The third the DRHEAM-CUP starting on 19 July will be a record-breaking edition, as close to 100 participants are entered in the GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE from Cherbourg-en-Cotentin to La Trinité-sur-Mer. Overview of the fleet, from the Ultimes on the 1100 course to the Figaro Bénéteau 3, including the Multi50, Class40, Multi 2000, IRC, Large Monohull open class and Classic yachts. 

Ultimes: Three giants on a tailor-made course (DRHEAM-CUP 1100)

With the cancellation of The Transat CIC, the Ultimes trimarans will be racing against each other for the first time this year on the new 1100 mile course specially designed for them, with a long passage in the Irish sea, between the Fastnet and the Isle of Man. The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, winners of the Brest Atlantique last December with Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier at the helm, seconded by Morgan Lagravière, Erwan Israel, David Boileau and Yann Riou, will once again be racing to win. Up against them will be Sodebo Ultim 3, skippered by Thomas Coville, now fully flying since it has been fitted with new foils on the centreboard and middle rudder. Both are preparing for the Trophée Jules Verne at the end of the year, so the DRHEAM-CUP is timed just right, explains Thomas Coville: “It will enable us to gather momentum, continue to improve the crew and gain reflexes. Taking a start and finishing a course is the best practice for the Jules Verne”. The third Ultime, Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec) will have a chance to shine on a strategic and tactical course.

Multi50: At the crossroads of ambition (DRHEAM-CUP 700)

After Lalou Roucayrol in the first edition, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus in the second, who will be the winner of the third edition of the DRHEAM-CUP on a Multi50? The result of the 736 mile race is far from certain, between the title holder, who now knows his Solidaires en Peloton-ARSEP like the back of his hands (seconded by Billy Besson, skipper of the French SailGP team, Corentin Douget and Louis Viat), the ambitious newcomer Arthur Le Vaillant on Leyton (former Arkema, the 2016 winner), surrounded by an ace team (probably his father, a real multihull specialist, Aymeric Chappellier, like him, a Class40 sailor and Christophe Espagnon), and Erwan Le Roux, on Ciela Village, entrusted to him by Thierry Bouchard, who would love to shine for his return on a 50 foot trimaran. As for Sébastien Rogues, he will do all he can to be at the start at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin on Primonial, despite the major refit being delayed by the lockdown.

Class40: One scow and some cutting-edge crafts (DRHEAM-CUP700)

With the cancellation of the Québec-Saint-Malo transatlantic race, Class40 entrants have decided to race with a crew in the DRHEAM-CUP / GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE. And like two years ago, it should be a race between a few boats designed for winning: they include Banque du Léman, representing the new generation of 40 footers, with a round scow-shaped bow, skippered by the Swiss crew Valentin Gautier and Simon Koster, with their countrywoman Justine Mettraux. Its main rivals? Lamotte-Module Création, helmed by the Saint-Malo/British skipper Luke Berry, Black Mamba; the title-holding boat, which has left the ownership of Yoann Richomme to join Norman sailor Nicolas Jossier; the former Leyton, now named Entraide Marine, skippered by Charles-Louis Mourruau, and Everial, led by film maker-sailor Stan Thuret and crewed by Lionel Garcia, CEO of Everial and Roland Jourdain, who we don’t need to present anymore.

Figaro: A dressed rehearsal before the Solitaire (DRHEAM-CUP400)

With just over a month to go before the start of the 51st edition of the Solitaire du Figaro, for which it is a qualifier, the DRHEAM-CUP / GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE will be a dressed rehearsal of the summer classic, with a demanding 428 mile course that is so similar to one of the Solitaire stages it could be mistaken for one. Almost all the potential winners of the Solitaire will be there and will want to get their name at the top of the rankings, including Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), winner of the Vendée Globe and two-time winner of the Solitaire, Vincent Riou (Capmar), back on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit, the still impressive Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola), Cherbourg native Alexis Loison (Région Normandie), the British skippers Sam Goodchild (Leyton), Phil Sharp (Oceans Lab) and Alan Roberts (SeaCat Services), Normandy sailor Fabien Delahaye (Loubsol), as well as the new generation, led by Tom Laperche (Bretagne CMB Espoir), winner of the Solo Maître CoQ at the end of June, Pierre Quiroga and Erwan Le Draoulec (Skipper Macif), Loïs Berrehar (Bretagne CMB Performance), Gaston Morvan and two newcomers on the Figaro Bénéteau circuit, Elodie Bonafous (Bretagne CMB Performance) and Violette Dorange (Les Apprentis d’Auteuil).

IRC: The success of double-handed racing (DRHEAM-CUP400)

40 boats have entered this year in IRC, including 25 in IRC double-handed, proof of the success of this format, popularised by the Transquadra (which has been postponed a year). In the third edition of the race, the winners of the previous two editions will be racing in this category, Patrice Carpentier in 2016 (Groupe 5) and Alain Duvivier in 2018 (Hagat l’Hirondelle), and their competition will be strong, with Guy-Philippe Claeys (Expresso), Noël Racine (Foggy Dew), Penny Aubert (Georgia pour le Conservatoire du Littoral), Pierrick Letouzé (Raging Bee), François Moriceau (Mary), Patrick Isoard (Uship). In the crewed class, the overall winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017, Didier Gaudoux (Lann Ael 2), will try to add the DRHEAM-CUP / GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE to his list of victories, but once again there will be strong competition, with the winner of the 2018 edition in IRC 1 Sébastien Harinkouk (Amanjiwoo), Jacques Pelletier (Quadriconsult), member of the Yacht Club de France, the organising sporting authority of the DRHEAM-CUP, Richard Fromentin (Leclerc Hennebon) and many others.

