South West France Venue

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Martyn O
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:43 pm

South West France Venue

Post by Martyn O » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:14 pm

All, I have spoken with Gareth and a couple of others on the committee about the opportunity we have been offered to take the fleet to South West of France to Lake Sanguinet in the Bordeaux area. Some of you I know have already spent a number of summer holidays in this area over the years and I would say that it has much to offer in terms of sailing and various types of accomodation from camping next to the lake, static vans, hook ups for campers and hotels etc. This is one of 4 lakes highly visible on any map of the area hence significant in size. The atlantic is only a few miles away with fantastic unspoilt beaches for as far as the eye can see. It also has an excellent network of cycle routes through forest areas that join the lake to the sea without the need to go on to the roads etc. I have sailed there on many occassions over the past 30 years...it is one of the best lake experiences around!!

I have contacted the local sailing club who have confirmed that they could host us at any time outside of August. Not one for this year but maybe one for the future? Gareth will be raising this at the next committeee meeting I am sure but it would be good to get some feedback on the principle at least? It may well also inject some enthusiam in to the French sailors if we are supporting a European event on their patch?.......Bon Or Non? 8)

Martyn

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maurice
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by maurice » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:18 am

Sailing in the South of France sounds good to me :P :-)))))

Cheers


M

jimc
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by jimc » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:46 am

What worries me is if it would be at the expense of turnout at events in the UK...

We surely must avoid a repeat of this year's situation where the IC travellers first place is completely undeserved...

Martyn O
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by Martyn O » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:37 pm

Guys I know that cost will be an issue, though i would have thought that given the location it could be viewed as a holiday destination also. The weather here is as good as the med with the added advantage of being cheaper plus there are some cracking rollers coming in off the bay of biscay only 15 mins away from the lake!!

I would be more than happy to lead the organisation of such an event with some help. The distance is around 8 to 9 hours of travelling time from the port of Caen, all on motorway until you get within half an hour of the venue. 8)

Once you have been you will wonder why you have not gone before.....better than Garda!!!

Martyn

colinbrown
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by colinbrown » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:53 pm

I'm all for this, but needs to be outside the French school holidays if possible. Dates I see as the only real problem. Also a very long way from the German IC sailors, essential to keep all the class types on board.
Last time we went to Carnac ( 1992?)the Swedes and Germans drove 1600km each way to get there. Cannot see that happening again but, has all my support.

Martyn O
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by Martyn O » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:48 am

Colin, understood on travel distance. I suppose we would all need to take that on board. Worth the trip though, have you been there yourself? I have done the carnac trip with other fleets. Have to say that on one occassion the event was canned because of sea state so wasted trip. The sun does not always shine so far north either. Agree on avoiding August which is the French holiday period. For this reason the club have suggested early July or early Sept but it really is up to us!!
8)

simon allen
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by simon allen » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:26 pm

I am sure that all would have a great time if sailed there. but there would not be many there, and it would not encourage any French people because there are none who live nearby who used to sail ICs, and they have long ago packed away their boats. It would be a long way for Germans (some of whom are in the teaching profession so could not come outside of school hols), and Johann (possibly the only interested Swede). If you want to hold an event in France I would rather it was part of the Breizh Skiff project, which organizes open handicap dinghy events around France, occasionally Belgium and Switzerland. This year for example they had events at Lac du Der (Champagne-Ardenne)- the biggest lake in France, Quiberon, Toulon, Lac de Ganguin, Plerin, Carnac, Aix Les Bains (I am here right now), La Rochelle, Martigues, Hourtin ( a lake close to the one proposed by Martyn). By sailing in one of these events you would promote the class in France, and it would not matter if only six boats turned up, and they are mostly out of school holidays. I attended one of these events at Lac du Der over Easter 2008, and it was very good. See the Breizhskiff website and look at "trophies" to see the events held this year.
Simon
simon allen

simon allen
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by simon allen » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:27 pm

