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13 April 2007, 12:55 pm
Courrier Du Coeur Wins Ahead Of Renewed Team Holmatro
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Spi Ouest-Frances Bouygues Telecom 2007
La Trinite-sur-Mer, France

French First 44.7 Courrier du Coeur scored victory at the 29th edition of Spi Ouest, coming in ahead of the renewed Team Holmatro of skipper Sander SPEET (NED). A total of 500 yachts lined up for the start of the annual French sailing event, that was held from 6-9 April in La Trinite-sur-Mer on the Atlantic coast.
Although the Dutch team and their Grand Soleil 44 performed consistently in a strong IRC-1 fleet of 46 competitors, scoring only top five finishes, Gery TRENTESAUX's (FRA) Courrier du Coeur proved unbeatable.

After five races off the French coast, it was a close competition in the top five. Team Holmatro was fourth, tied with the J-122 J-Lance 4 in third position. Paprec Recyclage, a brand new A 40, was second. Although Courrier du Coeur was unbeatable for the overall victory, the battle was full on for the other podium spots.

No Room For Error

Holmatro navigator Bart VERWERFT (BEL) explained, 'We could not afford a discard anymore, as we had an OCS on the first day. That means we had to sail a good race without too many risks.'

It started off with about 10 knots wind. 'The left side of the first beat was favoured, but we chose to stay at the inner side more to the middle of the course. That paid off and we rounded the first mark just behind Saga, a Nelson Marek 471. In the second beat, we went to the middle of the course and sailed our own race. The wind started to die, but we focussed on catching pressure. That is how we overtook Saga. We finished first, after which the wind dropped to zero.'

Only 11 yachts crossed the line in time and Holmatro was third on handicap, which pushed the Dutch team to a second position overall. VERWERFT said, 'Prior to the event, we did not really know what to expect. We mentioned a third place as target, but I thought that was a bit too ambitious. After the first day, we knew it would be possible to reach the top four, so this result is great.'

Diana Bogaards (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Team Holmatro took second place:© Marc Ollivier
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