Downstream were pretty Rock’n‘ Roll

Downstream were pretty Rock’n‘ Roll

National French Cup report

Coming from the Finn, where the responsibility for reporting fell to the 4th, here I am in the 2.4, reviving this tradition, which I’m not that happy about with my 5th place !

The weather was fine, with a light, erratic wind that was very nerve-wracking. In short, all the ingredients were there for three days of racing in good conditions.

The first two days were punctuated by a WNW wind with a few temporary 180° shifts.

Many starts were followed by general recalls due to wind failures for boats that lacked foresight and got carried away by the current beyond the line. Gilles Govin’s calm leadership of the race committee saved us from the black flag.

The dog-leg passages downstream were pretty rock’n‘ roll, with the buoys moving away rather than the other way round as the wind shifted away from us. The fleet huddled together as we passed the buoys, playing „if you move forward, I move back“ (without any cheeky jokes), waiting for the situation to improve.      

Rock´n ´roll behind the boy

It’s not easy to get out of this kind of scrum, where there’s nothing to do but suffer.

The special thing about this stretch of water is that even in the worst positions there’s always a chance to recover. Some of the competitors showed us that. This was the case for Urs Infanger, who made impressive comebacks at the head of the fleet after some average starts, and Ulli Libor, who was always at the front of the fleet with his huge Olympic flag hanging from the backstay, which could be seen as slowing the boat down.

Christophe Etorre may be more discreet, but he is just as effective and consistent.

On Saturday evening, Le Cercle de la Voile de Paris (CVP), a neighbouring club, opened the doors of its restaurant to us, where dinner was accompanied by the powerful voice of Denis Dumas, our baritone for the evening, and at the bar, an orchestra made up of Christophe Guilbaud on bass, Vincent Lafleur on piano, Marc Prunier on clarinet and Sophie Bernat on microphone, provided the rhythm for the second half of the evening and motivated a few dancers.

On Sunday, the last day, the wind reversed. The start was upstream, the current was in the nose and the wind was just as fickle. It was better to stay above the line at the start until the last moment.

The game consisted of a series of short tacks as close to the shore as possible. The aim was to avoid being caught in the draught.  Some have had the bitter experience of trying to wiggle out of the way with their spinnaker pole, earning them a DSQ.

On the way back downwind, when the current was faster than the wind, the jibs were carried against the apparent wind, causing some funny situations.

Benoit Melen, who had made a good start to this championship, made one mistake after another on the final day, which cost him a penalty in the ranking.       

Bravo au podium Urs, Uli, et Christophe

Thanks to all the organisers, management, committee, safety staff, anchors etc. for making this national event run so smoothly.

Thank you to the racers who made the trip.  

Vincent Lesage, FRA 100, Winner of the Report Trophy



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