The Défi Petit Navire – Penn Ar Bed Finistère was created by Gwen Chapalain, a well known racing yachtsman from Douarnenez. Runs are raced over five mile long courses battle for the fastest time on a multihull, speed craft, wind or kitesurf board. Three 60 foot long trimarans are entered, including both of the Gitana tris. Maxi-catamaran Orange-2 will also be there along with a few stars from windsurfing world, with the holder of the absolute speed record over 500 metres (48.70 knots!) Irishman Finian Maynard. In 2004, the best time in Douarnenez was realised by Gitana 11 with 32.14 knots over 9.2 miles. This time round, with a good WNW breeze of around 15-20 knots from Friday onwards and shorter distances to be covered, 5 miles instead of 10, Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew managed to attain the extraordinary speed of 9'12 ‘', an average speed of 32.6 knots. On Saturday they started out as scoreboard leaders.
The 35 knot limits could be reached today. Thierry Duprey du Vorsent's crew is also flirting with incredible speeds and is currently second ahead of Orange-2 !
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent « This event has nothing at all to do with ORMA and so I wanted to put together mixed crew with the four members of the Gitana X shore team, in order to thank them for the superb work they have done this season. It gives them a chance to sail, have fun and have the opportunity to se what it's like to sail on a 60 foot trimaran. The crew comprises Yann Le Govic, Richard Loncle, Laurent Bourgues, Léopold Lucet together with Erwan Le Roux and myself.
I have already been to Douarnenez before with Marc Guillemot on La Trinitaine two years ago and with Gitana X last year. It's a fun event where you can get some great sensations ! With a 20 knot breeze on Friday and three possible five mile courses depending on wind angle, we should exceed the thirty knot barrier. Mayeul Riffet and I have already flirted with 34.5 knots two handed during our qualifying passage for the Transat Jacques Vabre. We were reaching with one reef in the main and the staysail up. These runs should be impressive ! »