Even before the protagonists in this CIC Normandy Channel Race 2022 take on the English Channel and the Celtic Sea, the 13th edition of this Norman classic is already shaping up to be an historic edition. Boasting a record participation, a line-up of a calibre never seen before and the presence of nearly all the latest additions to the production fleet, it promises to be a magnificent event. We review the runners and riders…

Somewhat symbolically, the 2021 champion of the event, Project Rescue Ocean (162), skippered by Axel Tréhin and Frédéric Denis, was also the first to tie up alongside the Quai Vendeuvre this Monday 9 May. Surely the first in a long list of potential winners of the CIC Normandy Channel Race in its 2022 vintage. Indeed, the Breton duo will certainly have their work cut out defending their title, as there are a number of Class40 specialists fleshing out the ranks this year. Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel – 158) will be one to watch, accompanied by another excellent sailor, Italian Ambrogio Beccaria, as will Antoine Carpentier (Redman – 161), who is sailing with an event faithful, Norman skipper Nicolas Jossier, both duos eager to add the demanding race to their prize haul.

The CIC Normandy Channel Race will see a record 30 duos taking the start this Sunday 15 May. A dense fleet then, but also one of great calibre, with 13 of the 15 boats launched since the last edition signed up and in attendance. A dense fleet then, but also one of great calibre, with 13 of the 15 boats launched since the last edition signed up and in attendance. Given how the latest generation Class40s have continued to go from strength to strength year on year with an ever-increasing number of tweaks to performance since the arrival of the scow bows, we can certainly expect an almighty dogfight out on the water.

On a human scale, the standard is equalling eye-popping, starting with the specialists from other classes like the Figaro, who have fallen hard for the charms of this 40-foot craft, which has always attracted the big names of offshore racing. Corentin Douguet, Yoann Richomme, Alexis Loison, Xavier Macaire, Achille Nebout and Fabien Delahaye will all be out in force to compete in this year’s CIC Normandy Channel Race… alongside sailing legends like Vincent Riou, Mike Golding and Brian Thompson, with their endless CVs, all of them present in Caen to take the start of this 2022 vintage.

As a result, this 13th edition of the CIC Normandy Channel Race is sure to go down in history. It goes without saying though that the event’s reputation is firmly established, the course renowned for being extremely demanding in some complex navigation zones, with the weather playing a crucial role in proceedings. What’s more, the hellish pace at which the 1,000-mile course is raced means that victory really is anyone’s game.


Quotes from the boats:

Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel): : “My previous two participations in this race have already left me with some incredible memories. This is a completely crazy course, which is action-packed with plenty of twists and turns each time… It’s an intense battle and an endless war of nerves, which will be all the more formidable this year given the remarkable competition!”

Alexis Loison (Edenred): “It’s a massive pleasure to finally be able to participate in this race which has become an absolute must, especially so with a sailor like Manu Le Roch. It’s an amazing line-up. The course really appeals to me as the entire thing plays out on my favourite playing field.”

Axel Trehin (Project Rescue Ocean): “Last year, the CIC Normandy Channel Race was our very first race on the boat just weeks after her launch, so it all came off superbly well. Let’s hope it wasn’t simply down to beginner’s luck and that everything we’ve learned about the Class40 Project Rescue Ocean since then will enable us to pull off the double! Fortunately, Fred and I are always up for a challenge! We’re also very happy to see that the line-up is fleshing out and that the battle is shaping up to be even finer for this race, which always throws up something crazy…”

Antoine Carpentier (Redman): “The CIC Normandy Channel Race is an essential part of the Class40 circuit. It’s an endurance race, which is played out at the pace of a sprint. It’s also a race where the fleet frequently bunches back up and reshuffles the cards. Its 1,000-mile course with passages spanning the English Channel and the entrance to the Celtic Sea requires a permanent watch. Having Nicolas aboard Redman is a real bonus! He knows the English Channel like the back of his hand and he’s an excellent racer to boot. This year, the line-up is exceptional and we’re looking forward to being on the start line.”

Jean Galfione (Serenis Consulting): “I’m very motivated to be returning to the CIC Normandy Channel Race with Vincent and a new boat. The 2022 vintage is incredible given the competitive standard and the evolution of the boats. It’s always a great pleasure to come to Caen as we’re always given a wonderful welcome!”

Aurélien Ducroz (Crosscall): “I’m absolutely thrilled to be back in Caen and the CIC Normandy Channel Race, which is a race I particularly relish. Its course, its atmosphere and its organisation make it one of the mainstays of the Class40 race schedule. Gérald and I are extremely motivated to play around at the front of the fleet aboard Crosscall, though we’re well aware that we’re up against some stellar competition in this latest edition.”

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