Friday, September 12, 2008

Spare time this weekend?

Valencia Mayor, Rita Barbéra Presents the Clairefontaine Regattas at the Ayuntamiento

Trofeo Clairefontaine 13 – 14 September 2008

If you have some spare time this weekend or just want to see what has been happening down at the America’s Cup Port since the America’s Cup went into limbo [and Formula One came and went], now’s your chance.
The Trofeo Clairefontaine is an annual regatta with a difference. It is sailed at close quarters (in the harbour!) so that spectators can view the action from the shore. The best part is: each race lasts no more than 8 – 12 minutes! Valencia has been chosen for this, the nineteenth year of the trophy race series sponsored by French stationery company Clairefontaine, who are celebrating 150 years in business.
Eight of the best sailors in the world are invited to participate in a knock-out series over a weekend of short, exciting races in 7.65m (25ft) catamarans. Each boat has a crew of three including the skipper and teams are easily identified by their different-coloured spinnaker sails. Among the eight sailors are last year’s champion, Michel Desjoyeax, Alinghi helmsman Ed Baird and Solo Transatlantic Race winner Loïck Peyron. Spain’s Fernando León, an Olympic gold-medallist will be competing for the second time while for Claire Leroy, women’s World Match-Race champion, this will be her first invitation to this thrilling event.
The best place to watch the racing is on the terrace of the ‘Velas y Vents’ building near the entrance to the America’s Cup Port. There is plenty of parking there and free programmes showing competitors and timetables will be available on site.
A series of ‘warm-up’ races will take place Friday afternoon between 15.00 to 17.00 and the action proper gets underway between 12.00 and 18.00 Saturday and 13.30 to 14.30 on Sunday. Prize giving starts promptly at 15.00, so you could still be in time for a late lunch on Malvarossa beach.
Mike O’Neill

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