'The rules of the prologue event were clear: with 15-20 knots, gennakers were not allowed to be used, and above 20 knots, we would cancel. We wanted at all costs to avoid taking risks one week before the start. The aim was to show off the boats at their best, to create an exciting spectacle for all to see in the Seine Bay. This morning, in view of the conditions, it was not reasonable to set them off on short inshore racing. So I decided along with the race organisation to cancel the Prologue, with the sanction of the race committee and Haute Normandie Sailing Association, which the skippers were in agreement with,' explained MAUREL. As soon as the cancellation was announced, the multihull fleet returned to the Paul Vatine Basin, and, to the great pleasure of the thousands of spectators, moored up alongside the pontoons.
With one week to go, MAUREL commented on some of the impressions he has formed of the 2005 fleet, 'The skippers are all quite relaxed, and I know a lot have already taken part in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Every one of them knows that the start will be one of the crucial moments and so they are all preparing themselves for the off. They are all pretty impatient to set off on a race which they love. As for the preparation of the boats, it's of a very high standard, and they are all ready to leave. This week, there are two schools of preparation: those who are still doing any odd job to keep the stress at bay, and those who will have their boats in perfect condition to impose a psychological advantage on their competitors. The Transat Jacques Vabre is for them the final race of the 2005 season but also an event which they will not miss.'
The next meeting between the skippers and the race organization is on Wednesday for the safety briefing. Wednesday will also be when the initial weather forecast for the start will begin to take shape, but it will only be on Friday that any established forecast will be predicted.
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