“A race finish that reflects the class of 2023” for this edition of MAP 2023

With a 20-second gap between them at the finish, Julien Letissier, who crossed the line ahead of Laure Galley in the Protos, said “we weren’t far off the photo finish”. All the skippers were unanimous in their praise of the dream conditions, the blue skies, the wind and the beautiful moon, which made for some fine performances. The same words come to mind: hyper intense, fast, no time for sleep or meals. Long tacks under Gennaker were the order of the day. Laure and Julien had studied the western option for the passage of the Chaussée de Sein, an option which surprised Race HQ with its audacity, but which paid off, with Laure’s 20 minute delay at this point turning into 20 seconds on the line. On the pontoons, the skippers discuss animatedly about their race, their equipment and their strategy. They go back over their race, smiling and happy with this 2023 edition. Marie Gendron, who rounded the mark in the lead, finished 3rd, after what she described as ‘a good 24-hour run’. This podium finish reflects the image of the class of 2023, with the level of Proto racing having risen sharply and enabling the skippers to enjoy some ‘contact’ racing. In the Series, the impressions are the same.

 

podium proto :

1-Julien Letissier, 1069,FRÉROT BRANCHET (1J 03H 05min 27s)

2-Laure galley, 1048, DMG MORI-ACADEMY 1 (1J 03H 05min 47s)

3-Marie Gendron, 1050, LÉA NATURE (1J 03H 44min 30s)

podium série :

1-Paul Cousin, 981, GROUPE BIOCOMBUSTIBLES (1J 04H 08min 30s)

2-Ulysse David, 1025, EQUANS (1J 04h 18min 51s)

3-Hugues De Prémare, 1033, TECHNIP-INTERNATIONAL-COATIN (1J 04H 19min 49s)

A fast race but nothing is decided yet

Less than 24 hours after the start, the leading competitors are already level with the Chaussée de Sein, whose passage is spicing up the race. The fleet is also approaching this point.

In the Proto class, the leading trio has remained constant since the start, with Laure Galley on 1048 DMG MORI SAILING, Julien Letissier on 1069 FRÉROTS BRANCHET and Marie Gendron on 1050 LÉA NATURE.

In the Series, the top three are currently Ulysse Davis on EQUANS, 1025; Hugues de Prémare on TECHNIP ENERGIES-INTERNATIONAL, 1033; Paul Cousin on GROUPE BIOCOMBUSTIBLE, 981.

The 882, skippered by Thomas Cornu, NAPADELIS, was forced to retire from the race.

(photo credit: Simon Jourdan)

A good start for the 19th  Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy

The start took place at the scheduled time: 13:00

Marie Gendron on 1050-Léa Nature was the first to round the clearing buoy one mile after the start line, and it is she who leads the fleet at the Raz de Sein after two hours of racing, neck and neck with 1048-DMG Mori skippered by Laure Galley.

Julien Letissier on 1069-Frerot Branchet has taken the lead over the production boats and is making 12 knots in the Bay of Audierne.

The 138 did not start.

The 984, 1067 and 945 dropped out.

After returning to Douarnenez, the 833 finally got back into the race.

 

On the eve of the start of the 19th Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy

84 boats are entered, 25 prototypes and 59 production boats. A dozen nationalities are represented. And only 11 women are in the starting blocks this year for this demanding race. The Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy is raced over 220 nautical miles along the south coast of Brittany, and you have to manage the little sleep you have, as well as your diet and hydration. It’s like a thirty-hour sprint.

From L to R: Annabelle Moreau, race director, Chantal Delangle Müller, volunteer coordinator and Laurent Balliet, Winches Club base manager.

This Wednesday, 15 volunteers (including around 10  from the Optimiste 29 association) are finalising the safety checks under the guidance of coordinator Chantal Delangle Müller, who has been in the job for 15 years. The inspectors check all the compulsory safety equipment aboard the boat before setting off on the race. There are around thirty checks to be carried out every day. And according to Chantal, everything’s going very well.

This week, Annabelle Moreau becomes the 2nd female director of an ocean race in France after Sylvie Vian, after twenty years as assistant director.

What’s her role?

Before the race:

– Validate the documents and race instructions with the race committee

– Apply for authorisations from the state authorities with the organiser (in this case the Winches Club)

-Deal with the safety issues inherent in the event

During the race:

Ensure safety on the water.

Race management is not about managing the sporting aspect of the event, which is the responsibility of the FFV referees.

Its mission is to ensure that the boats are safe and that everything runs smoothly on the water, and to work with the accompanying boats and, if necessary, the CROSS to deal with any incidents that may arise, in the hope, of course, that they don’t!

 

How’s the  19th Marie Agnès Péron Trophy  shaping up?

Rather sporty and fast, the weather conditions should be passable but rather rough. We’re expecting a steady north-easterly wind of 20-25 knots with gusts.

