On Monday 23 January, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, the much anticipated 2012 MOD70 European Tour was presented. Starting on 29 August, five weeks of intensive racing will see the six competing MOD70 yachts race nearly 5,000 miles in a mix of offshore competition, and races in the heart of five cities in five countries: Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.
2012 MOD70 European Tour
The six MOD70 yachts are helmed by skippers with some of the biggest hauls of oceanic medals – Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet, Roland Jourdain, Steve Ravussin and Yann Guichard. The teams will be setting off from Kiel in Germany, on the Baltic Sea, towards the east coast of Ireland, after a rather unfamiliar passage via the North coast of the Shetland Islands which will see the teams reach 60° North – as far north as Cape Horn is south.
After stopping off in the Emerald Isle, the teams will tackle the descent of the North Atlantic, heading for Cascais in Portugal, for an eight-day stopover before heading east.
Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the MOD70s will cross the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea to tie up at the feet of the Bonne Mère in Marseille (France), while the final leg of the European Tour 2012 will take the MOD70s on a big looped circuit around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, prior to climbing up to an Italian port looking out onto the Ligurian Sea…
At the end of this tour of Europe, the fleet will have covered 5,000 miles and crossed seven seas and one ocean.
Start: Kiel, Germany, 2 September:
Steeped in maritime tradition, Kiel is the city which played host to the Course de l’Europe during the first edition back in 1985, and again in 1997, for the 4th leg. For this 2012 edition of the MOD70 European Tour, the local authorities were the first to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project. Alongside KIEL.SAILING CITY, the online gambling company, Betfair, will be present at both the legendary Kiel Week, to be held in June 2012, and the German stopover for the MOD70 European Tour 2012.
Uwe Wanger, Managing Director of Kiel Marketing GmbH, “In collaboration with Betfair, we’re proud to play host to the first leg of the European Tour, an event that forms part of the MOD70 circuit, for their first race in Germany. These spectacular boats represent technology at its highest level – a point they have in common with our new partner Betfair. With this stopover, we’ll be punctuating a series of prestigious sailing gatherings and we’re hoping for between 50.000 and 80,000 spectators at the heart of Kiel to witness the racing.”
Marco Simeoni, President of MOD Ltd., “Today we’re happy to be able to present the first edition of the race around Europe, aboard MOD70s. Since 2009, we’ve been working on putting together a one-design class and a coherent circuit for racers, boat owners and our partners. With the current economic context colouring Europe, things haven’t been easy but we’ve managed to pull it off. The cities of Kiel, Marseille and Cascaïs are the first three cities to have signed up alongside us and the contracts with the remaining two cities involved in this project will be signed in the coming days. Featuring 5,000 miles, 5 countries, 5 host venues and 5 City races, this MOD European Tour will be the setting for a competitive and cultural oasis! Thanks to the one-design format, which guarantees sporting equity, we’re sure to witness some great on-the-water confrontations between the MOD70 crews competing in this 2012 season.”
Hervé Favre, Event Manager OC ThirdPole, “To organise a European tour is an opportunity to revive the great moments in the history of oceanic multihulls, but it’s also a genuine challenge in every possible way. This is true in logistical terms first of all, as not all the ports in Europe can accommodate 6 or 7 trimarans measuring 22 metres long and 17 metres wide. It’s also true in sporting terms, with the need to construct a balanced circuit and some interesting legs, with around 3 days spent at sea between cities. Finally there’s the marketing aspect, with our desire to select cities whose image and notoriety are recognised on the international playing field, and who are keen to communicate their outward-looking attitude to the sea. We’ve also endeavoured to involve the Teams and their partners, who have guided the final decisions. Launching a new event is never easy, particularly today, but we’re proud of this very fine course, which will support the increase in power of the new Multi One Design Class”.
Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of the MOD70 Foncia, “This MOD70 version of the European Tour 2012 will be the second event of the season. It will be longer and more intensive than the Krys Ocean Race, but I bet you that the crew of Foncia will be very much into their stride! Added to that, the European Tour isn’t a complete unknown for me as I raced aboard Crédit Agricole, the winning boat in the first edition back in 1985. I sailed it again in 1993, aboard La Poste. It’s always a real thrill because there are a number of intriguing passages to be negotiated. The race zone really deserves to be highlighted! Alternating between offshore legs and inshore events appeals to me since it’ll give us the opportunity to show our different guests what the MOD 70 Foncia is all about during the stopovers. These moments of sharing and exchanges aboard our fantastic machines are always rich and interesting.”
Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the MOD70 Oman Sail, “Our MOD70s are capable of covering great distances in a short space of time so they’re really cut out for this type of course around Europe! For my part, I’ve already had the opportunity to compete in European races in 1993 and 1997. I have some very fond memories of them with some great battles on the water. I expect nothing less in this edition. This European Tour really ties in with the agenda that my partner OMAN had in mind, which involves promoting tourism among the European public across the sultanate.”
Yann Guichard, skipper of the MOD70 Spindrift racing, “I’m more familiar with transatlantic events and this will be my first participation in a European Tour. I’m very enthusiastic about the idea of helming my MOD70 Spindrift Racing over this course, which will enable me to discover the race zones, particularly as regards the first leg between Kiel and Ireland. Another first for me is alternating between offshore and inshore races, especially over the course of a month! It’s going to be raced at a steady pace and we’ll have to be consistent and perform well, whatever the race format.”
Roland Jourdain, skipper of the MOD70 Veolia Environnement, “It promises to be an enthralling sail… Already at the time of the multihull, and also the monohull, all the racers adored the race. On a sporting level, it’s a superb mix of offshore and coastal courses. On a multihull we’re sure to have a ball!”
Stève Ravussin, skipper of the MOD70 Race for Water, “Germany is a great country for sailors, as it has a particularly important place on the map of Europe. As such I’m very happy and proud to be part of this first European Tour in Kiel. Adventure, speed and adrenalin, a mixture of spectacular offshore races and city races on an equal footing… it is the epitome of everything I love about sailing! In addition to the sports competition, I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness amongst adults and children about problems relating to water… Indeed, with the MOD 70 Race For Water, ambassador for the Multi One Attitude Foundation, we’re going to spread this message to the four corners of Europe as well as battling to sail some fantastic races!”
Sébastien Josse, skipper of the MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild Group, “The European Tour is proposing an ambitious programme and it will be a difficult race. For three weeks we’re going to link together a series of offshore and city race formats at a steady pace and the team will have very little time to catch their breath. This second event of the 2012 season will showcase the crews’ stamina and their ability to adapt to the switches in format. The North-South route of the race is likely to provide us with some highly varied conditions. The northern part may give us some really lively conditions at that time of year, whilst the second part, in southern Europe, should prove to be milder. However, that’s just a hypothesis as the Mediterranean is never short of surprises and could very well dish out an entirely different scenario. The European Tour will be intense with a line-up of six honed crews after the Krys Ocean Race.”
The MOD70 European Tour 2012 in brief :
– First edition of the European Tour in MOD70s.
– 6 competing sailing teams (6 crew members per MOD70)
– 5,000 miles
– 5 countries visited: Germany (Kiel), Ireland, Portugal (Cascaïs), France (Marseille), Italy.
– 5 offshore races and 5 inshore events (city race and speed match)
Stopover schedule :
Kiel (Germany) from 29 August to 2 September
Ireland from 5 to 9 September
Cascaïs (Portugal) from 12 to 20 September
Marseille (France) from 23 to 30 September
Italy from 3 to 7 October
The multihull and the Course de l’Europe :
– 1st edition of the Course de l’Europe created by Gérard Petipas with the support of the European Community
– Start on 9 August
– 8 legs: from Kiel (Germany) to Porto Cervo (Italy)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Philipe Jeantot on Crédit Agricole
– Start on 12 July
– 8 legs from The Hague (Holland) to San Remo (Italy)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Daniel Gilard on Jet Services
– Start on 17 July
– 6 legs from Hamburg (Germany) to Toulon (France)
– Victory for Serge Madec on Jet Services V who won 5 of the 6 legs.
– Start on 12 May
– 6 legs from Lorient (France) to Santa Marguerita (Italy)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Laurent Bourgnon on R.M.O, just 93 seconds ahead of Mike Birch
– Start on 23 May
– 6 legs from La Rochelle (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
– Start on 20 May
– 7 legs from Venice (Italy) to London (England)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
– Start on 1st June
– 5 legs from Cherbourg (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
– 2 legs from Genoa (Italy) to Lorient (France)
– Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuj
Dates to remember: 2011 / 2012
25 January 2012: Launching of the MOD70 SPINDRIFT RACING
12 april 2012: Launching of the MOD70 OMAN SAIL
January to May 2012: Launching of the MOD70 nr.7
Race Programme: 2012 / 2014
7 July 2012: Start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
2 September 2012: European Tour
June 2013: European Tour
November 2013 – April 2014: Ocean World Tour (6 stopovers, 5 oceans, 12 racing teams)
August 2014: KRYS OCEAN RACE