The DRHEAM-CUP/ GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE, 2022 edition, will begin in just under three months. A great fleet is already coming together, and entries are still open. The promise of an adventure that meets the ambitions of its creator and organiser Jacques Civilise and his teams, that have been working on making this race, which has been part of the summer calendar of many sailboat classes since 2016, a high-level competition at sea, a party on land and a friendly event that many pros and amateurs can share based on a common passion, sailing.
Whether it be in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in Normandy, la Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany, towns and port authorities have been working for months to welcome the hundreds of competitors, spectators on land and those who will prefer to head out to sea to enjoy the start on Sunday 17 July off the coast of La Manche region, to reach the Morbihan coast a few days later.
Plenty of entries…
Jacques Civilise: “It is too early to give a comprehensive list, but we are delighted to have already close to 80 boats entered. If we add all those who have told us they intend to participate, it is likely that approximately one hundred crews will be on the start line of the 4th edition of the DRHEAM-CUP on Sunday 17 July.”
In the entry list, major names in French sailing who for some will be seeking qualification for the next Route du Rhum, “and of course, many are enthusiastic amateurs who take annual leave for the fun of competing together and racing against celebrated sailors”, reminds Jacques Civilise. “That is the DRHEAM-CUP spirit!”
A spirit highlighted by Jean-Luc Denéchau, president of the French Sailing Federation: “The strength of the DRHEAM-CUP/ GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE to me is its ability to unite. All classes of boats come or want to join in, so it rapidly became a classic. We speak of the DRHEAM-CUP is if it had existed for decades, like the FASTNET or SYDNEY HOBART… In addition to the well-timed dates, the “Pro-Am” alchemy works very well, with good feedback from towns relating to the “start and finish” villages, which weren’t a feature of this type of competition before. Jacques Civilise has clearly managed to create a great classic in only three editions.”
About a great classic at the service of partner regions
Benoit Arrivé, mayor of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin: “For 30 years, our town has welcomed major sailing events. The DRHEAM-CUP is the successor of the major regattas that have passed through Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and have contributed to the renown of our waters, from the large outer harbour to the Cotentin coasts and the Channel Islands, which are an exceptional playground. What immediately attracted us, when Jacques Civilise presented the DRHEAM-CUP, was the possibility to create a real classic from scratch, between the Channel and Morbihan. Modelled on British races with different courses to make the competition more legible. In 2020, when few races could be organised, one hundred competitors took the start from Port Chantereyne. This year, for the 4th edition, a qualification for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, there could be even more. The challenge is on course to being completed: the DRHEAM-CUP has established itself in the offshore racing calendar… and on the Cherbourg Quays, where there will be week-long celebrations.”
Yves Normand, Mayor of La Trinité-sur-Mer: “For decades, La Trinité-sur-Mer has hosted regattas that have brought together renowned amateurs and professionals. I always supported and encouraged the initiative of president of Drheam-Promotion Jacques Civilise to organise a nautical event that meets the expectations of many sailors of all levels and our desire to remain a reference in all things nautical, particularly offshore sailing. This new edition of the DRHEAM-CUP/ GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE is proof of the success of this offshore race, enabling amateurs to rub shoulders with professionals, while supporting a friendly and festive atmosphere. These elite sailors will confront each other with tactics, endurance in diverse and unusual sailing conditions. The Channel first, the Irish sea after, followed by the Atlantic and the beautiful Quiberon Bay, and a finish in La Trinité-sur-Mer. This race is now part of the emblematic and renowned events that attract internationally renowned sailors. We are delighted and proud to host this race. It is therefore natural that La Trinité-sur-Mer and Auray Quiberon Terre Atlantique are partners in this sporting and festive event, with Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, the start town. The same stakes, ambitions and values in both our towns where competitive spirit, taste for adventure and sharing of passions are in our nature.”
The crucial port authorities
One of the main difficulties when we organise such a race in mid summer and in attractive, tourist areas such as Cotentin, Normandy and Morbihan, is to “berth” the competitors – one hundred boats between 6.50 metres and 32 metres – in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin then in La Trinité-sur-Mer, as well as welcoming passing cruisers and all those who have come to watch the start and/or finish. The ports of Cherbourg-en Cotentin and La Trinité-sur-Mer are used to hosting major meets, in the spring and summer, and know exactly how to manage the “floor plan” on a just-in-time basis to best welcome competitors and visitors.
“Indeed, finding the space for one hundred yachts is like Tetris”, explains Jacques. “We are working upstream, closely collaborating with the harbour offices in Port Chantereyne in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin for the start and La Trinité-sur-Mer for the finish. Precious partners who find solutions to “push the walls”, either by freeing pontoons or adapting the ports, etc… Everyone cohabits cordially for the duration of the event. A great spirit and I wish to warmly thank the port authorities, as well as the users of the ports.”
In their own words:
Hervé MORIN, Président of Région Normandie: “The Normandy Region is particularly delighted to support the DRHEAM-CUP / GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE again. The Region is a major player in this race and contributes to the economic, tourist and sporting development of Normandy. Sailing in in our Region is 80 clubs, 26,000 licence holders, 1 young elite centre and many events on our coast and inland spots. Amongst them, we can name the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, the Normandy Channel Race, the Solitaire du Figaro. These events and the DRHEAM-CUP / GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE, enable Normandy to be sailing hotspot, visible and attractive on a national and international scale. We all know that coastal regions are now the most attractive. The image of a “coastal region” is highly valued. Normandy, with its 640 kilometres of coastline and one of the busiest maritime routes in the world, has all the essential maritime characteristics for development. I naturally wish to conclude by wishing fair winds to Normand skippers and saluting the involvement of volunteers who will ensure that this competition is a complete success”.
Philippe Le Ray, President of the Auray Quiberon Terre Atlantique Council: “Thanks to the DRHEAM-CUP, you will discover one of the most beautiful bays in the world in July: Quiberon Bay! An exceptional environment that we are particularly proud of, with a mosaic of landscapes: the first sailing spot in Europe, kingdom of sailing and waterports, islands, the wild coast, our dunes and beaches… A multifaceted paradise with an extraordinary concentration of nautical activities making up the DNA of our territory! A region that looks out to the sea, windbeaten and open to the world, particularly offshore sailing. That’s why, at the beginning of the year, we took part in the creation of Orlabay, a new offshore racing centre that we hope will train the sailors of the future. That is also why we have always supported companies in the sector, as well as the activities led by the major sailing schools that trained Eric Tabarly, Olivier de Kersauzon and Thomas Coville. Thus, the spirit of the DRHEAM-CUP perfectly fits the values that we promote every day: sharing, conviviality, adventure for all… Professionals and amateurs, young or experienced, mono or multihulls, we will be delighted to welcome you to La Trinité-sur-Mer and show off Breton hospitality!”
David Lappartient, President of the Morbihan Département Council: “Morbihan has unique natural advantages for watersports and sailing. As such, the Département can but rejoice to see its privileged environment showcased, with exceptional sailing grounds, watersports industry and port infrastructures through major events such as the 4th edition of the DRHEAM-CUP/ GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE, led by Jacques CIVILISE.
A great sporting, sharing and celebratory event for crews, this challenge combines performance and solidarity, human and maritime adventure, and brings together amateur and professional skippers in a port that is a reference for competitors and regattas: La Trinité-sur-Mer, renowned to all sailing enthusiasts. That’s why the Morbihan Département Council is delighted to welcome this great competition again, wishing this new edition as much success as the previous ones”.