Heat wave in Dunkirk

Holidays, Sailing, Sports, Tourism, Yachting — By on July 1, 2015 at 10:22 PM

FR Dunkirk 01JULY2015The beach of Malo-Les-Bains (Dunkirk’s seaside) was bustling with activity this Wednesday. A major part of France was hit by a heat wave, and crowds of people came down to the beautiful and endless sandbeach that stretches towards Belgium to get a chance to cool down in the water and enjoy the nice south-easterly breeze that was reaching 15 knots. The conditions were perfect to train on the race course, two days before the inaugural race of the Tour de France à la Voile. For its 38th edition, the popular French sailing event introduces a brand new format with the Diam 24 trimarans that are now all gathered in Dunkirk.

Two local teams are part of the 28 entries in this year Tour de France à la Voile.

Dunkerque Voile, skippered by Loïck Féquet, with Dunkirk born America’s Cup specialist and eight time winner of the Tour de France à la Voile Bertrand Pacé, as a coach/manager. And Le Souffle du Nord, skipper by Antoine Carpentier, with a part of last year’s champion crew from Courrier Dunkerque.

Onboard Dunkerque Voile, a majority of the crew is made of young sailors from Dunkirk and the team’s objective is to train young sailors to top level racing. Seven sailors will take turns onboard the Diam 24 : Anaïs David, Arthur Meurisse, Clément Meister, Damien Seeten (son of Joe Seeten, french offshore sailor who completed two round the world races solo and won the Tour in 1979 !), Pierre Noesmoen, Quentin Wallerich, Timothée Deplasse. The team has the support of the « Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque » and will aim to improve their best result in the pre-season (10th) on each of the nine Acts.

Le Souffle du Nord (ex Courrier Choc early this season) is skippered by five time winner of the Tour de France à la Voile, Antoine Carpentier, with a crew of top sailors who were for two of them part of last year’s winner Courrier Dunkerque, lead by Daniel Souben, now skipper of Sodebo. The crew is made of Pierre-Antoine Morvan, Pierre-Loïc Berthet, Stéphane Geslin, Jean-Pierre Nicol and Cédric Château. The boat wears the colours of the ‘Projet Imagine’, supported by Dunkirk born Thomas Ruyant who will launch his new IMOCA 60ft monohull to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre in November and in the Vendée Globe in 2016.

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