It’s going to be a fast race, perhaps even close to a record, with the routing predicting the first arrivals 24 hours after the start, i.e. around midday on Friday.In this year of mini-transatlantic races, there are a lot of new skippers and the fleet is fairly heterogeneous. That makes it a bit tricky to create the courses, because you have to think about the frontrunners as well as, and above all, the backrunners, the crossings, the zones and the weather. We mustn’t forget the backrunners.”

Gender diversity seems to be the big theme for the Mini class in 2023. What’s your opinion on this issue?

Co-education is an important theme. There’s no denying that women are undervalued and disadvantaged. Positive discrimination is a bit embarrassing for me, as I’m in favour of equality, but I think that an obligation is needed to get things into the mainstream. I’d rather be recognised for my skills than for my gender, obviously.

 

Laurence Balliet, aka “Lolo”, has been base manager of the Winches Club since November 2022. She’s no stranger to the Mini, having done a number of escorts and lined up at the start of the PLM earlier this year. “The weather was fine and the volunteers put in a lot of hard work, but there was a lot of support” is how she sums up this first race organisation in Douarnenez. “I’m trying to coordinate all the great energies as best I can and to take care of as many people as possible so that they themselves have as much energy as possible to take care of the Mini skippers. The Winches Club is very committed to sailing for all and this has a strong link with the Mini class, which is a gateway to ocean racing for all.”

Tonight’s weather briefing takes place at 18:00.

The start of the race is scheduled for tomorrow at 13:00.

 

Traduit  par www.abitrad.fr

A night finish under lightning!

Romain Legall first on the line

The first to cross the finish line of the MAP Trophy, at 4.11am under the lightning of a thunderstorm, was Romain Legall (Les optimistes-secours populaire 987) and he was very proud to have beaten the whole fleet of protos on his Maxi production boat!  Among the first to arrive, Arnaud Rambaud (Permis de construire Acieo 850) said “We had a squall at the beginning of the night when we passed the Chaussée de Sein, the 25 knots helped us to cross the Chaussée  against the current, it was good” before adding in agreement with Romain “The short races – 195 NM – like this one are the most difficult in terms of fatigue management, the fleet is very tight and we don’t have time to find a sleep rhythm. Arnaud, second in the Proto class, crossed the line at 5:14, 16 minutes after Laure Galley (DMG Mori 1048). This is Laure’s second victory, after her double victory in the Plastimo Lorient in mid-April, when she took over the brand new Maxi Raison barely two months ago. A very promising start…! With Julie Simon (DynaMIPS 963) in 3rd place in the series ranking, that makes two female podiums among the 13 skippers  present on the race.

 

Laure Galley
the two first proto early in the morning on the pontoon.

At 12:30, 24 boats out of 73 have arrived in Douarnenez. While the skippers are discussing the race over a coffee at the Maison du Nautisme, those still at sea are in a very light wind of maximum 5 knots. Indeed the fleet broke up a lot during the night. A good part of the Minis are already in the bay of Douarnenez with an average speed of 3 knots while the rest of the fleet is following erratic trajectories in the bay of Audierne, without wind. The finish line closes at 10pm, 18 hours after the first one arrived. Some of them will not be able to cross the line because of the lack of wind. But it’s only a postponement because the Mini-Fastnet starts in 10 days from Douarnenez and many of the competitors present at the MAP will also race in this legendary double-handed regatta!

Podium Series :

987 Les optimistes Secours Populaire 17 – Romain Legall – 04hr12

991 Sport dans la Ville Time for the Planet – Jean Marre – 05hr01

963 DynaMIPS – Julie Simon – 05hr03

De gauche à droite : Julie Simon, Romain Legall et Jean Marre

 

Prototype podium :

1048 DMG Mori Sailing Academy – Laure Galley – 04hr58

850 Acieo Permis de Construire – Arnaud Rambaud – 05hr14

759 Layline – Uros Krasevac – 5hr27

De gauche à droite : Uros Krasevac, Laure Galley et Arnaud Rambaud

 

Until now, the regatta is quiet

The MAP Trophy is going according to plan in light winds. Apart from a torn mainsail a few hours after the start of the race, there are no new retirements to report and the gap between the first and the last (Friday afternoon) has increased by about thirty nautical miles.

That said, the whole fleet remained relatively compact until Friday morning. At around 08:00, a group of about 10 boats is stuck to the north of Groix Island, probably without wind and victim of the current, while the others have already gone around the island and are starting the return journey. Romain Legall, who competed in the Mini-Transat 2021 is leading the race, ahead of the whole fleet. He is followed by Titouan Quiviger on the 1009 Biscuit, new in the Mini class. Among the prototypes, the lead is between Arnaud Rambaud on the 850- ACIERO, Uros  Kraevac on the 759 and Laure Galley on the new 1048-DMG.

