Wednesday, June 12, 2019


J/80s sailing off Brest, France
(Brest, France)- From May 30th to June 2nd, the Grand Prix Ecole de Navale took place in the spectacular Atlantic waters off Brest, France.  Twenty-nine J/80s took to the starting line and, after three thrilling days of racing, managed to sail eight races.

Winning the regatta was Pierre Laouenan’s COURRIER ECOLE NAVALE with crew of Eric Brezellec, Christian Ponthieu, Jean Queveau, and Tiphaine Ragueneau.  Winning five of their eight races, Laouenan’s crew proved dominant, taking the series by six points with a total score of 12 pts net. Taking the silver on the podium was a familiar top French crew, Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, with crew of Vincent Guillarm, Paul Medinger, Nicolas Le Berre, and Titouan Le Dem. Rounding out the podium in the bronze medal position was top French woman skipper Anne Phelipon and her crew on NAVIGATLANTIQUE (Christine Briand, Thomas Haddouche, Loig Leon, and Celine Adam). The rest of the top five included Luc Nadal’s GANJA in 4th and Remy Hurdiel’s SPORT BUSINESS CLUB LA MOBILERY in 5th position.

On Friday, the crews experienced a delay due to a persistent fog. It was a chance for some crews to reflect on why they enjoyed sailing their J/80s.
J/80 sailing GPEN off Brest, France
According to French Naval Admiral Philippe Coindreau, renowned for his long military career, “it's always frustrating to be aboard and stay at the dock. But, such things happen. This is the 12th edition of GPEN that I have sailed. I really enjoy racing my J/80, it is a great class. I enjoy the pleasure of competition in the J/80. This is a strict monotype, which is very nice because it allows you to fight on equal terms. Over the years, we find on the circuit the same teams and we establish strong links between us."

This team spirit and fraternity can also draw parallels between the world of sailing and that of the Navy. "It is not without reason that the French Navy decided to make sailing one of its favorite sports. The qualities that are necessary for the sailors are similar to those of the Navy members; the ability to work as a team, toughness and endurance. And then, there is the absolute need for humility. It's undeniable, in regattas, we all learn to be humble,” remarked Admiral Coindreau. At the end of the first day, his J/80 team on HARIS was sitting in a humble 14th overall.  For more Grand Prix Ecole Navale sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.