Dalin wins the 2016 Le Havre Allmer Cup, Cherry and Roberts get another Top 10
Faced with the most competitive fleet of the season yet, Skipper Macif 2015 racer Charlie Dalin was a clear Le Havre Allmer Cup favourite from the outset.
A 6 day competition comprised of one offshore and 8 inshore races, the stakes were high going into the competition, the first race of the 2016 French Championships and the final race ahead of the 1,525nm Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro.
Local boy Dalin hailing from Normandie, very quickly left the rest of the fleet in his wake. Winning four races over the course of the competition, including a longer offshore stint, the MACIF 2015 skipper and 2015 Solitaire runner up showed a fierce appetite for a victory on home turf – a hunger that was satisfied come the final day of competition.
Fighting Dalin for the podium was friend, teammate and rival Yoann Richomme, skipper of Skipper MACIF 2014. After a string of solid inshore results and finishing second in the offshore leg, Richomme finished second overall behind Dalin, with Figaro giant Gildas Morvan racing Cercle Verte in third.
In the British camp, Artemis Offshore Academy Alumni sailor Alan Roberts proved his early season successes were well deserved, finishing third in his first inshore race of the competition. By day two of the competition and about to take on the 117nm offshore race, Roberts was in a very respectable 9th on the leaderboard, with teammate Nick Cherry racing Redshift in 14th, Chatham skipper Sam Matson in 15th and Robin Elsey aboard Artemis 43 in 21st in the rankings.
A 20-hour sprint around the Normandie coastline through rocks and tide, the offshore element of the competition allowed for little sleep. Following an intense day of racing just the day before, the race proved challenging for the skippers with some silly mistakes made.
Dalin moved closer to the overall podium, taking line honours in the race ahead of Richomme and Erwan Tabarly aboard Amor Lux. Lower down the fleet, the provisional rankings were shaken up following a number of protests put to the jury.
A total of four skippers, Rookie Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Espoir CEM), Arnuad Godart-Phillipe (FAUN Environnement), Antony Marchand (Ovimpex - Secours Populaire) and Aymeric Decroocq (Bretagne CMB Espoir) were all given 24 penalty points after entering an exclusion zone. Sebastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance) was later disqualified after rounding the Fécamp mark the wrong way round and not correcting his course.
Following the offshore racing, the sailors were straight back into the inshore competition. Cherry was able to push his way through the rankings thanks to two solid top 10 finishes, while Matson and Roberts both finished top 10 in the final race of the day.
After four days and five races, eventual winner Dalin had just a one point lead over Richomme. Meanwhile Roberts still occupied 9th, Cherry was knocking on the door of the top 10 in 11th, Matson was 12th and Elsey 18th with just two days of the competition left to race.
Putting in another two top 10 performances on the penultimate day of racing, Cherry showed that his match racing talents run deep to sit in 9th, pushing Roberts into 10th.
With the final two decided races canned due to thick fog and no wind, the results were set. Dalin ermeged a well-deserved victor in La Havre Allmer Cup, just one point ahead of Richomme and 25 points ahead of 2014 winner Morvan.
British skippers Cherry and Roberts secured their positions in the top 10 in 9th and 10th respectively – the 3rd top 10 position for Cherry this season and the 4th for Roberts.
After a difficult start to the competition, Elsey clawed back seven places to finish in 16th, while Matson’s trademark consistency saw him end the competition in 14th.
The next race in the 2016 Classe Figaro Bénéteau calendar is the long awaited Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro, the unofficial solo offshore sailing world championship.
Here is the final ranking of the 2016 Le Havre Allmer Cup
1. Charlie Dalin (Skipper MACIF 2015) 27 pts
2. Yoann Richomme (Skipper MACIF 2014) 28 pts
3. Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) 52 pts
4. Nicolas Lunven (Generali) 54 pts
5. Vincent Biarnès (Guyot Environnement) 86 pts
6. Alexis Loison (Groupe FIVA) 86 pts
7. Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux) 90 pts
8. Corentin Douguet (Sofinther - Un maillot pour la vie) 104 pts
9. Nick Cherry (Redshift) 116 pts
10. Alan Roberts (Alan Roberts Racing) 119 pts
11. Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Espoir CEM) 123 pts
12. Anthony Marchand (Ovimpex-Secours Populaire) 130 pts
13. Sébastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance) 142 pts
14. Sam Matson (Chatham) 147 pts
15. Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) 171 pts
16. Arnaud Godart-Philippe (FAUN Environnement) 192 pts
17. Robin Elsey (Artemis 43) 193 pts
18. Sophie Faguet (Région Normandie) 194 pts
19. Aymeric Decroocq (Bretagne CMB Espoir) 197 pts
20. Claire Pruvot (Port de Caen Ouistreham) 198 pts
21. Marc Noesmoen (Team Vendée Formation) 226 pts
22. Cécile Laguette (Ilona) 227 pts