The Martiniquais affirm it without reserve, the bay of Fort-de-France is one, if not the most beautiful bay of the world. It will be the setting for the first day of racing on the Round Martinique Regatta Crédit Mutuel AG tomorrow.
The 28 teams eagerly await the start of the event tomorrow with the first race set for 10 am. Jean-Michel FIGUERES has designed a variety of courses with the race management team that will give the 4 classes a chance of competing in a number of inshore races in the Bay. The close inshore racing on Friday will be the ideal warm up to the tough coastal race set for Saturday which will see the fleet competing in the Round Raid on an anticlockwise course around the island. Racing on the final day will see the fleet leave Marin to finish Fort de France with a lap around the iconic Diamond Rock.
The perfect day for a maximum number of races
"The conditions are there to provide our sailors with ideal racing conditions," explains Jean-Michel FIGUERES, Race Director. "The Bay of Fort de France, on the leeward side of the island is sheltered and means you have perfectly flat waters. We can expect between 10 to 14 knots of wind, which gives the race management a chance to run a series for races for each of the classes. The plan is for four races of between five and six miles to be held for the 7 boats competing in the Surprise class. The starts will be spectacular to watch in such optimum condition. Two races have been planned for the Racing and Racer Cruiser classes and just one, but longer 12-mile course, is scheduled for the 7 boats competing in the Cruising class which is reserved to 35 to 42-foot entries."
Competitive on all levels
The event, which offers sailors azure sparkling waters and sunshine, is also fiercely competitive and crews can expect some tough racing on the Round Martinique Regatta this weekend.
We can expect to see a tough fight between the crews of Digilife (Vianney SAINTENOY) and La Morigane (Tristan MARMOUSEZ) in the Surprise class and that is unless the highly skilled all-female team of Délice NOUEL (Dénébola -Didier) does not come up trumps. Wind (Matteo BALLAN) and Infinitive (Lilou PUDAL) who both have a young crew are also strong contenders.
We anticipate there also to being a competitive fight within the Racing group, Claude GRANEL on the SunFast 3200 SGS-Credit Mutuel and Nicolas GILET on J111 GFA Caribbean are two hot favourites and, despite their duel for a top spot, we can also exptect to see the Class40 and the IMX 40 spice up the competition, particularly on the long race on Saturday.
La Saintoise, the elegant fishing race boat that is typical of the Caribbean, will be a sight not to be missed when she races amongst the Surprise fleet. Racing is due to conclude around 16:30 in order to allow crews to get to the Yacht Club de Martinique reception party which will start at 18:00.