© Thierry Martinez / DRHEAM Cup 2022

© Thierry Martinez / DRHEAM Cup 2022

Grand Prix de France de Course au Large over 50 entries already


11/04/2024 - 08:11

Entries to the fifth edition of the DRHEAM-CUP/GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE have been open since 2 January and are coming in steadily, with over 50 entries already with three months to go. These include a high proportion of overseas and IRC entries, particularly in the two-handed class, since the race is the second leg of the European IRC two handed Championship.

At each edition, the DRHEAM-CUP / GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE continues to be a huge success. Run every even-numbered year, the race has become a key event on the offshore circuit, having succeeded in "entering the legend" in its third edition, as explained by the president of the French sailing Federation, Jean-Luc Denéchau as early as the end of 2021. 40 boats lined up in the first race in 2016, 76 in 2018, 90 in 2020 and 118 in 2022; so how many will be on the line in Cherbourg en Cotentin's outer harbour on 15 July 2024?

“To date, 54 entries have been confirmed, which is very promising, answers Jacques Civilise, founder and organiser of the race. We expect a large fleet, which will be different to precious editions, due to a very busy race calendar this year. We will probably not see some boats that have attended previous editions, the IMOCAs for example, which will be just back from the New York Vendée-Les Sables d'Olonne race and will be going back to their home ports for work before the Vendée Globe, or some of the Class40, who will be finishing the Transat Québec-Saint-Malo or the Figaro Bénéteau 3, who will be on the Tour Voile.”

Several Class40 will however attend, notably the winner of the 2022 edition, Xavier Macaire, who has spoken about his attachment to the DRHEAM-CUP/GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE, which is on the class's European Trophy calendar: “I have made a habit of including the race in my programme, because I love the atmosphere and organisers. This year, it is particularly important to me to defend my title", explains the skipper of Groupe SNEF, who will battle it out in the dynamic 40foot monohull class with Nicolas Jossier (La Manche Évidence Nautique), the Normandy entrepreneur Alexandre Le Gallais (Trim Control) and two newcomers in Class40, former Mini sailors Louis Mayaud (Belco) and Nicolas Guibal (NG Grand Large).

The majority of the fleet will be made up of IRC, with a large proportion of two-handed IRC entries (26, to date), the DRHEAM-CUP/GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE is the second leg of the IRC Two-handed European Championship, starting soon after the first, the Cowes Dinard St Malo Race. Another noteworthy fact, half of the entries are from abroad, 10 nationalities are represented, including many British sailors.

“We are incredible satisfied to welcome so many crews from abroad; it fits fully into the DRHEAM-CUP/GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE's DNA, which is a race open to all, explains Jacques Civilise. It rewards our hard work in developing the race internationally. Thanks to our friends at the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), the race will not only be written into the RORC calendar, it will also be part of the RORC Championship, meaning points will count towards the season's rankings.”

The DRHEAM-CUP/GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE is listed in the Manche/Atlantique IRC Championship 2024 programme run by the Racing division of the Yacht Club de France, the Multi 2000 class - several boats, including Jess, skippered by Gilles Buekenhout and Rayon Vert, skippered by Oren Nataf, are already entered - and the Figaro Bénéteau class. Last but not least, for the first time it will welcome a fleet of Sun Fast 30 One Design, the new prototypes designed by VPLP Design and built by Multiplast and Jeanneau, which will then meet again in September in Lorient, for the mixed Double-handed World Offshore Championships. A fleet of ready to race boats is available for hire from Cap regatta.

In addition, the first Classic Yacht has officially entered the race, 1938 FIFE design Merry Dancer, owned by Vincent Delaroche, Chairman and CEO of Cast Software.

Suffice to say, the 2024 edition fleet, in which organisers are hoping to also welcome Ultims on the DC1500 course designed for them, is going to be particularly rich in terms of the variety of boats on the water, with the mix of professionals and amateurs that has contributed to its success since 2016. Note that entry prices will increase from 11 May, organisers wish to encourage potential participants to enter as soon as possible to be able to welcome everyone in the best possible way, working with port authorities in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and La Trinité-sur-Mer.


For the first time, during the fifth edition, the DRHEAM-CUP/GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE DE COURSE AU LARGE will welcome an official timekeeper, B.R.M Chronographes, a French luxury watchmaker. To mark this occasion, the brand will create a limited and numbered edition of ten men's watches and ten women's watches.

Another new partner will be welcomed for this fifth edition, Sevenstar Yacht Transport,the global leader in maritime yacht transport, who organisers have charged with an original "bag drop" operation, to transport luggage, extra sails and equipment that crews cannot take on board between Cherbourg-en Cotentin and La Trinité-sur-Mer.  A real help, especially for participants from abroad!

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