Saturday, November 7, 2015

French J/80 Nationals Preview

French J/80 Nationals in St Cast, FranceEpic Finale for the Coupe de France
(St Cast, France)- This past weekend a dozen boats attended a training session at CN St Cast that included top French J/80 sailors coaching, such as Eric Brezellec, Sylvain Pélissier, Clément Commagnac, and Jacque Hubert.  They ran dozens of short course races focused on starts, boatspeed and boathandling.  Those teams that attended should be well-prepared for the upcoming French J/80 Nationals!  Why should that be the case?  Because, the uniqueness of the J/80 class in France has always followed the motto- “better to give than to receive”.  When the top sailors in the class are dispensing advice to those who wish to learn, it elevates all boats in the fleet and increases the competition amongst the top sailors as well.

Nowhere is that more evident than the fact 145 boats have participated in the season-long J/80 Coupe de France 2015, a season that started with SPI OUEST France in April and concludes in November with the Nationals in St Cast.  At the moment, Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR is leading the series with 333 pts (high point system).  But, there are four teams behind him that are all capable of stealing the championship title from him should the COURRIER JUNIOR team stumble even the slightest bit, like finish out of the top five!

The “chasers” include Herve Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE in second with 292 pts, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA in third with 289 pts, Frederic Hauville’s ECOLE NAVALE in fourth with 284 pts and Marc Noesmoen’s TEAM VENDEE in fifth with 280 pts.

J/80 Vitel France sailing nationalsAmongst the women’s skippers vying for the overall Women’s National title are Capucine Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM sitting 7th in the overall standings and leading the Women’s championship with 238 pts total.  Sitting 11th overall and 2nd women’s team is Maxime Rousseau’s crew on CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES, the host team for the event with 198 pts!  Twelfth overall, third women skipper, is Maxime Mesnil’s crew on CO-PILOTES with 194 pts.  Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN is 16th overall, 4th women’s with 182.5 pts.  Finally, one of the top French woman skippers, Sophie Riot on LE HAVRE-LADIES NORMANDIE, is currently 23rd overall and 5th woman helm.

While not amongst the overall Coupe de France series leaderboard, several J/80 teams that always factor into the top of any regatta include Matthieu Salomon’s CHARIOT PLUS-VANNES UTILITAIRES and Simon Moriceau’s WEST CORTAGE ECOLE NAVALE. Top visiting teams include Kevin Sproul’s J.A.T from the United Kingdom and Mikel Vazquez sailing ENBATA 80 from Spain.  For more Coupe de France J/80 Nationals sailing information