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Non Stop Around Martinique Race – The Record Falls

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The Around Martinique Regatta for cruising boats, by the north without stopovers organized by the Club Nautique Le Neptune took place on the 3rd and 4th of February. Weather conditions, with a 25 knot East North Easterly wind and slightly agitated sea, were favorable for the breaking of the seven-year-old course record.

A windy squall accompanied the 24 competitors from the start, allowing them to cross Fort de France Bay at speed under spinnaker. After a classic regrouping in the windless areas in front of the ‘Precheur’, a new race began just up to La Caravelle which Regis Guillemot Charter, Anatole and Figueres Services crossed in the lead. Crews resisted the assaults from oncoming swell in order to relish the long, unbroken surfing down the Atlantic coast. Three crews abandoned, including the 45 trimaran Drabenec, which was going for Anne Caseneuve’s Multihull record. At dawn, Claude Vatran, president of the race committee, recorded the staggered arrivals of competitors, tired but delighted by a full moon night unlike the others.

Regis Guillemot Charter (a Route du Rhum monohull) in Racing Class, beat the record by 9 minutes, establishing a new yardstick for monohulls: 13hrs, 21 mins, 33 seconds, pocketing 1,000 Euros donated by CN Neptune in the process, which the skipper sportingly donated to the club for the staff who had warmly aided competitors.

Particular praise goes to Clippers Ship (Surprise) in Racing Cruising 2, which beat off second place by over an hour in an exceptional time of 15 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.

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Racing :

  1. Carène Shop, Lefebvre Jean-Luc
  2. Open the Barre, Chemina Yves
  3. ASCE DDE, Piget Philippe

Racing Cruising 1 :

  1. Gibol II, Laborde M.
  2. Yanican, Lemaistre JL
  3. Talios, Toubere E.

Racing Cruising 2 :

  1. Clippers Ship, Gillet Nicolas
  2. Silmaril, Ledeist Yves
  3. Wind, Villain-Amirat Arthur

Spotlight on Clippers Ship

If the Non-Stop race is a particularly emotional race, this 2007 edition will remain even more so in people’s memories with two new records. If the overall record of 13hours, 21seconds was set by the Open 50 Hallucine, from Regis Guillemot, the performance of the Surprise ‘Clippers Ship’ was truly hallucinating. Having recently come into the fold of the dynamic Surprise Class, yet led by one of the most promising skippers in the Department, Nicolas Gillet, the Clippers Ship crew was more than willing to elaborate on their impressions:

“Having remained in touch with our competitors just as far as Schoelcher, we were the only to go for an offshore option, which paid off by allowing us to carry the Spinnaker as far as Carbet, and to arrive in front of the Precheur ahead in order to negotiate the shifts around Abymes. Having passed La Perle, the strong swells from the Dominica channel, coupled with a sustained breeze, encouraged us to stay away from the coast, looking for a cleaner sea offshore and the eventual arrival of a lift from the full moon.

Once again, the option paid off, since we rounded Caravelle rock accompanied by a B28 (Racing Class). The rounding of the rock is always a great deliverance on this race; with the beginning of the downwind surf, however we checked our position and took 20 minutes to restore our energy and tidy the boat before launching ourselves into the descent towards the south. Then, everything went very quickly as far as Vauclin with 11 knot surfs, with one reef in the mainsail. Things really became serious with the launch of the spinnaker in a wind that had risen to 30 knots. The boat really took off in surfs up to 15 knots, never falling below 10 knots. Having slowed slightly at Salines, we accelerated again into a long, organized sea. One hour exactly was all it took to reach the Diamond, at an average of 12 knots, with the needle reaching 18 knots at times. We finally reached the competitors in the Racing Class at Anses d’Arlets, but they reasserted themselves in the passage between Cap Salomon and Fort de France Bay.”

All in all, an exceptional time of 15h40 for a 7meter 45 boat, and a joy of sailing both suggest a brilliant future for this young crew.

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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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