Grand Prix Petit Navire 2009

The Grand Prix Petit Navire, one of the most renowned competitive kiteboarding and sailing events, will host the 2009 European Course Racing Championships.

Since its creation in 1999, the Grand Prix Petit Navire has constantly kept evolving and diversifying.

The 2009 edition of the Grand Prix petit Navire will take place from April 30th to May 10th, marking the 10th anniversary of the Grand Prix Petit Navire, which will be an opportunity for the hundreds of volunteers to join forces and to celebrate once again this cherished yearly sailing event.

Douarnenez, in springtime, is naturally enchanting and its magical atmosphere is further enhanced when the whole town bends over backwards to welcome sailors from all around the world. It’s a real party atmosphere. At this point, the bay becomes a theatre of unusual encounters between high-tech, classical and traditional sailing types. 

For this tenth birthday, we foresee the simultaneous participation of the following classes: 85 Dragons, the largest racing fleet in the world, 100 kitesurfers, constituting Europe’s largest gathering of kites and hosting the european course racing championships, class 60 ' IMOCA monohulls of the Vendée Globe, Class 40’ monohulls, 6.5m-long Mini boats, 300 schoolchildren competing in the Optimist class and the Port Rhu Museum’s open house featuring its traditional boat building skills.


La Ventana Classic 

For the Crossing Race 119 racers entered this year’s event. 18 pangas sponsored by local business Ventana Windsports (Esteban) and captained by our seasoned local fishermen transported the competitors to the waters of Los Viejos at Cerralvo Island.

Due to fluky winds the crossing was pushed back two days and was finally held on Saturday. On race day we had 36 entrants in the sportsmen class and 75 in the competitor’s class.

As everyone waited for the La Ventana wind to fill in a treasure hunt was held where maps were distributed with clues in English and Spanish and racers had to ask advice from panga captains and dig to find great prizes.. 30 prizes were donated by the top kite manufacturers including a brand new kite from Sol Kiteboarding in CA.

Two rabbit starts were held the first with a 10 minute countdown and the second with a 5 minute countdown….The starts were very exciting with varying strategies, and although there were many kites and windsurfers gunning for the gap between the buoy and boat at the same time, only two kites bumped and fell and both riders re launched to finish the race.

The wind was building nicely before the race but just before the start a lull came over the island. Mid channel things improved, and on the La Ventana side the wind finally filled in to include the turning buoy with an estimated 18-20 knots.Three windsurfers swept the top places while kiters on race boards and surfboards were close behind.

The course was 10.75 miles long and 1st place finisher Macrae Wylde a sponsored Sailworks rider crossed the finish line in a mere 25 minutes and 10 seconds with a 7.2 m sail.

With his GPS tracking his progress, he logged a top speed of 29.3 knots. He was not the first to the turning buoy however but sailed closer to shore than the leaders and jibed his way into covering the competition and pulling ahead.

The fastest kiter was Sean Farley, a Mexican pro from North followed by Shawn Richman riding for Wainman , Jim Bison of New Wind Kiting, French Pro Etienne Lhote of F-One, Hawaiian Pro Jessie Richman of Cabrinha, and Brendon Richards of Caution from Santa Cruz.


Tampa Bay Kite Masters 

The 2009 Tampa Bay Kite Masters ("The Rayley Grace Kite Race") is on. Kickoff party is at Water Sports West on Feb 28th at 6:00 pm. The official start day of the race is on March 1st, wind permitting.

The Tampa Bay Kite Masters and Water Sports West have planned to do a charity race. Julie and Jayson Orkins delivered Rayley Grace Orkins at 4 months premature and weighing in just over one pound at birth.

It is a miracle that Rayley Grace Orkins is still with us after all that she endured from getting pneumonia and almost losing her a few times, but due to the efforts of the Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) staff at All Children’s Hospital she is still with us today.

After reading this article in the St. Pete Times, we see that they could really use some help. That’s why we will donate all proceeds to the All Children’s Hospital as a thank you for saving Rayley. The winner of the Tampa Bay Kite Masters will be assisting us in presenting the check to All Children’s Hospital.

We will be holding the race this year in any wind direction so it might be a Gulf run from Sand Key to Caddy's or a Bay run from Gandy to the Skyway. This run could also happen in reverse since we are fortunate that we can ride on any wind direction.

We are looking for at least 15 mph wind speed to hold the event; this is why it could happen on March 1st the day after the pre party. The entry fee can be made via paypal from the website. The entry fee is $25.00 and for any donation above the entry fee will be recognized.