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News from Guadeloupe - Oct 07

Triskell Cup Opens Guadeloupe’s Sailing Year :  November 2, 3, & 4

The opening regatta of the sailing year, the Triskell Cup has become a distinctive event in the Caribbean, in the image of the Heineken Regatta or Antigua Sailing Week. Created by the Triskell Association in 2001, this sailing event has a single aim—to get people out on the water in a spirit of conviviality.  From 31 participants in its first edition in 2001 to 83 in 2006, the objective of 100 boats is expected for 2007. The 2006 edition got together 510 crew members on the water (including 120 Martiniquais sailors) to add to the 60 volunteers on land who help shoulder this event.

Today, the event is recognized as one of the big French Caribbean Regattas, and is characterized by the great diversity of participants. It is gradually taking on an international flavor, with Martiniquais, Antigua, St Maarten and Trinidad crews being joined by those from Metropolitan France, Italy, Holland, and Guyana. Its ‘notoriety’ is creating an added interest among potential competitors for next year.

Caribbean Team Competes at World Ocean Kayak Racing Cup 2007

Ocean Kayak Racing: this kayak discipline is still little known among the Guadeloupean public, but has been practiced for years overseas and has already crowned some of our locals champion. This year, once again, they shone in South Africa.

The Place: Durban (South Africa)
Date: 26 June to 1st July
The challenge:  Sprint: relay in teams of four (each kayaker completes two 3km stages) and Long distance: 30 kms, individual and team placings
Number of participants: 350

For the second time, a Caribbean team took part in the World Ocean Kayak Racing Cup. Having finished sixth last year, just behind the USA, the Caribbean team left for Durban with the intention of doing even better.  This year, if the ocean conditions were very calm for the sprint on the 30th June, they were more challenging for the 30km race: three meter swell and wind at 35-45 knots. The organizers even had to bring forward the challenge to early morning because the forecast was due to worsen during the morning. The race was quickly completed, with ‘runs’ in the surf recorded at 35km, meaning that the 30kms were knocked off by the better paddlers in less than 1hr40mins.

The podium was once again dominated by the Southern Hemisphere: 1. Oscar Chalupsky (South Africa) 2. Hank MacGregor (South Africa) 3. Dean Gardiner (Australia).

The Caribbean team included two members of the CNBT team, Ludovic Gouffran and Franck Fifils. In such heavy conditions, our representatives managed to do their best, with 20th position for Franck in the Senior Class and 7th place for Ludovic in the Under-21 Class. Add to these the good position of Stuart Knaggs from St Martin in the Masters Class, and you have a pleasant surprise for the team in the cup: the Caribbean Team placed third overall behind South Africa and Australia.

This performance is a payback for all the hard work put in during the last two years in the Caribbean in this new discipline, which is developing across all the islands – Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St Martin, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago.

International Summer Cup

From the 18th to the 25th August, the International Summer Cup (CIE) took place on Serre-Poncon Lake (Hautes-Alpes), in which the Guadeloupean Optimist team took part. This competition was organized by the Alpine Sailing Club, which brought together 400 Optimists divided into several categories, Benjamin Open, Minime Open, Minime D2, Benjamin D1 and Minime D1.

Racing took place in the afternoon because the wind didn’t pick up until around 1.30pm and never got above 10 knots. The wind was shifty and variable in strength because of the mountainous terrain. On this lake, choices were essential; every sailor had to be in the right place at the right time. Above all, sailors had to avoid the extremes (the suicidal channels), either far left or far right, since a wind shift could be catastrophic.

The Benjamins D1 really wanted to bring the title home to Guadeloupe and results were very encouraging.  Antoine Lefort and Arthur Fortune were consistent, finishing in the top five on every stage, Swann Hayewski, who was one year younger than the rest, took fourth place just two points behind third place. Not to forget young Merik, who had never taken part in a competition and finished in 73rd place, his aim being to gain more experience.

In the Minimes D1 Class, there were only two representatives, with the rest of the team sailing nowadays in the other classes (Laser, Hobie Cat). Their aim was to get into the top 10 but the conditions were not favorable, with between 2 and 8 knots. In Minime D1, German, Swiss and English delegations were represented. Next year, they will take part in the World Championship Qualifiers and the European Qualifiers in La Rochelle. Simon finished 32nd (the 21st Frenchman) and Jeremy 38th (24th Frenchman).

At the end of the competition, a special race was organized (400 Optimists on the same start line) with a ‘greyhound start’ (all the fleet is on starboard tack behind an Optimist on port (the hare)). The winner of the race was the Guadeloupean Swann Hayewski who beat the other 400. Overall, the team was very satisfied with their week and the quality of the results, as well as with the atmosphere. Bring on next year!!

Benjamin D1:
LEFORT Antoine: 1st
FORTUNE Arthur: 2nd
HAYEWSKI Swann: 4th
REGNAULT Mérik: 73rd

Minime D1
LEFORT Simon: 32nd
FORTUNE Jérémy: 38th

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