Displaying items by tag: France
Team Portugal were crowned European Surfing Champions at the final day of Eurosurf 2011 in Bundoran yesterday.
It's the first time the Portuguese have held the title since 1997, which is also when the event was last hosted in the Co Donegal seaside town.
Portugal won three of the seven different categories, with two second-place finishes, one third place and one fourth.
Their surfers fought tooth and nail in a week of competition that was dominated by France, who made a bold statement of intent on the opening day by scoring eight out of the best 15 waves - and led the pack until the closing sessions.
Meanwhile Team Ireland did not finish too badly, placing a respectable sixth in the final tally.
Ashleigh Smith made the biggest mark for the Irish, being narrowly beaten into second place in the women's bodyboarding division by Portugal's Catarina Sousa.
“We’ve been delighted with how the week has gone for Eurosurf," said Eurosurf press officer Shane Smyth. "If we were to draw up a blueprint for a surf competition considering waves, weather and organisation we would have nailed it."
The BBC News website also has an image gallery of the week's action HERE.
Ships off Ireland's south and west coasts have been asked by the French coastguard to keep a lookout for a yachtsman who has gone missing on a transatlantic voyage.
In a report that has echoes of missing yacht The Golden Eagle - which sailed into Kerry after an Atlantic crossing from Bermuda many days after schedule - RTÉ News says that the 12-metre yacht La Galatee left French Guiana on 5 August sailing for St Malo in France, but the French coastguard has lost contact with the vessel.
No air and sea searches are being considered at this time, but Irish Coast Guard stations are broadcasting alerts and requests for sightings of the yacht.
French government support of marina projects will see the creation of an extra 4,000 berths this year.
IBI PLus reports that nine marinas out of 25 submissions have been chosen to benefit from the government's funding of the Ports de Plaisance Exemplaires (Exemplary Marinas) project, which aims for the sustainable development of new marina spaces.
So far the French government has spent €1.7 million on studies in support of the project, through which some 9,000 berths are already set to be created via the 2009 and 2010 winners.
France currently hosts 466 marinas and a capacity of more than 170,000 berths, which falls far short of the demands of the country's five million boaters.
IBI PLus has more on the story HERE.
Ireland will be represented by two sailing teams in the 49er class at Hyères, France next week. The South of France venue is all set to host the Semaine Olympique Française, the fourth regatta on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
Both teams of Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern and Ed Butler and Ben Lynch will compete in the high performance double handed class. The aim is qualification for the London Olympics next year.
There will be no other Irish Olympic squad presence in Hyeres.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup has seen some excellent racing in the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Events at Sail Melbourne in December, US SAILING'S Rolex Miami OCR in January and the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE at the start of April.
The world's most experienced sailor's preparations for next year's Olympic Sailing Competition are well underway and competition in this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup has been tense. The 2011 Semaine Olympique Française should be no exception.
Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) will be making the trip to France to sail in his third ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta this season. With victories in the Men's RS:X in Miami and Palma the Dutchman leads the Standings with 40 points.
His nearest rival, Nick Dempsey (GBR) on 37 points, won't be making the trip to Hyères but with World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and World #2 Piotr Myszka (POL) set to compete, van Rijsselberge will have his work cut out to maintain his perfect record so far.
Just like van Rijsselberge, Spain's Marina Alabau has a perfect record in the Women's RS:X. She won the Rolex Miami OCR and Princess Sofia to lead Charline Picon (FRA) by four points.
Alabau's rivals in the Standings will have a chance to overtake her throughout the week as she won't be sailing in Hyères. Despite Alabau's absence, the field boasts ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon (ESP), World #2 Bryony Shaw (GBR) and current holder of third place in the Women's RS:X Standings Laura Linares (ITA).
At the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE Paul Goodison (GBR), Nick Thompson (GBR) and Tom Slingsby (AUS) all went into the Laser Medal Race with a chance of victory. Goodison came out on top of the three in Palma and all will be sailing against each other again in Hyères.
Thompson and Goodison lead the Laser Standings on 38 points with Slingsby third on 37 points.
World #1 and current 49er ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings leaders Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch are one of the 65 crews set to compete in Hyéres. The Austrians won Sail Melbourne and came third in Palma.
Princess Sofia winners Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA) will also sail in their home regatta alongside Erik Storck and Trevor Moore (USA) and Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith (GBR).
Forty crews will sail the Star in Hyéres. Amongst the fleet will be the experienced Brazilian duo of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, last year's Star ISAF Sailing World Cup silver medallists Andy Horton and James Lyne (USA) and World #3 Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy (GER).