Other classes: ACapella ready for a third win? 

In the other classes, Charlie Capelle, who took line honours two years ago on the 428 mile course and in Multi 2000 (like in 2016), will once again try to be invincible on ACapella Proludic. His rivals will include another La Trinité skipper, Yann Marilley (No Limit), the Belgian Gilles Buekenhout (Jess), winner in the Rhum Multi class two years ago, Fabrice Payen (Team Vent Debout) and Christian Guyader, on the brand new Guyader /Mext, a TS5 that left Marsaudon Composites boat yard at the beginning of March. Also noteworthy is the participation of two Large Monohulls in the Open class, Nicolas Groleau’s speedy Bretagne Telecom and Jean-Marie Patier’s famous “Red Cigar”, Formatives Networks, and two classic yachts, Le Loup Rouge (Pierre Le Goupil) and Faiaoahe (Rémy Gerin).

What they say: 

Patrice Carpentier (Groupe 5), entered in IRC double handed: “Since the first edition, I have been faithful to the DRHEAM-CUP and Jacques Civilise, who tirelessly organises it, in fact, I am the first entrant! I am delighted to go to Cherbourg, where we are always welcomed so well, and finish at home, in La Trinité. And this year, I will be sailing by new boat, a JPK 960 bought in Ireland, it is very seaworthy and easy to sail. There is a lot of competition in IRC Double, the format is a success, for amateurs, it is ideal.”

Franck Cammas (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild), entered in Ultime: “It’s great that the DRHEAM-CUP is starting, because it means we have a target for preparation and performance. It is important to have intermediate stages before the Jules Verne Trophy at the end of the year, especially with competitors like Sodebo, which has made huge gains in performance with new appendages. There will be plenty of difficulty, we are likely to sail at all points of sail, in many different conditions, it is perfect for our programme this year. If it is windy, we will be fast, 48 hours, perhaps less.”

Arthur Le Vaillant (Leyton), entered in Multi50: “I am delighted to get back into competition with such a beautiful boat, for its first race, with a great crew. The aim will be to place well and show that sailing is a wonderful sport. I think that it will be a great race, with other boats in the class in beautiful surroundings, where there can be twists, strong winds, thermal winds and calms. The mix of boats in this race makes the DRHEAM-CUP a great maritime festival.”

Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), entered in Figaro Bénéteau (solo): “The DRHEAM-CUP is really similar to a stage of the Solitaire du Figaro, both in terms of distance, 430 miles, and because we will go to sail in the same areas as in September, the Channel, the Channel Islands, the tip of Brittany… It will be the first time I sail solo on a Figaro in a multi-class race, and I am delighted to sail with so many talented amateurs and to feel the buzz on the pontoons in Cherbourg, which I am delighted to return to, as I haven’t been there for a long time. 100 boats on the racecourse will be fun, there will be something for everyone!”

Violette Dorange (Les Apprentis d’Auteuil), entered in Figaro Bénéteau: “LA DRHEAM-CUP is super important for me, in my preparation for the Solitaire du Figaro, it is a long course, quite difficult, in terms of navigation, with two channel crossings that require well organised sleep to watch cargo traffic and manage the Ouessant TSS. It will be a first time for me, as a Figaro Bénéteau rookie. It will be my first major multi-class race; it is great that we will all be together like that and sail with larger boats.”

Stan Thuret (Everial), entered in Class40: “It’s great to get back to racing in this event named GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE, bringing together several classes of boat. It’s fantastic to be able to bring together everyone like in a family, and go back to the Fastnet, we always love going there. Thank you to the organisers to have fought for this race to take place. The DRHEAM-CUP will be my first race as a Class40 skipper, my boat is perhaps not the latest, but it is good everywhere, very versatile, I can be in the match.” 

Charlie Capelle (ACapella Proludic), entered in Multi 2000: “It is our third participation on ACapelle Proludic, we won the first two editions in Multi 2000 and even took line honours on the DRHEAM-CUP 400 two years ago, which was unexpected. We are delighted to be back, especially as it’s the first race of the season, on a course running in the opposite direction compared to the previous edition, which can be harder and more selective if the westerly winds are blowing. There will be some tough competition on the start line, our direct competitors will be No Limit and the new Guyader, which looks like an excellent boat. ACapella is an elderly lady of 38, but we are regularly in the top three, first because she is a beautiful fast boat, and also because we sail a lot and make fewer mistakes.”

Thank you to our four partner clubs for their support and involvement in organising the DRHEAM-CUP 2020:
– Yacht Club de France, organising sporting authority,
– Union Nationale pour la Course Large (UNCL), technical partner, 
– Yacht-Club de Cherbourg and the Société Nautique de la Trinité (SNT), essential sporting partners.