I am sure that all would have a great time if sailed there. but there would not be many there, and it would not encourage any French people because there are none who live nearby who used to sail ICs, and they have long ago packed away their boats. It would be a long way for Germans (some of whom are in the teaching profession so could not come outside of school hols), and Johann (possibly the only interested Swede). If you want to hold an event in France I would rather it was part of the Breizh Skiff project, which organizes open handicap dinghy events around France, occasionally Belgium and Switzerland. This year for example they had events at Lac du Der (Champagne-Ardenne)- the biggest lake in France, Quiberon, Toulon, Lac de Ganguin, Plerin, Carnac, Aix Les Bains (I am here right now), La Rochelle, Martigues, Hourtin ( a lake close to the one proposed by Martyn). By sailing in one of these events you would promote the class in France, and it would not matter if only six boats turned up, and they are mostly out of school holidays. I attended one of these events at Lac du Der over Easter 2008, and it was very good. See the Breizhskiff website and look at "trophies" to see the events held this year.
Simon
simon allen

petermclaren
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by petermclaren » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:31 am

Great if we could get the French to organise it as a Europa Cup: it might breathe life into the French IC fleet.
Peter

michael Brigg
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Re: South West France Venue

Post by michael Brigg » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:29 pm

I have sailed on this lake about 2 years ago, on a "Rockley Sailing School" holiday. The sailing would I imagine be ideal for the IC, though in many places it is quite shallow, especially up the eastern shore. My (Non sailing) family really enjoyed the sailing school, and found the conditions ideal.

We travelled on the Bilbao ferry from Portsmouth becuase we didn't want to trail our boat such a long way (Only 60mph (ish) dont forget) but I would not reccomend it. The Bilbao ferry has limited shops to keep you occupied, you have to take a cabin for all the travellers, and although its only 3-4 hours up the coast, it would have been far quicker (and cheaper) to drive down from Caen even if you speed is limited by your Boat Trailer. We did get to see alot of Humpback whales though! (Literally hundreds, so if you're a "whale Twitcher, this is a must do trip!)

Weather conditions are dictated by the Bay of Biscay, which is well known for its storms and in mid summer we had quite a few mizzley days, but the wind was reasonably reliable and varied from a couple of days F1-2, mostly F3-4 at some point during the day, and enough F5+ to keep the nutters happy. Wave hieght in the middle is up to 1m at most , even with a blow, and not too choppy.

In mid summer the water is @30', and if you are working hard, with warm breezes, an hour or two in shorts and t-shirt is quite possible without getting exposure. A Shorty wetsuit is the most you'd need on most days.

We stayed at "Yelloh" Camp Mayotte (On the South Eastern shore) in a mobile home rented off the camp's website. Its mostly French, and not very anglophile. There are sailing club facilities and marinas on the South and South western shores. Rockley have now pulled out of Camp Mayotte and only use the smaller Lake Biscarrosse to the South. I think they felt they weren't made very welcome on the Camp site, or had to pay too much commision. That said the Mobile home we rented was superb VFM, very well equiped and there is a good beach and small marina attached to the site, and typical French Campsite entertainment/Pool/Bar/Restaurant etc. The Beach is unexciting but if you have young family, it is safe and shallow shelved, and the lake is quite warm, clean, Brackish Fresh water, which is nice for sailing.

There are some good walks in spectacular Pine forest in the direction of Archachon, a huge natural sandy inland harbour to the north, and at the entrance to this is the Dune du Pilat. (The biggest dune in Europe @300m high!)

There is a very good "Indian Forest" near Biscarosse for non sailing adventurous adolescents (and not so adolescent)

Biarritz is not far though I thought a bit disappointing on the Shopping. I guess it's a bit like going to Cowes outside of Cowes week. We booked Surfing lessons but they never happend as the weather was never right. Better of to book on the day when you are out there, if the weather is right. The surf varies from none to huge. The atlantic coast is actually about a 10-15mile hike from the lake, and other than surf the beaches are a bit of a desert.
Michael Brigg

K102 "Torment." Cold moulded Nethercott
K203 "Moonshadow" Carbon "Pyranha" Nethercott (Spare boat. Needs a polish)

Martyn O
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: South West France Venue

Post by Martyn O » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:38 pm

Michael, you have pretty much summed it all up. I have been may times over more years . The winds are reliable and the lake state ideal for canoes. Hourtin lake is a place i have visted on at least 4 occassions and is also great for the class Simon.

I think the French may well be surprised to hear that we are thinking about doing something like this and we may even encourage other classes to share the event with us if we went ahead. Think of it as a holiday destination particulalry if you have a family to satisfy!!! 8)

Martyn

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