Outremer Cup 2017: Lots of sun, not so much wind, and a great atmosphere
Twenty boats signed up for this twentieth edition, and apart from Antarctica, all the continents were represented, with friends from Australia to Ukraine, and from Canada to Singapore, and of course from many European countries. Outremer’s entire current range was represented, as well as some older generation models (the 42, 45 and 55), and the recently delivered 45, 4X, 51 and 5X.
Thursday: The Atelier Cup
Thursday is traditionally “training day”, reserved for the crews from the shipyard. More than two hundred people joined for a flotilla ride along the coast, before coming back to a giant méchoui (whole-roast lamb) and a mouclade (curried mussels) at La Grande Motte Yacht Club. In the afternoon, the crews alternated between racing paddleboards and Tiwals, small inflatable dinghies often found aboard cruising catamarans: stowing in two bags, they don’t take up much space on board and are very quick to assemble. Much laughter and lots of splashes set the tone in the late afternoon!
Friday: fishing, the “run” and galley skills!
Friday morning, the early risers arrived at 7 o'clock on the Outremer dock. A little trolling competition had been organized by the Thon-Club des Pyramides fishing club, who willingly shared all their little secrets to avoid running out of sushi while on passage.
As for the Outremer Cup, on Friday’s program there was a "run", followed by special flotilla race. Special, since each boat also had to prepare a meal for sharing in the evening at the same time!
The run is an individual timed event: one leg around a buoy at 1 mile off, and back. Everyone can cross the startline at the committee boat whenever they wish, choosing the best time to start. In the dwindling breezes of this first day, the challenge was to spot the slightest ripple, and then leave at the right moment, and to get around the buoy, without the boat stopping. In the first heat, Crazy Flavour, an Outremer 51 made the best time, followed just a few seconds later by the 45, Laia. These two spent the three days keeping a close eye on each other...
With the breeze filling in, the start of the first race was able to take place. Crazy Flavour and Laia fought hard, taking turns in the lead at the whim of the shifting winds. In the end, it was finally Laia who eventually won, making the best of the light breeze with their big masthead gennaker. The 51, Orialine was the other boat on the podium, coming in just a few boatlengths ahead of the 5X Hexe, delivered a few days earlier.
All crews met up at the Yacht Club that evening to present the dishes prepared during the race. Sweet, savoury, hot or cold, no restrictions, and the imagination of some was limitless. The jury took their role very seriously, and there was much debate to decide between the competition. Guy from La Smala with his lobster, Orialine with their knives and the 5X, Hexe, creators of a complete meal all took their place on the podium.
Saturday: Pride of place for the artists
For the morning run on the Saturday, the diminishing breeze caught out many boats which had left too fast, stuck in calms, while others waited patiently for the right moment, scrutinizing the surface to detect the ripples that would allow them to complete the round trip. The first boats to start completed the course in more than 20 minutes, but the 4X, Mati, enjoyed a more consistent breeze, and left the 55 La Smala and the 51 Eimata Vaa in her wake, crossing the finish line in under 10 minutes.
A coastal course formed the next leg, with the competitors having to get to Pointe de l'Espiguette before tacking off Port de Palavas, but once again the breeze was too light, resulting in a shortening of the course at the Espiguette buoy. Crazy Flavour and Laia were still ahead, but 2 Canoes (a brand new 51, delivered 3 days earlier!) and Cayuse were hot on their heels!
In the evening all the crews had met up for dinner on the beach and continuing competition, this time with artistic skills. In the painting competition, Liladhoc and Luna Bay led the talent, while Urubu and Crazy Flavour were much applauded in the musical competition with their interpretation of “C’est la ouate”!
Sunday: the finale
On the Sunday, there were two final heats, with a victory for the new 5X, Hexe, but as always, Crazy Flavour and Laia were never far behind. Never before has there been an Outremer Cup so hotly disputed, with the top five all within a hair’s breadth of each other, and the third step on the podium being just one point between the 5X, Hexe, the 51, Orialine and 4X, Mati!
A big awards ceremony celebrated everyone’s performance, and the many prizes donated by our partners rewarded all the competitors!