The third Sun Fast Cup took place in La Rochelle, from April 21st through the 23rd. This competition, organised by the Jeanneau crew and with the support of La Rochelle Nautique, gathers sailboat racing and Sun Fast fans together each year for a weekend of races and friendly gatherings.
Both the weather and the dedication of 26 crews contributed to the success of the race events, with: lively competition, spinnakers flying across the water, acrobatic tacks and jibes, close-quarters racing, and at the finish, smiling faces and the satisfaction of having given their all.
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Sun and Wind, Check
It was under a cloudless sky that the race began, Saturday, at 10:30 AM, with 26 crews. In a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, crowds on the docks turned their focus, then, toward the competition, with gradually rising adrenaline. After two false starts and a last start under a black flag, the 104 participants, skippers and crews, began to manoeuvre in the first of three races of the day: a technical course around multiple buoys.
Then, a coastal race permitted a glance, between trimming sails, at the unique landscape surrounding this magnificent body of water. In the time of a quick sail around Fort Boyard, the sailboats skirted the Île-de-Ré before heading east toward La Rochelle. Once the last technical course was completed, the sailors returned to port, tired but happy after this intense first day. Three races and three starts in the same day, that’s exceptional!
Gusty Winds and Beautiful Tacks and Jibes
If Saturday’s moderate winds favoured fine tuning and full, multi-coloured spinnakers, Sunday’s weather conditions suddenly changed the game. With recorded winds of around 30 knots and gusts of up to 50, the day was sporty. The organisers moved the start time to 10:30 AM, and the 20 remaining crews, after six preferred to retire, were able to face the elements in the two challenges of the day: a technical course and a coastal course.
It was Ladybug, a Sun Fast 3600, that was the overall winner over five races, each time achieving impressive speeds, with some nice close quarters racing with Ciao Ciao, which led to finishing, at times, in an interval of just seconds. However, perhaps the lasting image of the weekend belongs to Fripouille 4, winner in the Sun Fast 3300 category, having blown away all its rivals on the last stretch of the coastal course, surfing at 16 knots. Hakuna Matata ranked first in the Sun Fast 3200s, the best-represented category, with 17 crews.
By organising this competition, open and accessible to passionate sailors, Jeanneau aims to contribute to the vitality of offshore racing and sailboat racing. Participants are talented amateurs, who may well also compete in races like the Spi Ouest-France. The principal objective remains to come together and to share our passion. At the race, the Jeanneau crew find this unique occasion ideal for sharing and exchanging with active members of the Sun Fast community in a sporty and festive environment.
Following the first races, organised in La Trinité-sur-Mer and the Isle of Wight, the third edition of the Sun Fast Cup does not disappoint.
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