The 33rd Ariane’s Cup kicked off in Port Crouesty in Brittany, from 22nd to 24th September with 102 boats and 820 crew taking part.
Born out of a successful initial Nautical Rally held at ‘La Trinite’ in 1979 between 10 boats from 3 French companies, the Ariane’s Cup contest is organised for companies connected to Ariane launcher programs and European space programs.
Since 1979 annual events have been organised by either a member of the European Space Industry or the organisation OSCAR, founded in 1984 to ensure continuity of the event year on year. The Ariane’s Cup is now an established sailing event on the Space Industry and Sailing calendars.
This year three Irish Boats travelled to Southern Brittany to compete, and in strong winds achieved Ireland’s best results ever. David Gibbons skippering Dufour 34 Gwerelaoen, raced by the collective Space Industry Skillnet Westmeath team came 3rd in Class 2 and a tremendous 8th overall. Oceanis 37 Marila skippered by Jean-Marie Bocquel with the Space Industry Skillnet Athlone team (joined by National Space Centres Marina Sologub), took 1st Place in their Class 2 Navigation Race with a 7th overall in Class2, and First 31 Kilsymer, skippered by Alan Murphy with Acra Control from Dublin came a very respectable 38th in the overall fleet of 102 boats.
Racing was cancelled on the final day due to strong winds, and the overall winner declared. Overall winner of the 2012 Ariane’s Cup and 1st in Class 1 was German EADS Eurocopter team, racing First 36.7 Tereul skippered by Axel Van De Vyvere.
Ariane’s Cup Events have been held across the world, from St Malo in Northern France to the Italian Riviera, from Martinique to the Balearic Islands, and back up to Stockholm. The only outstanding question is where it’s all happening in 2013.