Eurocat 2015: The première for the Flying Phantom Series

Pierrick Contin

The Eurocat is one of Europe’s biggest gatherings of racing catamarans. This year, it was also the first event for the Flying Phantom catamarans: The Flying Phantom Series – Eurocat 2015. Whereas the weather conditions were tough during the three days of racing, the race committee managed to launch 6 races for the Flying Phantom Fleet. Out of the fifteen or so Flying Phantoms initially planning to race, seven boats registered.

Among the participants, Franck Cammas was sailing the Team Momentys Flying Phantom with Antoine Joubert. Franck is not a stranger to the Flying Phantom due to the fact he was involved in the program during the research and development phase. Franck was keen to take part in this first event in spite of his very busy agenda that includes his Olympic campaign, C-Class- Catamaran and AC45 racing in the America’s Cup World Series. Sébastien Rogues was crewed by Benjamin Lamotte and was eager to increase his knowledge of multihulls and flying boats as this will be his main activity in 2015. And finally a couple of amateur sailors with crews completed by the Phantom Sailing team of Billy Besson – Matthieu Vandame and Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot.

Day 1

On the first race day of the Eurocat, three races were completed. Under a cloudy sky with 15 knots of wind with gusts above 20 knots, the race committee decided to choose a standard upwind-downwind race course instead of the reaching start and finish format. The first race was an opportunity to gauge themselves and to adjust the strategies sailing mostly upwind where they had to choose between skimming versus flying mode. Franck Cammas and Team Momentys took victory in this first race after leading on every leg leg. Unfortunately for Billy Besson and Matthieu Vadame, they were not able to finish the second race and take the start of the third one following a mechanical problem. Race 2 and 3 were won by the duo Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot after intensive battles with Team Momentys.

Day 2

The weather in the morning of day 2 was not very favorable with a southerly wind blowing at 19 to 25 knots with gusts up to 34 knots. Given these poor conditions, the race director decided not to run the long distance race.

Day 3

For the final day of racing, the weather was much milder than the previous day in Carnac. In the morning the wind was blowing at 20 knots, settling down to 17 knots. After a brief wait ashore, the competitors sailed to the race area for the last 3 races of the event. The showdown between the top three teams was really impressive with a lot of lead changes and tactical battles upwind and downwind. In this contest, Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot were the most consistent in their results and with their experience of the Flying Phantom they managed to win 1 of the three races enabling them to achieve overall victory. Billy Besson and Matthieu Vandame won the other 2 races.

 

The Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 event was a complete success and was particularly well organized by the Yacht Club de Carnac and thanks to the excellent professionalism of the race committee. This event was a brilliant demonstration of the concept of one design Flying Phantom regattas and paves the way for the future legs in the circuit.

Gurvan Bontemps, winner of the Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 with Benjamin Amiot
“I’m super happy with the competition. We finish in the sunshine after 3 days of difficult weather. We were all a little bit cautious as it was the first ever flying sports catamaran regatta. We discovered in racing conditions the different sailing modes upwind between skimming, flying and VMG optimization and that was very instructive. The level was pretty high with Billy and Franck, who are world class sailors sailing the Olympic catamaran, reinforcing the challenge and the competition out on the water. All crews had the opportunity to ramp up their knowledge of the Flying Phantom, the manoeuvres and speed … It is just fantastic to cross each other and be able to race in contact in full flying mode. I’m glad to see the result of the work carried out over the last 2 years on the Flying Phantom and looking forward the next races with more boats.”

Alex Udin
“It is great to have our first fleet event. Last year we had only one boat racing. What a success now to have so many boats out on the water. Unfortunately the weather was not easy, as it was hard for the sailors with a lot of wind and rain, but the result is just amazing with six races completed.
It was fantastic to see the confrontation between the experience of Gurvan Bontemps, the talent of Billy Besson and the competitive spirit of Franck Cammas.
Having big names from the sailing world racing this week-end was important, but the great mix is also to have professional sailors and amateur sailors: this is very important for us. A good balance of both categories will ensure the success of the series.
The Eurocat is the first event of the Flying Phantom Series this year. This was also the first real one design fleet race with foiling sports catamarans. Several events will follow in Europe starting with the Round Texel race in early June, Geneva in Switzerland for another One Design event and then back to France for the Raid Emeraude, a long distance race event in St. Lunaire. These will be followed by a few more events before the end of the season. It will be awesome to continue to see these sailors sailing all together on the same boat with the One Design spirit.”

Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 ranking: 6 races with 1 discarded

DAY 1 DAY 3
Ranking Team Helmsman Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6
1 FRA 4 Phantom Gurvan Bontemps Benjamin Amiot 2 1 1 2 1 2
2 FRA 8 Momentys Franck Cammas Antoine Joubert 1 2 2 3 3 3
3 FRA 1 Phantom Billy Besson Matthieu Vandame 3 DNF DNS 1 2 1
4 FRA 9 Zebra Sebastien Rogues Benjamin Lamotte 4 4 3 4 4 DNF
5 FRA 777 Bruno Marais Laurent Barthelemy DNF 3 4 5 5 4
FRA 7 Jean-Louis Lemoulec Pierre-Etienne Beyssac DNS DNS DNS DNC DNC DNC
GER 2 Sven Klingenberg Stephan Rumpf DNS DNS DNS DNC DNC DNC

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