Timothée Petetin, from the Société Nautique de Bandol, has won the 2020 Mediterranean OK Dinghy Championship in Bandol, from Julien Dejugnat and Pascal Tetard.
The event in Bandol was supposed to be the final event in the 2020 Euro League and the inaugural OKDIA Autumn Trophy, but the resurgence in COVID-19 in France, and travel restrictions across Europe, caused all the visiting sailors to pull out and the Autumn Trophy to be cancelled. However the club went ahead with the Mediterranean Championship, with 17 boats from all over France taking part.
Laurent Hay, from La Rochelle, dominated the opening day with three bullets, but then injury forced him to retire from the event, which left the top wide open. Petetin then took three race wins to lead the series, and set up a final day that promised to be open and windy.
From 11 am the race committee set up a course in the bay where an easterly wind blew an average of 15 knots with gusts of 18 knots; enough to offer competitors of this physically demanding championship, a windy and highly contested final day.
At the top of the standings at the end of Friday Petetin had to work hard to protect his lead from Julien Dejugnat, Pascal Tetard and Gilles Bérenger.
Tetard, who is new to the class, took two race wins to move up to a podium position, but a further win for Petetin put the championship beyond doubt.
In the final race, Patrick Debaere, from Lacanau and the National President of the class, led from start to finish, which did not move him within reach the podium, but given his performances during this championship, confirmed a great series for him.
After Petetin, Julien Dejugnat and Pascal Tetard completed the podium. Also in the top five were Gilles Bérenger, a newcomer to the class, and a particularly consistent Jean Louis Petetin over all three days.
It was a very successful championship thanks to particularly good weather conditions and much appreciated by all competitors, but also a great credit of the volunteer team of the Société Nautique de Bandol.
COVID did not prevent the event but surely mitigated its magnitude. Once again the ‘Bandolais spot’ lived up to its claims: wind, sun, hot water and a friendly atmosphere.
The class plans to be back in 2021, when hopefully the inaugural Autumn Trophy will finally be held.
- Henri Bérenger