Once upon a time, a small UFO sailed better and better. This small 22-foot called Kamikaz managed to pull off fourth place in the famous ‘Battle of the Hulls’, which took place over the 17, 18 and 19 May in the South of Martinique, between St Anne and Marin, organized by Open the Barre.
Six youngsters believed in themselves and stuck at it, completing all the legs of the Martinique Cruisers Championship, and as many regattas as possible. On this small boat, they didn’t give up, despite the old sails which tore. All their energy and good humor and teamwork pushed them forward. They are: Skipper Aymeric (20 yrs old), and crewmembers Graziella (18), Sébastien (16), Kevin (18), Pierric (15) and Jonathan (19).
They told us about their race: “The first day was a long one (Thursday 17)—
we had a lot of racing to do. Leaving Marin towards the Bay of St Anne, we had a windward buoy, then we had to round Diamond Rock where we were a long way in front, thanks to our good reaching speed; but the wind shift created by Diamond Rock tormented us and slowed us down. Afterwards, we had to aim for another buoy at Anse du Ceron, go back towards Diamond and finally return to St Anne after a long, tiring beat. Leaving at midday, we reached at 4pm in 5th place. »
The funniest was the Surprise Regatta: each crew had a member who sailed on an Optimist. The course was in front of the Dunette Hotel in St Anne. At the beginning, each had a tray with two glasses; one with grenadine, the other with mint. The skipper needed to complete the course with at least one full glass. “I pushed so hard, with my 1m85 frame, that it was hard to keep things in order,” Sebastien said, “and to keep the glass full and balanced. I really tried hard and I managed to finish second. It was good fun.”
“On the second day, (Friday) there was a windward/leeward and triangle course. Despite some bad starts and torn sails, Kamikaz managed to get through. Sails had to be repaired in between races, on the dock at St Anne under a fierce sun. The genoa had a tear over a meter long. It was our mentor Eric Baray who measured up to the task and managed to sow and tape enough for us to continue. We finished fifth,” said Graziella.
On the third and final day, “the morning regatta was an Olympic triangle, with 15 knots and calm seas. We were third on elapsed time behind Clipper and Wind, when we seized the opportunity on the second race to go ahead and finish first on elapsed time. We were even congratulated by our rivals. The very last course was long and choppy because of the Atlantic waves and the strong current off Cabri Island. In the evening, after an ‘open bar’ aperitif, there was a pleasant prize giving and a good evening of music.
The Battle of the Hulls Regatta, (Combat de Coques in French) is a pun on ‘coque’ (hull) and Coqs (cock), meaning a cockfight. It alludes to the cockfights in Martinique which often take place—bloody duels and frenetic betting. It is organized by the Open the Barre Association, which was created eight years ago with the aim of transforming each regatta into a sociable moment, which was certainly the case here. This boat has a good roster, including a first place in the 2006 Round Martinique non-stop race. The President is Lionel Baud, who is surrounded by an active team including Nadine Massaly and others. The Battle of the Hulls was a success according to the crews of the 24 boats who took part. Principal partners included the Yacht Club, the Marin Office of Tourism and the Dunette Hotel in St Anne.
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Racing Cruising Class :
1 LEDUFF HAMELIN