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31 March 2003, 10:52 am
Team Isle de France Win
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Coupe de France
St Tropez

At the end of 9 splendid and hard fought races on the glorious bay of Saint-Tropez, and after eleven years of absence, the Coupe deFrance of the Yacht Club de France knows its new holder.
In 1992, it was the 6 m JI Thisbe of Britain's Bill Whitehouse-Vaux (helmed for the occasion by the late Peter Bateman) who last won the trophy when it was raced for in Bénodet. For the very first time in the history of this prestigious cup three boat teams have had to combine their efforts in their quest for the trophy. The Dragon, Ar Youleg of Kito de Pavant, the Melges 24, Lord Jiminy of Bruno Jourdren and the Mumm 30, Region Island de France of Jimmy Pahun have just registered their names on the base of the Coupe de France of the Yacht Club de France.

This beautiful trophy was created in 1891 to be the response of France to the America's Cup, and has had a prestigious history having been raced for and won by some of the greatest names in yachting. "It is not chance that we chose the waters of Saint-Tropez for the revival of the Coupe de France of the Yacht Club de France" declared the president, Pierre-Paul Heckly, "one needed this perfect backdrop to ensure the success of the new formula for the Coupe de France. We are now planning for the next two next editions with Saint-Tropez in order that the Coupe de France becomes the opening event of the season there." All the teams are extremely satisfied with the new format of the regatta.

"The conditions have been brilliant" summarizes Jimmy Pahun, "we had 4 races in great breeze the first day, 3 in medium the second and 2 in lighter airs to finish". To ensure the final victory of their team, the "3 musketeers" sailing under the colours of the Region Isle de France - SR Douarnenez did not hesitate to practise team racing in this last day of the regatta "With two teams separated by a point, it was almost match race today!". Hard on the heels of the winners, the Monegasque team never took off the pressure: Christian Boilot on Tamm ha Tamm (Dragon) who finished second, Benjamin Cohen on Chaloupa II (Melges 24) fifth and Michele Perris on Dangerous But Fun (Mumm 30) third in their respective categories put in very creditable performances. In the end the Norwegian team of Roar Rodd on Odd Job (Dragon), Christopher Spone on HH Fruen Maren (Melges 24) and Herman Johannessen on M 103 (Mumm) took the third place on the podium. In spite of damage to their Melges in the first race, this team showed incredible determination and motivation, in particular thanks to the talent of the champion of the world in title in Mumm, Herman Horn Johannessen.

In the class results Bernard Mallaret and Xavier Lecoeur on Mumm 30 Cape Sport in Mumm put in a beautiful performance to hold off Maxime Paul and his Defi Partage team. In Melges, the competition was particularly tight but it was Jean-François Cruette on Scutum who finally beat Bruno Jourdren on Lord Jiminy on count back.
Maguelonne Turcat
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