The “Man” Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, with Chris Brittain & Peter Bowring win in DZ.

Douarnenez lived up to it’s excellent reputation from 8th to 11th May with 6 quality races completed despite losing the first day due to too much wind. President du Comite’ de Course, Olivier de Turckheim , took the fleet into the middle of the bay which offered completely unbiased racing of the highest quality. On day 2 race wins were shared by GBR 822 (Poul-Richard) & GBR 585 (Martin Payne) in a 10 to 18kt westerly breeze and nice surfing waves.

The fleet captured shortly after the start of Race 2 by Simon Jourdan/Grand Prix Guyader.

Day 3 saw grey skies and less wind for the 25 boat fleet where two local boats stole the show. First it was FRA 207 “Q Ti Too” helmed by Sailmaker Fred Gourlaouen who made huge jump on the right hand side of the fleet, after NED 309 “Furie” had crossed almost everyone from the pin. Indeed Guus de Groot must have thought he had the race in the bag, before the left died out at the very top of the beat and handed Fred his strong position. However, Guus did hang on to keep 2nd place which he also repeated in the following race to end up with just 4pts total from the day and move into serious contention overall.

FRA 207 “Q Ti Too” Fred Gourlaouen, Alan Peyaud & Jean Francois Le Goff won Race 3.

In race 4 it was our “Sponsor” Christian Guyader helming his beautiful cold moulded FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” (formerly owned by the great Louis Urvois) who took the honours. With Gwen Champalain calling the shots and top Figaro helm Arthur Le Vaillant as crew, Christian sailed a perfect race in light conditions, with Guus 2nd & GBR 788 “Quicksilver VI” Rob Campbell 3rd.


Louis Urvois famous “Ar Youleg” FRA 365 won race 4 with Christian Guyader, Gwen & Arthur.

The sun & wind returned for the final day, with an earlier 11am warning signal, all teams headed out into the bay with eager anticipation. Unfortunately 5 teams were a little too eager at the start and as the Black Flag was displayed, it meant a restart and those 5 boats having to spectate race 5. However, such is life and it was once again FRA 207 helmed by Fred Gourlaouen who seized the opportunity to record his second race win! 2nd was the team from Muiden, NED 432 “Display” helmed by Michiel Van Dis and 3rd GBR 822 “Danish Blue”.  With both GBR 585 & NED 309 finishing 8th & 17th respectively, the consistency of Poul-Richard and the brilliant sailing from Fred Gourlaouen meant it was more or less a match race between these two top teams for the overall prize.

NED 309 “Furie” Guus de Groot, fighting hard to stay in touch with the leaders in Race 5.

In race 6 GBR 585 “Full Speed” threw caution to the wind, started with pace at the pin end and within 2 mins were able to tack and cross the fleet. Meanwhile the “Man” (whilst keeping a close eye on his main rival FRA 207), controlled most of the fleet who had elected to continue on starboard tack out to the left and came in strong at the top mark on port. With my top crew of Dominic & Olivier Bakker we managed to just cross the “Man” at the top mark and lead out with spinnaker…

GBR 585 “Full Speed” leads race 6 with GBR 822 close in pursuit, but no sign of FRA 207.

As the race unfolded, GBR 585 were able to hold their lead, GBR 822 maintained 2nd, whilst NED 309 made an incredible recovery on the second upwind to move into 3rd place with FRA 207 close behind. On the final downwind the places remained the same, so it meant Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen with Chris Brittain & Peter Bowring would lift the title by a single point from Fred Gourlaouen runner up and Guus de Groot in 3rd…  Great racing, an amazing regatta and a true champion. The “Man” wins again!

From left to right NED 309 Hay Winters, Guus de Groot & Richard Van Rij. GBR 822 Peter Bowring, Chris Brittain & Poul-Richard. FRA 207 Fred Gourlouen, Jean Francois Le Goff & Alan Peyaud. With Olivier de Turckheim (President du Comite’ de Course).

Many congratulations to these 3 podium teams and also to PRO Olivier Turckheim for his excellent work of completing 6 top quality races over the 3 sailable days. The courses were well set in the middle of the bay, with 1.5 nm legs (when it was windy) and 1.0 nm on the light wind day. Perfect for 25 boats.

NED 309 “Furie” seen here close behind the Overall Winner also took top Corinthian spot.

So very well done to Guus de Groot, Hay Winters & Richard Van Rij as top Corinthians…  This was an excellent regatta with all the usual hospitality and friendship shown once again from the Volunteers and helpers of the Societe’ des Regates de Douarnenez.

In his speech the “Man” (Poul-Richard) said he always loved coming back to Douarnenez and that he would continue to support this great event Louis Urvois started 20 yrs ago….  He thanked all the people involved, particularly Christian Guyader (the main sponsor) his crew Chris & Peter and all the competitors for making it a truly memorable regatta.  The “Man” is back.. well, he never really went away…  🙂

Next year the Grand Prix Guyader will again be an IDA Grade 1 event, so please lets all give it 100% support and remember the years when we had 100 boats…  Louis’ Legacy lives on in Douarnenez … long live the King.

Higher, Faster, Longer……….     Stavros.

I would like to thank Francois Van Mallegham for these excellent photo’s…..