More than four months after the arrival of the Route du Rhum, 15 competing sailboats were still honoring Guadeloupe with their presence, so why not organize a regatta over the Lent weekend on the ‘island of beautiful waters’? This was exactly the question that was posed—and was answered in the most beautiful possible manner by Philippe Chevalier and Luc Coquelin on the 24 and 25 of March, 2007.
There and back from Gosier to Marie Galante on Saturday, Gosier to Les Saintes on Sunday, with a dozen boats registered and some sixty local ‘freelance’ crew signed up for the occasion, the logistical support of the Triskell Association, wind, sun… such was the ideal cocktail for these two days of sailing.
Michel Malinowski, present for the prize giving, paid homage to this rare event. A crewmember on the trimaran Région Guadeloupe, he was the leader of the first Route du Rhum in 1978 up until Basse-Terre before being pipped at the finish line by barely two minutes by Mike Birch, and won’t forget the strong sensations aboard the ‘engine’ of Claude Thelier, a formidable machine that seems to make wind.
With Gilles Lamiré having been held back in Martinique at the last minute aboard the trimaran Madinina, only the multicolored sails of Région Guadeloupe lit up their category, but made for a great spectacle, especially in rallying from Gosier to Terre de Haut in one hour, 27 minutes during the third leg.
In the IRC monohull class (45 and 50 foot), Luc Coquelin excelled at the helm of his ketch Cap Guadeloupe 971, carrying off three of the four legs. Régis Guillemot had to return to Martinique before completing the return stage to the Saints, but nevertheless kept second place in the overall standings thanks notably to his victory in the first leg. Philippe Chevalier closed out the podium placings on his Cigale 16 Antilles-Sail.com.
In the Monohull Class 40, five boats who had taken part in the Route du Rhum battled it out head to head. Victory went to Destination Calais who beat off Nous Entreprenons and Cinephil.com. Fnaim and Jardin Bio completed the list.
Competitors agreed unanimously that the Marina Bas du Fort Open was a success ; “two dream days” said some, thanks to the dynamism of the Capitainerie, the Triskell Association and the work of Luc Coquelin and Chantal Foligné on the project.
Overall Standings :
Monohull Class 40
Cap Guadeloupe 971
Regis Guillemot Charter
AOI Solidarité Dentaire