Tour de France rehearsal at this weekend's Grand Prix Atlantique
  • Diam 24
April 16, 2015

From Friday to Sunday, the bay of La Baule will turn into a sailing arena for the Grand Prix Atlantique. Around two dozen Diam 24 trimarans will be in Pornichet for the second event of 2015, including some of the best sailing teams around. After winning the Spi Ouest-France a fortnight ago in La Trinité-sur-Mer, Spindrift racing will once again be out in force with two boats: Spindrift White, skippered by Yann Guichard, and Spindrift Black, skippered by Xavier Revil.

The Grand Prix can be considered as a mini version of the Tour de France à la Voile. Crews will battle it out on smaller courses than in the Spi Ouest-France, closer to shore. The format is ideal for crews preparing for the Tour de France this summer, especially as Pornichet will host one of the Tour’s legs on July 9th and 10th.

Spindrift White skipper Yann Guichard:

“The format will be stadium racing with 20-minute races in front of a crowd, the same as in the Tour de France à la Voile this summer. It’s possible that we might have reaching starts, where we will be accelerating across the wind, raising the intensity up a notch at the start line. The format pushes us to the limit, forcing us to react quickly to the continuous crossings. It's the kind of exercise which I really enjoy, but to limit the risks we’ll need to remember that the Diam 24s are quite slow in the transition phases. The level of competition will be high, and with rough conditions expected, the key will be to hold everything together.”

SCHEDULE :

Friday, 3.30pm, start of races
Saturday, 10am, start of races
Sunday, 10am, start of races
Sunday, 4.30pm, awards ceremony

DIAM 24 BOATS REGISTERED FOR THE GRAND PRIX ATLANTIQUE FROM 17 TO 19 APRIL:

30 Corsaires (Alexia Barrier)
Agrival (Pauline Chalaux)
Armor Lux – Comptoir de la Mer (Erwan Tabarly)
Banque Populaire (Armel Le Cléac’h)
CombiWest (Frédéric Guilmin)
Cheminées Poujoulat (Barnard Stamm)
Courrier Choc (Pierre-Loïc Berthet)
Dynamique Voile (Emeric Dary)
GDF SUEZ (Sébastien Rogues)
Grandeur Nature Vérandas (Frédéric Duthil)
Groupama (Pierre Pennec)
Macif (François Gabart)
Made in Midi (Kito de Pavant)
Oman Sail (Gilles Favennec)
PRB (Vincent Riou)
Prince de Bretagne (Lionel Lemonchois)
Radio Vinci Autoroutes (Jean-Baptiste Gellée)
Sodebo (Daniel Souben)
Spindrift White (Yann Guichard)
Spindrift Black (Xavier Revil)

Vannes Agglo Golfe du Morbihan (Matthieu Salomon)
Votre Plus Long Périple (Loïc Fequet)
West Courtage Ecole Navale (Simon Moriceau)
Zephyr (Charles Hainneville)