The 41st World Tempest Championships took place in Martinique between 25 October and 2 November, 2006. Six nationalities were represented: French being the majority, with 22 boats in total of which 13 were Martiniquais and 9 from other metropolitan provinces. Europe was also well represented, with three Swiss boats, two German, three English, one Polish and one Dutch. The level of competition was stiff and was open to mixed and female crews. Worthy of note was the performance of Femmes et Sport with Regine Pam and Evelyne Leclerck, who managed to place ahead of the Swiss crew Va Bene, despite late registration.
The Tempest has navigational qualities similar to those of a dinghy, with the steadiness of a keelboat. Thanks to its sail plan and spinnaker, the Tempest allows sailors to reach impressive speeds. Its keel is equipped with lead ballast, but looks like a dinghy centerboard. Navigation is astonishing because of its light displacement. It is easy to helm: maneuvers are controlled along the length of the tiller. The Tempest is fantastic, sensitive to the touch like a dinghy, and rapidly able to plane.
Like great white seagulls, the 32 Tempests took flight over the blue waters of Fort De France Bay on October 28. The weather was fine, a light breeze was blowing… and from the start, these astonishing sports keelboats skimmed rapidly over the Caribbean sea, which shimmered in the magnificent Baie des Flamands.
Whether during the light winds of Saturday, or the 30 knots of Sunday, the French duo on Super Doudou won the first four stages, followed by the Swiss boat Foca—and the last five stages confirmed their dominance. Philippe Boite and Regis Viateur were crowned World Tempest Champions, followed by the Swiss Foca and the German boats Fever und Ei and Conception. Our Martinique champion, Reha Team came in fifth place, Alain Lhotaut and Albert-Paul Jean-Charles. Participants were rewarded with a magnificent evening’s entertainment, with prizes awarded to all: ‘Fastest crew, youngest, oldest, best placed female.’ This good-humored event was supported by the CMT: Comite Martiniquais de Tourisme.
The Martinique Yacht Club organized the event, and it must be noted that the Tempest came to Martinique thanks to the MYC. Since September 2003, the Caribbean Tempest Association has been managed by the Martinique regatta-lovers ; the fleet has counted 15 Tempests, which explains the impressive number of Martinique participants. The President is Philippe Volny-Anne, who participated in the championship on Larimar with Jean Marc Laurent.