Winners…Christian Ponthieu, Gery Trentesaux, Jean Queveau & Pierre Leboucher.
Port Camargue is a district of the town of Le Grau-du-Roi in the region of Occitanie. It was built in the 1960’s and today is one of the biggest Marina’s in Europe. Next year it will host the 3rd IDA Grand Prix of 2022 so it was a pleasure to return to this beautiful location and participate in the Grand Prix de Camargue 14th – 17th October.
An early morning start as the fleet leaves the Port Camargue Marina.
18 teams participated on a race course just a short sail out from the Marina enjoying the crystal clear blue Mediterranean waters and endless hours of sunshine. Sailors were treated with typical French hospitality which included complimentary Coffee & Croissants for Breakfast and Apres-Sail Beers :-). On arrival boats were parked, uncovered and rigged on ample concreted space, then launched at leisure and towed by RIB’s to the conveniently situated pontoons, beside the Yacht Club.
Lots of space for craning and Breakfast at club looking out as boats prepare to leave for racing. There were days of cloudless skies and great camaraderie between the teams as a fun time was had by all in this beautiful part of southern France. Huge credit goes to Christian Charee who along with Jean Breger, have been very instrumental in promoting the Dragons at Port Camargue.
9 races were completed over the 4 days in predominately light winds but there was no mistaking which of the 18 teams would lift the winners trophy as FRA 428 “BANDE A PART” helmed by Gery Trentesaux dominated proceedings by winning the first 6 races! Gery and his 4 man team, quickly adjusted to the conditions and even if a start did not go according to plan, FRA 428 soon recovered to dominate the fleet in their Petticrows V6.
FRA 428 Gery Trentesaux, won 7 of the 9 races in Port Camargue.
As previously mentioned the sailing area is only minutes from the Marina and with no commercial shipping or ferries to interfere with the race course, it is a perfect place for Dragons to sail. One of the light air specialists to push Gery in many races was Ron James helming his beautiful cold moulded Borresen GBR 633 “Fei-Lins Flirtation”. This time Ron was skilfully assisted by Ian Turnbull and Joanna Richardson, who seldom put a foot wrong. Ron is a true bedrock of the Dragon Class and is normally seen racing with his wife Julia, but due to an unfortunate accident Julia is forced to take some time out. However, we all wish Julia a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back with Ron in the near future.
Nice conditions in Port Camargue with beautiful clear blue skies.
After the completion of 9 races Ron finished on 21pts counting 2,2,2,2,4,3,3,3 a very impressive set of results to take the runners up spot on the podium. Many congratulations.
2nd Overall GBR 633 Ron James, Joanna Richardson & Ian Turnbull.
In 3rd place overall and taking the final podium position was FRA 391 “Ulysse” Jean Breger, Jean-Paul Roux and Christian Gout. As mentioned Jean is very committed to the fleet in Port Camargue and his life revolves around promoting the Dragon class. “Ulysse” won race 7 and in the end finished 3 points ahead of 4th placed FRA 420 Stephane Baseden.
3rd FRA 391 Jean Breger (right) Jean-Paul Roux & Christian Gout with Christian Charee.
The only team managing to win a race other than FRA 428 & FRA 391 was FRA 431 “Storich” helmed by Robert Lehmann, crewed by Olivier Vanacker & Michel Cohen Addet. This team recently won the Swiss Open Championships held in Ascona, with 22 Dragons, so are getting familiar sailing at the front of the fleet and certainly a team to watch out for in the future. Well done to all the top 5 teams.
Winners of race 8 FRA 431 Robert Lehmann, Michel Cohen Addet & Olivier Vanacker.
Finally, many thanks to the Race Management Team led by Paul Bastard, who set fair starting lines and good courses in the conditions available. Paul made the correct call to start us early on two occasions as the Northerly Breeze was forecast to die away later in the afternoons… Also a big thank you to the helpers and volunteers of Sud Dragon for providing an excellent regatta.
Port Camargue Race Officials led by Paul Bastard (President du Comite’ de Course).
Port Camargue is a great place to visit with many first class restaurants, plenty of available accommodation, a very friendly Yacht Club atmosphere and a super sailing area. Make sure you you join in the fun next year 12th-15th October..for the 3rd IDA Grand Prix 2022.
Higher, Faster, Longer…. Stavros. GBR 789.