After three days of intense racing in the French Match Racing National Championship in front of the pyramids of La Grande Motte, Today was a day not to miss. For the final four in the championship the day dawned with the prospect of challenging conditions
The four best placed teams after the round robin phases took to the water for the semi finals and final mid morning today. Sail plans were to change greatly as the breeze varied between 15 and 30 knots. Full main to reefed main with or without spinnaker. Tactical and technical skill was needed in the shifty mistral conditions to gain those few metres or to avoid losing.
Leader after the preliminary rounds Francois Brenac, ranked tenth in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, had the luxury of choosing his opponent for the first semi final. He only needed two races to beat Morgan Riou and book his place in the final. Similarly in the second semi final, Sebastian Col also only needed two races to dispose of Mathieu Richard, one place above Brenac in the rankings, advancing to meet Brenac in the final.
In the end, three races were needed to decide the overall winner.
In race one and after a good start, Col proceeded to the left of the first beat, seemingly a better option tactically, and went on to take the race, Brenac equalled in Race two and the match went to the bitter end. After an aggressive pre-start Col picked up a penalty from, and at the first cross after the start, Brenac was ahead. Col, on the left at the top mark finally crossed ahead of his competitor, who hit the windward mark, returning the penalty score to zero, except that Col was ahead. It was a lead that Col held till the finish line, picking up his second French Title in the process.
Brenac, unbeaten in the lead up to the final, finished runner up, and commented at the finish "We sailed perfectly except in the match where it really mattered"
1- Sébastien Col, YC Bouzigues Sète
2- François Brenac, YC Antibes
3- Mathieu Richard, APCC Nantes
4- Morgan Riou, USAM Brest
5- Vincent Biarnes, SR Perros Guirec
6- Michel Cohen Addet, SRV Annecy
7- Florent Gaggero, YCPR Marseille
8- Loïck Peyron, APCC Nantes
9- Laurent Pagès, SR Rochelaises
10- Pierre Yves Lambert, COYC Hyèrois
11- Philippe Legros, SN St Quai Portrieux
12- Franck Munier, SR Rochelaises