Perfect sailing conditions @ La Baule during the Voile de légende.
written by Rudy den Outer on August 5 of 2023 and read by 212
Fleet at the 2023 Europeans in Warnemunde
Pepe Hartmann - Warnemunde
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This event is build around classic yachts like 6 and 8 metre types but in special the Pen Duick yachts 1, 2, 3, and 5 of French sailing legend Éric Tabarly. Beside racing these yachts are also on display in Le Pouliquen harbor for the public in the evening.
As side events the Requin class had their national championship and the Soling their annual offshore races from Pornichet harbor.
Four races were completed with a fleet of eight boats. The races started with a nice breeze of 12kn from the North-West slowly increasing to 17kn. The team of FRA 164 François Gombeaud (for all names see the result section) had good speed and sailed tactical wise and took second places in the first two races before developing halyard issues. Also the FRA 182 of Yves Allain and company. On the new boat of Marc Lefevre are less toothing issues and the boat is on song now.
In the third race FRA 198 the team of Jean-Marie Le Guillou went to the beach on port and took a huge lead over NED 37. In the second beat NED 37 was forced on starboard tack since most systems in the boat were blocked by a entangled mainsheet while FRA 198 went to the breach again. When the issues were solved in NED 37 the wind shifted over an unpredicted 20 degrees and they passed the unlucky French team.
During the last race the wind picked up even more to above 20kn. NED 37 was in the lead at the last offset mark when their spinnaker halyard came loose from the kite. First attempt to secure victory was to use the spinnaker pole to square the jib. But FRA 182 and 208 were gaining fast. The second attempt to save the day was to use the jib halyard for the spinnaker. But still the French boats were gaining. So the decision was made to keep the kite up the reach to the finish and hope for the best. It was a very tight reach and NED 37 could not make the finish line so the kite was tripped in order to shoot the line. With not much to spare NED 37 with only the main full stayed in front of the in storming French teams lead by FRA 182.
On Friday evening all Soling teams gathered for a nice dinner in Pornichet.
We like to thank the French Soling Association for their great hospitality and friendship and the Yacht Club de La Baule with the team of Helene Prud'homme for the great management of the races.
We hope to see you all in La Baule next year for the Vintage Yachting Games and the 21st edition of the Voiles de légende.
Finally from here the Soling sailors like to wish Gernot Heller a quick recovery from his racing injury.
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