Paris, from the virtual to the real

Tradition and modernity, sciences and the imaginary, all had complementary styles this Saturday at the Nautic. Honoured today were La Rochelle’s Société des Régates (Racing Society), elected Top Club 2013 and the Mini Transat Race, both real and virtual. Indeed, in addition to Benoît Marie and Aymeric Belloir, the two winners of the event, just back from Pointe-à-Pitre, the winners of the virtual race were also present at the show today, as were those from this year’s major races such as the Vendée Globe and the Transat Jacques Vabre. Plenty to delight visitors to the show then, who were also able to browse the latest new features in the domaind of deck hardware, applications and sounders…

The SRR (La Rochelle Racing Society) elected Top Club of 2013
A jury made up of elected members and partners of the French Sailing Federation, presided over by Antoine Albeau, elected the Top Club of 2013 among a total of six nominees: the Yacht Club Carnac, the Société des Régates du Havre (Le Havre Racing Society), the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the Yacht Club de Granville, the APCC Voile Sportive Nantes and the Société des Régates Rochelaises (La Rochelle Racing Society). It is the latter which secured the win after the traditional ceremony, which was held this Saturday 14 December on the main Nautic Stage for the third year running. In actual fact, the Club has had a remarkable year with, notably, the organisation of some major international events: the World Youth and Senior 470 Championships for the series’ 50th anniversary, the Finn Masters and, for the first time, the Semaine Olympique Française (French Olympic Week). And the figures for the SRR speak for themselves: 667 members, 350 cruiser racers, 200 sports dinghy racers, 200 volunteers, 33 national, regional and club judges, 55 races spread over 117 days of competition in 2013, 8 major national and international events, 6 corporative events, 13 sports dinghy events, 23 cruising events and 5 Match Racing events. As such, the SRR is the logical successor to the SNO in Nantes, represented this morning by Serge Raphalen, President of the Pays de la Loire League. In total, 106 clubs were rewarded for their endeavours in different domains including apprenticeship, sporting development, competition, leisure activities, safety and federation life.

A retrospective of the Mini Transat

This afternoon at 1500 GMT, Douarnenez Courses and the Organisation Committee responsible for the Mini Transat 2013, offered visitors to the Nautic a retrospective look at the Mini Transat 2013 in a round table attended by the winners of the two categories, Benoit Marie in the Prototype fleet and Aymeric Belloir in the Production fleet. A number of other Mini sailors, hot off the plane from Point-à-Pitre, were also present. Italian, Giancarlo Pedote, 2nd overall, notably put in an appearance among them.

Megajactpn winner of the Nautic Transatlantic Race

Present at the Nautic for the fifth year running, Virtual Regatta called the start of the “Nautic Transat” on Friday 6 December 2013 at 1830 GMT, during the show’s inauguration soirée. Over 30,000 players signed up for the big sprint between Newport and Lorient, at the helm of a Maxi trimaran in some very real weather conditions. Making the finish yesterday, Wednesday, after 4 days 21 hours 35 minutes and 02 seconds at virtual sea, Patrick Babin going by the race name “Megajactpn” won the event, less than 8 minutes ahead of Jeff ‘Turbo’ Simoneau, and nearly 10 minutes in front of Paula Ferron, with the pretty pseudonym “Saskiadesvaguesn TPN”. The podium was celebrated on the Nautic Stage on Friday at 1600 GMT in the presence of Loïck Peyron, guest of honour, as well as all the virtual and real winners of the major Virtual Regatta races that took place in 2013: the Vendée Globe, the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Mini Transat.

From the realistic virtual to the virtualised reality

Though 30,000 racers confronted one another in Virtual Regatta’s Nautic Transat using interposed screens, some tens of thousands of yachties have today made the switch to digital aboard their real boat!
Navigation. All the major protagonists of electronic navigation are presenting their latest innovations at the Nautic. Time Zero, MaxSea’s star application, can be found on the Ipad tablet, and Adrena, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is revolutionising the domain with its free global weather forecasts, rapidly calibrated speed polars and above all the opportunity to display data on the IPhone and Ipad, which are decidedly a must as universal readers aboard. For example, for the Donia application, which won the French Nautical Industries Federation’s Prix du Bateau Bleu, users can even manage to pinpoint the Posidonia sea grass where you have to avoid dropping anchor…

At Lowrance, the HDS families have grouped into one box a cartography, which is now compatible with CMap, Navionics and Genesis, with underwater Structure Scan images worthy of a video. At Hummingbird, another specialist of these all-singing all-dancing machines, we can discover the latest multi-touch Onix and Ion tactile screens, as well as new handsets offering Down-Imaging technology, that provides a real 3D view of the sea bed in real time.

Deck hardware, the practical takes precedence

A range of new features among the accessories and deck hardware are geared at all manner of practices. At the calm pace of a family cruise with a product such as the HandyDuck mooring hook, the boat owner can benefit from much easier port manoeuvres and buoy hooking when mooring and casting off, thanks to a loaded release mechanism, which is much more simple than on the models currently on the market.

There are also accessories for the perfectionist with aesthetic demands. Indeed, with the Softlink soft shackle developed by Wichard, which cleverly combines stainless steel and Dyneema SK75, you end up with a virtually indestructible fibre. This surprisingly simple product enables a very wide public to enjoy the benefits of a soft shackle, that has already proven hugely popular in offshore racing for many years due to its low cost and its hardwearing qualities. Combined with Wichard or Antal low friction rings, it is capable of changing the face of a deck layout through its simplicity and contemporary aesthetics, without requiring a deep knowledge of ropework.

Finally, another popular product with the racer is part of the range enriched by the Carbo blocks by Harken, which has been studied in detail so as to fine-tune the trimming on racing craft and racer-cruisers. Its ball-bearing blocks serve as an attachment for lacing. Incorporating a light technology, it is extremely lightweight and safe, even in the very rare case where a block subject to an excessive working load ‘explodes’ far out at sea. At Sélden, you can discover a new generation of lightweight furlers with a lower anchorage point.

And so it is that, 50 years on from Eric Tabarly’s first victory, yachting is continuing to thrive and so too are the wealth of innovations year in year out!