed by local Sailmaker Fred Gourlaouen had a fantastic second day of the French Open National Championships by recording a 2nd and a 1st place in light tricky winds from the west.  The 30 boat fleet were kept ashore until 3pm as there was not enough wind in the bay of Douarnenez to start a race. Then when most sailors had more or less given up on the day, the fleet were sent out and racing began at 4.15pm. FRA 365 helmed by Martin Payne and crewed by Dominic & Olivier Bakker took control of the pin end of the line and were soon in good shape up the left- hand side of the course. Meanwhile GBR 633 Ron James with his wife Julia and tactician Mark Pettit had made good use of the right-hand side of the course and came in strongly despite a building flood tide which tends to push the fleet towards the town of Douarnenez. RUS 31 Mikhail Senatorov also had a good first beat so when FRA 207 rounded the top mark first all three of the mentioned boats were close behind.

On the second up-wind FRA 365 held a slight lead on FRA 207, GBR 633 and RUS 31, but on the final run it was the winner of the first two races Luc Pillot FRA 386 who ran deeper to squeeze inside RUS 31 and GBR 633 on the final “Dog-Leg” turn to the finish.  It is a pity at any National Championship to still have these downwind, “Hooked” line finishes..  In my opinion all National Championships should be finished upwind, so on the 3rd beat. I really don’t mind if a small little fishing boat with uncle Tom and his “six-pack” is anchored next to the windward mark, so long as he is able to record the boats in the correct order as they cross the line, all is well…. This leaves the main committee boat down at the start so that a 2nd race can get underway a.s.a.p.

Anyway Camper’s so in race one (which was race three of the regatta), it was indeed yours truly, Martin Payne who finished 1st, Fred Gourlaouen 2nd and Luc Pillot 3rd. Surprisingly the PRO decided to start a 4th race at around 5.30pm.. This was held in a dying breeze and both FRA 207 and FRA 386 again battled it out from the front to finish 1st and 2nd respectively. In 3rd place and finishing very strongly, as he did on the first day, was FRA 405 the legendary “Baboo”  Jean Gabriel Pasturaud helming Vol de Nuit….   So it was a great day for Fred and his crew of Christian Deredec and Sebastien Rozen.

With strong winds forecast for today it promises to be a good day of sailing. Also after the 5th race a discard will kick in, so overall places are up for grab’s..  Can anyone catch Luc Pillot who currently leads with 1st, 1st, 3rd and 2nd… It’s unlikely, but as we have said before and will probably say again and again “it’s never over till it’s over”…..

Higher, Faster, Longer………….  Stavros.  (FRA 365).

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