The Women's Match Racing Competition has served up some excellent head to head sailing thus far with four points separating the top four in the Standings.
Sally Barkow (USA) leads with 38 points, Claire Leroy (FRA) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) are joint second on 37 points and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) is fourth on 34 points.
Of the top four only Tunnicliffe won't be making the trip to Hyères, and with World #2 Nicky Souter (AUS) and World #3 Lucy Macgregor (GBR) also set to attend the competition is wide open.
Christophe Bullens celebrates his arrival in Cape Town as he finishes the first Ocean Sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans, from La Rochelle onboard his boat Five Oceans of Smiles Too.
Five Oceans of Smiles Too Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com
The former Belgian national sailing champion and tank commander in the Belgian army, now runs a yacht charter business. Christophe's boat is named Five Ocean of Smiles after the Smiles charity, which supports 'children who are HIV positive.
The Velux 5 Oceans is the oldest single-handed round the world yacht race which was first held in 1982. The race is the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. The race is a series of five ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation that covers a 30,000 mile route. The race started in France at La Rochelle with the first leg ending in Cape Town. The following stages go on to Wellington, Salvador, Charleston and back to La Rochelle for the finish.
The 44 skippers get ready for Leg 3 of the Solitaire du Figaro in a surprisingly sunny and warm Brest while hundreds of supporters crowd the race village and the pontoons. Tomorrow at 14.00 they will leave Brittany for a challenging new leg up to the Channel, the Celtic Sea, the famous Fastnet Rock and the stunning village of Kinsale, where they return after a 13 years long absence. 349 miles of close and demanding racing, in strong currents, choppy seas and stiff breeze. Plus some accurate strategy towards the finish. The game is not over and many are hunting for glory.
Skippers and shore teams are giving the final touches to the 44 Figaro II that tomorrow at 14.00 will leave Brest for 349 miles of pure competition to Kinsale.
After leaving Brest and the bay of Camaret, the fleet will sail back up the Four channel which may prove difficult due to weak winds, swell and cross currents. The Molène archipelago and the isle of Ushant will have to be left to port side, the Four channel will be left off the reefs of the Portsall plateau leaving the cardinal mark west Grande Basse de Portsall to port side.
The second part of the leg will take the fleet across the Channel, approximately 90 miles to the Cornish coast, marked by Wolf Rock to be left imperatively to port side. The direct route will take the 44 skippers to sail between the Scilly Isles and Land's End. The 165-mile long sail up the Celtic sea will take the fleet to round the mythical Fastnet lighthouse, which will have to be left to starboard before heading East. The last stretch of around 45 nautical miles will surely be very hard for the tired sailors who will have to make use of their last energies to get to Kinsale, finish of leg 3, where the race has not returned to since its 28th edition in 1997. If this leg is the shortest, it certainly will not be the easiest. The passage along the coast of Finistère and the long and complex route from the Fastnet to Kinsale will no doubt be the hardest parts of this leg to negotiate.
According to the latest weather bulletin issued by Meteo France expert Sylvain Mondon the skippers will have to deal with a first part relatively good as far as wind is concerned, with a south westerly breeze of 10/14 knots that will accompany them to the Scilly. The wind will later strengthen due to a front hovering over the area and the sea state will be particularly hard to tackle.
Apart form the French stars such as Le Cleac'h, Gabart, Rouxel, Beyou or the best placed female skipper Jeanne Gregoire and the first rookie Anthony Marchand, the international skippers are also ready to fight for a "personal best" in Leg 3 or to take their revenge after somehow disappointing performances. So far the top spot among the non-French goes to expert Swiss Bernard Stamm (who is is also third placed in the newcomers special ranking, racing his first Solitaire ever) in 18th, French/German Isabelle Joschke is 28th, Italian Pietro D'Alì is 31st, Portoguese Francisco Lobato is 38th and unlucky Briton Jonny Malbon, who suffered an autopilot failure in Leg 2 and was forced to steer for three days, is in last position but ready to strike back.
Kinsale will welcome the 2010 Solitaire du Figaro for the 19th time in the 41-year history of the race. Kinsale still is the location to have hosted the highest number of legs of the race. No doubt the skippers will be eager to discover or rediscover this charming village, which has so strongly marked the life of the event.
