French sailor first over the line in Route Halifax to Saint-Pierre

Luc Coquelin celebrates his line honour victory in the 2012 Route Halifax Saint-Pierre
A French yacht 'Saint-Pierre en Bessin' skippered by Luc Coquelin of Guadaloupe is the fastest yacht in Route Halifax Saint-Pierre 2012. His Top 50 was the first across the finish line in Saint-Pierre at 7:14 AM Tuesday, July 10, 2012, making the crossing just shy of 43 hours.

RNSYS skipper Mike Sutton and his Halifax crew on Helm’s Deep, a Soto 40 raced across the finish line about twenty minutes later. Helm’s Deep is racing in a different division – PHR-1 and is the winner in that class, pending final results.

Dartmouth Yacht Club’s Grant Gordon and his Vagrant crew are in first place in the PHR-2 division based on the provisional results.

And the non – spinnaker division arrived through the night. On corrected time, Genesis, and skipper Gilles Derouet from the Yacht Club de Saint Pierre sit in first place.

A fleet of 27 boats competing in the four divisions left Halifax at noon on Sunday, July 8, 2012 after a starting sequence held just off HMCS Sackville near the Maritime Museum. Many of the boat flew their colorful spinnakers while heading out the harbour to start racing.

The Top 50 Saint-Pierre en Bessin

Coquelin is a highly experienced skipper. He operates 'Ecole de Navigation' in Guadaloupe and competes in international events. He has won podium finishes in the last four editions of the 'Route du Rhum', an international trans-Atlantic race held every four years between France and Guadaloupe.

'Saint-Pierre en Bessin' is the name he created to carry the colours of Saint-Pierre and its sister town in France, Port-en-Bessin Huppain which is in Calvados. Six sailors from the towns were on the RHSP winning crew – three from Saint-Pierre and three from Port-en-Bessin.

Other teams in the IRC division included 'Dawn Treader' owned by Lawrence Cohen of Virigina, USA which placed second, 'Bella J' owned by Ray Rhinelander of the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club in third and 'Defiant' owned by Jean Trottier of Dolbeau-Mistassini, Lac-St-Jean, Quebec in fourth position after handicapping.

Canadian sailor Derek Hatfield was the first across the line for the last edition of the event, RHSP 2010. His Open 60 'Spirit of Canada' raced the distance in 29:43:56, the fastest crossing recorded in the six editions of this race.

Final results will be posted on the RHSP 2012 website: http://www.routehalifaxsaintpierre.com/ and pictures and updates are on our Facebook page 'Route Halifax-Saint Pierre Race'.