Grand Prix Ecole Naval Attracts Overseas Sailors.

‘Marine tourism’ continues to be a key driver of sailing events, providing opportunities for sailors to experience new place and give venues much needed revenue and local jobs. Despite emerging markets investing in attracting sailing events away from Europe, France continues to be a center for sailing.

[cleeng_content id=”846044962″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]The first stage of the Grand Prix Ecole Naval – the French One Design Cruiser Championship -was contested just over a week ago with four French titles settled in the J80, Open 5.70, the Corsaire and the Longtze that attracted up to 170 teams. This weekend the naval college extends a welcome to the Laser SB3 sportsboat class for its 4th Eurocup.

The larger regatta fleet is studded with highly renowned and successful sailors from the worlds of Olympic, offshore and one design racing, ensuring that once again the regatta builds its reputation as one of the keynote events on the calendar. In eight years of competition the Grand Prix has continued to grow in size and importance. This year 166 teams challenged for the nine championship titles. The Grand Prix de L’Ecole Navale also stands as Stage 2 of the Longtze European Tour 2010, and is part of the Longtze Student Cup. It will also welcome the Seascape 18 class for its first racing in France.

The Laser SB3 Eurocup attracts a large number of competitors from outside France, including a large British contingetnt. The Crozan Morgat event, held over the  Bank Holiday weekend sees an exodus to France for four days of racing has become a regatta not to be missed. A high level of organisation which ensure good racing on the water coupled with excellent local restaurants, food and wine makes the event a favourite for competitors.

From Jerry Hill, UK Class President says:

2010 will be the fourth year that the Laser SB3 fleet have chosen to come to the Ecole Navale Championship for our Eurocup event. While this was initially an enthusiastic band of UK sailors, now there are many other nationalities who travel to this beautiful part of France to sail. We come for many reasons, but we enjoy sailing in Brittany, we enjoy the food and the wine, the organisation is first class and the organisers are always happy to help and assist the sailors. If I had to choose just one event to sail in each year, this event would be top of my list.

Alain Daoulas, Grand Prix Ecole Navale Chief Commissaire, added:

The Grand Prix Ecole Navale, which was launched in 2002 has been built since the beginning around sportsboats, one design and technology. And so it is natural that in 2003 we proposed to the Laser SB3 class that they join the event. After last year we reviewed all aspects of the events with the competitors of the Eurocup so we could integrate the sport and logistics solutions that answer the specific needs of this class. Of course the Grand Prix is now one of the important sporting events on the calendar in Finistere and for the Naval College as a nautical and engineering college it is an important event which uses the dynamics and challenge of sport to foster a greater international profile. And, closer to home, it reinforces our links locally with Crozon and the Brest communities.

From Roger Hudson (2009 Eurocup Winner, South Africa)

Of the many fantastic sailing events that Team RaceAhead has competed in over the past few years, including Cork Week, Cowes Week and various National and World Championships, the Ecole Navale Championship in Brest, France has without doubt most exceeded our expectations. Beyond the high quality of racing and excellent conditions, the event’s fine organisation and the unique social programme create a rare sense of camaraderie that defines great sailing events. This event offers precisely the sort of racing experience and invaluable exposure to the wider world that the RaceAhead project aims to provide for young African sailors.

More information can be found at the event website…[/cleeng_content]