Press release No.1 – MARTINIQUE FLYING REGATTA – 6 December 2017
MARTINIQUE FLYING REGATTA: MARTINIQUE AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE FOIL REVOLUTION
Imagining and innovating: the challenge of the Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme (Martinique Tourism Committee)
With a backdrop of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, imagining an international nautical event, which breaks new ground and enhances the image of Martinique.
Such is the gauntlet taken up by the Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme and the Sirius Evénements company, which from 17 to 24 November 2018 is launching the very first edition of the MARTINIQUE FLYING REGATTA.
Fort de France Bay is a vast maritime space spanning some 70km2 and in 2011 it was invited to join the very select “Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club” alongside the likes of San Francisco Bay, the Bay of Mont St Michel and Ha Long Bay. Graced by a steady breeze of around fifteen knots on flat seas protected by the mountains, the whole lot bathed by a warm and moderate climate of around thirty degrees year-round, it is the definition of a virtually perfect site for boating.
Foilers add another dimension to the project: a technological revolution prompted by the America’s Cup choices in 2013, spanning the traditional monohull to futuristic 21m catamarans posting speeds of 45 knots. Since that time, foils have conquered all the competitive sailing domains, from inshore to offshore racing. The very image of modernity, futuristic technologies, innovation and economic development are the values portrayed by this foiling revolution.
By combining these two elements, the objectives of the MARTINIQUE FLYING REGATTA are the international promotion of Martinique’s image, pre-season tourist development and the stimulation of boating.
The sporting concept: a 100% foil event
A yearly pre-season invitation to the finest international foiler series for a week’s racing in Fort de France Bay: such is the sporting concept behind November’s MARTINIQUE FLYING REGATTA.
For the first edition, scheduled from 17 to 24 November 2018, some 5 of the most competitive series are expected to compete in Martinique:
The GC32, the little sister to the AC 50s from the last America’s Cup and the craft of choice for the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series circuits, they measure 12m with a peak speed of 41 knots.
The EASY TO FLY: developed by Jean-Pierre Dick’s Absolute Dreamer structure, this 8m foiler is designed to fly in complete safety in upward of 8 knots of breeze with 3 people aboard.
The FLYING PHANTOM: stemming from the legendary F18, the FP is a double-handed foiling catamaran launched in 2014 and capable of speeds of 30 knots.
The FOILING MOTH: the singlehanded foiling craft par excellence, 3m in length and able to reach up to 30 knots, its international development is extensive (240 participants in the last world championship).
The ONEFLY: a new approach to the singlehanded foiler, this very easy to use one-design craft was designed by Sam Manuard and developed by Sébastien Col.
Depending on their 2018 schedule, the event is also studying the possibility of hosting the spectacular foiling KITEs and WIND foils.
Other series may also join the competitive line-up as the project develops, in line with the incessant innovations on these craft.
An organisation and logistical facilities at the service of the racers
The event is organised by Sirius Evénements, which has been a pioneer in France in terms of foiling yachts through the organisation of the French legs of the GC32 Racing Tour circuit in Marseille and Calvi since 2014. The on-the-water organisation will be done in close collaboration with teams from the clubs in Martinique, with the additional aim of developing local practice on these craft.
Varied courses geared around each series will be proposed in Fort de France Bay, with a mixture of classic round the cans courses and a more long-distance formula within the bay.
Significant logistical facilities will be offered to racers, with the minimum costs for transporting the craft from Europe being included in the entry fee. Furthermore, a partnership with an airline will provide special transport rates, as will be the case for accommodation and catering in Fort de France.
A race village and fair between the port and La Française beach
Set up between the port of Fort de France, which will be the logistical base for the operation and the famous La Française beach at the foot of Fort Saint-Louis, the race village and the entertainment will ensure the event is open to all.
Courses around Fort de France’s harbour, a genuine nautical arena, will enable everyone to benefit from the superb spectacle conjured up by this ‘flying’ regatta.
Provisional programme (to be confirmed in the Notice of Race in January)
Saturday 17 November: individual training and launch day
Sunday 18 January: individual training and demonstrations
Monday 19 January: Day of exploration of Martinique – La Route des Distilleries
Tuesday 20 January: start of official races
Wednesday 21 January: Long-distance challenges in Fort de France Bay – skippers’ dinner soirée
Thursday 22 – Friday 23 January: official races
Saturday 24 January: end of racing – prize-giving – special soirée
Louise Telle: elected representative of the Collectivité Territoriale de Martinique, in charge of boating within the Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme
“Martinique is proud to host the Martinique Flying Regatta! You’ll agree that a top-flight spectacle requires an exceptional setting! Fort de France Bay, one of the ‘most beautiful bays in the world’, offers you this setting! I hope on behalf of the Board of Directors that this event will be the prelude to what will be a lasting meeting that will become a must on the racing calendar.”
Manfred Ramspacher: Director of Sirius Evènements
“Since 2014, Sirius Evénements has been a pioneer in France, organising the first major meeting for this revolutionary sailing in Marseille. In that time, foils have become a must for performance in top-level sailing. Developing a 100% foil event within such an enchanting marine context as Fort de France Bay is a whole new challenge for us.”
Christian Scherrer: Class manager GC32 International Class
Jean-Pierre Dick – designer of the Easy To Fly
“The Easy to Fly class is delighted to offer its owners this debut regatta for flying boats in Martinique. The weather conditions in this fantastic bay are perfect for flying and offer a splendid spectacle. Thank you to Martinique for your hospitality!”
Anthony Rezzoug – President International Moth Class France
“The International Moth Class France is very proud to be part of the Martinique Flying Regatta. We’re eager to take off for this new destination and make the most of the optimum sailing conditions offered up by Fort de France Bay. We hope this new event will prompt real infatuation from both national and international racers thanks to the logistical facilities put in place by the organisation”.
Benoit Marie – former winner of the Mini-Transat and one of France’s top Moth sailors
“I’m very enthusiastic about the prospect of a 100% foil event in the fabulous Fort de France Bay! Amidst the warm tradewinds and the tropical mildness, I think that an event of this kind based in the West Indies has every chance of becoming a must on the International Moth circuit!”
Sébastien Col: initiator of the Onefly project
“Making the practice of foiling more popular is part of the DNA of the Onefly class.
As such, it is entirely logical for Onefly to sign up and participate in the Martinique Flying Regatta and enable the local audience in Martinique to discover this new sailing practice and give the latest generation of local champions the opportunity of sampling the delights of foiling.”
To find out more about the series:
Easy To Fly: www.easytofly.fr
Flying Phantom: www.phantom-international.com
Contact: SIRIUS EVENEMENTS
5 rue de l’Amiral Hamelin – 75116 PARIS
firstname.lastname@example.org – +33(0)1 47 04 61 14
Sophie Claudon Courbon – email@example.com – +33(0)6 83 59 65 37