BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: MacArthur in the Mondial  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Thursday, 10 May, 2001, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Grand Prix of the seas
From Cherbourg to Tarragona via the Azores
From Cherbourg to Tarragona via the Azores
Trimaran racing is the highest-profile sailing discipline in France.

The six-race Championnat 9 Telecom des Multicoques (multihull championships) begins on 12 May with the Challenge Mondial Assistance.

This new nine-day race carries a first prize of 25,000.

It is one of two long-distance ocean races held during the series, which also contains four short inshore races (40 miles) over three days.

  Final Orma 2000 standings
1st Franck Cammas (Groupama)
2nd Marc Guillemot (La Trinitaine)
3rd Alain Gautier (Foncia)
The short races attract huge shore-based crowds but it is the long-distance races, described as marathons at a sprint pace, which are the bigger test.

The first race is a 3,000 mile non-stop race from Cherbourg in France to Tarragona in Spain, via the Azores and the straits of Gibraltar.

The series ends in November with the sternest challenge of all, the Transat Jaques Vabre, a 4,500-mile slog from Le Havre to Brazil.

The championship is run under the auspices of Orma, the French Offshore Racing Multihull Association, a management body set up to organize an exclusive race schedule and point-scoring system for the 60ft trimarans.

Franck Cammas was last year's Orma winner
Cammas: Fresh-faced 28-year-old was last year's winner
The event began in 1998, when Orma were given the title of international class by the sport's ruling body, Isaf.

Since then, some of the best skippers and promising talent have been seduced by the concept and prospect of racing within a thrilling sport, where technology and athleticism dominate.

Most of the skippers are French. The series is extremely popular in France, though it is virtually unknown overseas.

The inshore races attract huge crowds as sleepy villages burst into life with helicopters, live TV and internet crews.

There will be three new boats entered in the 2001 championship.

Lalou Roucayrol will have a new Banque Populaire, Jean Le Cam will race the new Bonduelle and Loick Peyron will take the helm of Fujifilm, mark II.

The three new boats are likely to be faster than their rivals.

But they also carry a far higher risk of technical failure.

"These new-generation trimarans will have a greater top speed, which will make them dangerous in the Grand Prix races, but speed is not the only factor in oceanic races," said Foncia skipper Alain Gautier.

"You also need reliability."


Challenge Mondial race

Ellen's diary

Clickable guides

Mondial Background

Vendee Globe

BBC COVERAGE

AUDIO/VIDEO

SPORTS TALK

INTERNET LINKS
Links to more MacArthur in the Mondial stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more MacArthur in the Mondial stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales