The final round of O’pen BIC Tour, from 28th – 30th October at La Grande Motte in the south of France, was a fitting climax to the 2017 season, with some strong conditions and a talented field of 66 racers from France, Spain and Italy. It was not just the final round of the 2017 O’pen Tour, but also the end of the 2017 Euro Challenge.
With 27 and 39 boats respectively in the U13 and U17 fleets, competitors attacked the first round of races on Friday in some pretty robust conditions : heavy seas and gusts well over 25 knots !All the same, the race committee ran three rounds of races…. The more experienced racers enjoyed themselves, but some of the less experienced had less fun in the hard conditions. Most managed to finish all the races and well done to all of them !
Saturday’s weather was much more reasonable, allowing the light wind specialists to climb back up the rankings. Five rounds of excellent racing were run under a clear blue sky. The Saturday night banquet/party was a great occasion, everyone enjoying themselves to the max, especially the prize raffle of fantastic BIC Sport gifts for all the lucky winners.
Sunday’s forecast suggested a 12-15 knot wind that was due to lighten during the afternoon. But the reality was a steady 20 – 25 knots that blew in all day. Superb conditions that allowed the committee to run the final round of racing for both fleets.
The U13s were first on the water, on a course mainly composed of downwind runs , while the U17s race was much more knife-edged, featuring a false start/general recall and a cut-and-thrust battle for honours among the leading group. In the end it was the Spaniard David Mulas who took not just the race but the overall top spot, followed by compatriot Leopoldo Sirolli, then the first of the Frenchies, Jules Poupin de Cholet. In the U13s the Italian Valerio Marchesini took first place, ahead of French girl Jeanne de Kat in second, and another Italian, Alberto Divella, in third.
Congratulations to all the competitors for their stamina, endurance and fair play attitude, and to the La Grande Motte sailing club for their excellent welcome and organisation.