Quotes from the skippers in Brest, at midpoint in the 2010 Solitaire
Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat)
"From a racing standpoint it's an average performance, I'm 18th, at mid fleet. I still make so many different mistakes, I guess I'm still far from the leaders' level but it does not come as a surprise. I find what I came looking for and I'm pretty satisfied, all considered. In the second leg I made a huge strategical error after Penmarch, that could have been even more costly. I didn't in the first leg, just had some speed issues and lost ground. I'm enjoying this close racing very much, it's funny to have always someone next to you. It's useful to keep learning, I'll try to keep the faults to a minumim and go up in the general ranking.
I would like to do more but the schedule for the 60' is already quite intense, the Figaro is not for amateurs , it's also physically very demanding, it's fun but hard."
Jeanne Grégoire (Banque Populaire)
"You have to suffer, in the Solitaire. Hurt yourself on the first leg is ok... but in the second one I really had to push to the limits to get closer to the top. This is what I did, worked hard, slept very little but still tried to think on the long term. And the leg was shorter. Everyone tells me that I'm in top form but I feel as usual, maybe I'm a bit sad because I miss my little one a lot (Jeanne had to skip last year's Solitaire to give birth to a baby girl ed. note) when I'm ashore. I could go home for a while and see her. I feel ok and my position suits me all right, five minutes from the fourth (Jérémie Beyou) but I only have a 30 minutes lead on the 14th, need to be on the lookout."
Romain Attanasio (Savéol)
"The third leg looks promising: at least we will have wind! But I'm wary, the shortest could be the trickiest. You will have to take a good start, deal with the contrary current, be in the leading group to the Scilly, then choose the right option in the Celtic Sea, tacking upwind. And watch out for the last 50 miles along the Irish coast, I hope we won't meet all together again in front of the finish line like it happened in Dingle. Experience show us that anything can happen up there. I find this year the technical level of the so called rookies is incredibly high. In the past being in the Top Ten was a big success, today being among the first half of the fleet is a feat! It takes twelve months for the young sailors to learn what we acquired in ten years!"
Reminder of the key dates:
- LE HAVRE
Suzuki Prologue: Sunday 25th July
Start of the 1st leg: Tuesday 27th July
- GIJON (515 miles)
Start of the 2nd leg: Tuesday 3rd August
- BREST (385 miles)
Start of the 3rd leg: Monday 9th August
- KINSALE (349 miles)
Expected arrival of the boats: Wednesday 11th August
Start of the 4th leg: Monday 16th August
- CHERBOURG-OCTEVILLE (435 miles)
Expected arrival of the boats: Thursday 19th August
Closing Parade: Sunday 22nd August
Preparing for La Solitaire du Figaro hereLatest news for La Solitaire du Figaro here
An tSciocháin, a 1956 Bounty ll, crewed by five volunteers from the Crosshaven Lifeboat and skippered by Pat Fagan was the sole Irish entry in La Coupe des TROIS Phares that departed Crosshaven for France at the weekend.
An tSciocháin is skipperd by Pat Fagan with crew members Brendan Fagan, Pat Harris, Alan Barton and Gus O’Donovan
The competitors crossed the start line at the mouth of the harbour between the committee boat and the E4 mark under National Race Officer, Richard Leonard assisted by RCYC Admiral Paddy McGlade writes Claire Bateman.
The event is a long-range cruising-race the classic yachts from The organisers say the
The organisers say thecruising race is a unique possibility to join common efforts: yachts clubs, sailors and classic yachts lovers.
With a northerly wind and an ebbing tide (PHOTOS BELOW) the sailors were wise in being a little bit shy of the line but with spinnakers hoisted off they went and made a pretty sight as they headed out into the open sea watched by spectator boats including the Crosshaven Inshore Lifeboat. returning from exercise. The fleet was accompanied by their mother ship Notre Dame des Slots and other vessels.
There was a very nice gesture from the competitors as each yacht saluted and thanked the Race Officer as they passed the committee boat.
No doubt many of the boats had stories attaching to them but none more so than the yacht Pen Duick ll formerly owned by the late Éric Tabarly and now in the ownership of the École Nationale de Voile. Monsieur Tabarly, a former French Naval Officer was often known as the father of French sailing.
It has been a very enjoyable week for both the Competitors and the Royal Cork Yacht Club concluding with a dinner in their honour last evening (Fri) complete with traditional Irish entertainment consisting of music and dancing with the French visitors joining in with gusto. The partying went on until the early hours of the morning. Many friends were made and there is expectation they will return again to the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 2012.
Pat Fagan's 'An tSiochain' departs Cork Harbour for France. Photos: Bob Bateman
More Photos on the Gallery HERE