With just over four months to go before the second edition of LA DRHEAM CUP-Destination Cotentin (21-29 July) and with the Notice of race published, the fleet is growing: already over 60 boats entered, a 40% increase compared to the previous edition. The Class40 fleet is currently the largest, with 20 boats entered, heralding a fascinating race between La Trinité-sur-Mer and Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, since all the big names in the class will take part, some of them on brand new prototypes.
Now that the Notice of race is published on the official race website, the second edition of LA DRHEAM CUP-Destination Cotentin promises to be one of the highlights of the sailing season, with particularly prestigious entries, especially the solo fleet, as many skippers are coming for the high level competition and to qualify for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. LA DRHEAM CUP-Destination Cotentin has been approved as a qualifying race for the solo transatlantic race between Saint-Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre by the organisers, OC Sport/Pen Duick. This decision is explained by the Chair of the organisation, Hervé Favre: “A transatlantic race staring in Saint Malo in November is a difficult challenge, especially single handed. We must therefore ensure that the skipper-boat match is finely tuned, from a physical and technical standpoint. Considering the course of the DRHEAM CUP-Destination Cotentin, which takes competitors to the Irish Sea, they are likely to meet all types of weather conditions, including high winds, which will be an excellent preparation for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.”
The most popular fleet entered in La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe (50 boats out of a total of 120), many Class40 answered the call of organisers of LA DRHEAM CUP-Destination Guadeloupe, attracted by a technical course just over three months prior to the transatlantic race that will be a real test for the big names in the forty foot single hull class. “It is a very challenging course with many obstacles that can lead to significant distances between boats, depending on tides, although some situations may lead to the chasing boats catching up. Competitors will have to be careful, as the slightest error can cost a lot, a bit like a leg in the Solitaire du Figaro, with many traps. It is typically the type of race where you go in head first, decide to fight like in a one-day race”, explains Louis Duc, skipper of Carac, a very powerful Lombard design that was launched last year. The Cherbourg native will be particularly keen to shine at in his back garden: “I will be coming home, I don't have a choice: I have to win it!”
Top level competition and brand new boats
He will have to hold off impressive competition from experienced sailors and cutting edge boats. Four new Class40, launched in the first term of 2018 will take part: a Lift (Lombard design), a development of Louis Duc's boat, helmed by the winner of the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro Yoann Richomme; three Match (Sam Manuard design): Lamotte-Module Création helmed by British sailor Luke Berry; Corum, helmed by Nicolas Troussel, two-time winner of Solitaire du Figaro and second of 2010 Route du Rhum 2010 on Class40, and Leyton France, helmed by Arthur Le Vaillant, who will have just launched it. “To me, La DRHEAM CUP-Destination Cotentin will be a first competition to discover and hone “the beast”. It will also be a first opportunity to collect data and gain experience on a course that will require many manoeuvres. I can't wait to be there!”, explains the latter.
To these podium favourites, and while we wait for new entries in March, we must also mention Aymeric Chappelier on a Mach launched last year, who almost won the last Transat Jacques-Vabre (second with Arthur Le Vaillant), British sailor and Cherbourg inhabitant Miranda Merron on Campagne de France, a 2016 Nivelt-Mabire design optimised this winter and Loïc Féquet, who made his debut in the class this year on Tales 2, a Botin design that won all the races it entered in 2014 and 2016, including the Route du Rhum and Québec-Saint-Malo!