The Lorient edition of the Volvo Ocean Race Academy team racing regatta and clinic attracted young Optimist sailors from across France for three days of expert tuition and training, culminating in a thrilling knock out competition today.
Eight teams of four sailors -- selected to represent Normandie, Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Pays de Loire and Bretagne -- took part in the event which combined two days of classroom sessions with on the water coaching, prior to a final day of competition.
An umpire clinic was run in conjunction with the regatta and clinic as part of the Academy’s drive to leave a legacy of team racing expertise in the race stopover regions.
Today, the French junior and youth sailors put their newly learned skills into practice in the team racing regatta, starting with a series of round robin knock out rounds leading to a grand final between the top two teams -- Lorient Stopover/Ile de France and Groupama sailing team/Pays de Loire.
In a closely fought final, sailed in rainy conditions under grey skies, Lorient Stopover/Ile de France fought their way to a 3,4,5,6, combination against Groupama sailing team/Pays de Loire's 1,2,7,8, placing.
Although both teams were tied on 18 points, under team racing tie break rules, Lorient Stopover were declared winners.
Volvo Ocean Race Youth Sailing Coordinator, Katie Hearsum said the team racing action had been spectacular throughout the day.
"The competition was very close," Hearsum said. "The difference between all the teams was very small -- the teams who were behind after the round robin rounds all won their final races.
"The team racing strategies we saw today were among the best we have seen in the Academy so far.
"Several of the sailors racing in the Lorient Academy will be representing France in the upcoming World Championship and European Team Racing Championship and we wish them all the very best of luck."
1. Lorient Stopover/Ile de France
2. Groupama sailing team/Pays de Loire
3. Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand/Equipe de France Selectionee
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Poitou-Charentes
5. Team Telefónica/Bretagne
6. Volvo Ocean Race/Normandie
7. Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG/Poitou-Charentes
8. Team Sanya/Aquitaine
Lorient Stopover/Ile de France team members:
Coach - Olivier Ducelier
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