Titouan Quiviger sur le 1009

“The weather is good for a first solo race, as it is for many of the competitors, it allows us to see how the newcomers negotiate the light winds and for them, to avoid breakages” announces Didier Cozic, race referee. The first competitors are expected  at midnight on Friday night, and will have to sail upwind in a wind which rises from the north to 15 knots in Audierne Bay in the late afternoon and drops off at the end of the night. The skippers will have the current against them as they pass through the Raz de Sein  and some stormy squalls are still expected. The end of the race may hold some surprises!

cover photo: sunrise on Groix Island by Yves Chenot

 

 

 

A good start without any recalls, in 10 knots west

The 76 skippers  arrived at the start line at 15:00 and had a good start without any recalls. However, the start was not without mishap, with two collisions and three withdrawals.  The weather is quite unstable in the bay of Douarnenez, the wind changes in strength and direction all the time and is not easy to anticipate for the skippers. Julie Simon on the 963, rigged her gennaker, thinking she was going abeam  in a light wind, and finally found herself upwind in a strengthening wind, 15 minutes before the start! The sea breeze picked up shortly before 15:00 and the start was made in 10 knots of westerly wind. The group that had chosen to go south took advantage of the wind coming from the left and a little stronger due to the coast effect. Two and a half hours after the start, there’s about an hour’s gap between the first in the series, Romain Legall on 987-Secours Populaire and the last. Federico Sampei on the DMG 1046 prototype, returned to port with an autopilot problem after crossing the line, but quickly returned to the race and caught up with the rest of the fleet. Amongst the prototypes, Anne-Gaëlle Gourdin on the 679 is in front, followed by Uro Graevac on the 759. The average speed, 3 hours after the start, varies between 2.5 knots and 6 knots, the whole fleet being on starboard tack. The leaders passed  the Raz de Sein at the time of the tide turning, 3hr30 after the start, and took advantage of the current.

At the pre-race briefing in the morning, Jean-Jacques Quéré, the weather expert  who is following the race, summarised clearly: “Despite a variable light wind, watch out for stormy squalls which may occur from the end of Thursday night until the end of the race“. The first boats are expected to arrive on Friday evening at around 21:00 and the bulk of the fleet should arrive on Friday night. To be continued!

A live video of the start, made by offshore socialclub can be seen here : VIDEO

 

 

A light wind announced for the MAP 2022

Scheduled on Thursday, June 2nd at 15:00, the start of the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy is getting closer! While the volunteers of the Winches Club are busy with the last safety checks of the Mini 6.50 and the preparation of the welcome drink, the skippers  have collected their beacons and the race instructions and are finalizing the last preparations. Alice Valiergue, sociologist, on the 589 Walaby series,  finishes repairing her bowsprit and laughing, declares “I have a small budget but I like the adrenalin that Mini races bring“. Boat number to be glued back on, cracked waterproof container, faulty electrical wiring, everyone has their own little technical problem. The biggest problems, such as water ingress, mean that the skippers have to withdraw at the last minute. Course n°1 has been approved by the Race Committee, so it will be the complete course to Les Birvideaux that the 78 skippers will have to follow, ready now to present themselves on the start line.

The MAP course

The weather is looking rather calm and according to the afternoon forecast of the 1st June, the skippers will have to play with a variable light to moderate wind from the North. “In spite of the light weather, we shouldn’t be slack on the stowing, to maintain a good trim of the boat throughout the course” announces Hugo Zeitoun on his new Series scow, Raison maxi 650 n° 1043, who is planning the Mini-Transat in 4 years. The arrivals are estimated for Friday night, from around midnight for the first prototype until midday on Saturday and the results will be officially announced at 17:00 on Saturday at the Maison du Nautisme.

Arnaud Rambaud, of the proto 850 and Servane Clouet of the series 824 help each other out.

 

Le 18th Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy begin under the sun

Under sunny skies, on the pontoons of the port of Tréboul, the skippers are busy on their boats with final preparations. 85 boats are expected on the starting line of the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy on June 2nd and the weather seems to be more clement than for the Mini en Mai, a regatta starting from La Trinité which ended on May 20th and during which the skippers were often upwind in a good twenty knots. Among the skippers present for the Marie-Agnès Péron Trophy, several countries are represented: Switzerland, England, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, Slovenia, Ireland, Belgium but also the United States, Japan and Canada.

Laure Galley’s proto 1048, undergoing a capsize recovery test

Of the 85 skippers, 15% are women, including Julie Simon, winner of the Pornichet Select. The average age of the competitors is around thirty but there is a big gap between the youngest, Marco Varray, aged 16 and the oldest, aged 65!

Caroline Boule’s proto 1067 in front of Tristan Island for rig testing.

There are also a good fifteen prototypes, including the last one to come out of the shipyard, which will be racing for the first time: the 1067, named Bill and skippered by Caroline Boule. It is equipped, among other things, with a curved asymmetrical boom and a new hull shape.  There are discussions, exchanges and help from each other on the pontoons, while waiting to compete on the water in a few days.

 

You can follow the race live with the following link: https://solusport.solustop.com/map/carto