Q&A with Hervé Ledue, current French Champ & 2014 Europeans event Coordinator

The 2014 Europeans will be held this June 20-29 at Cercle Voile Bordeaux, France. We contacted Hervé Ledue, event coordinator and 2013 French National Champ to know more about the venue and how he got involved in sailing A-Cats.

Hervé also maintains an all A-Cat blog: http://acatsailing.blogspot.com with local and International activity.

For additional info check 2014 Europeans NOR & Entry List at: http://www.cerclevoilebordeaux.com/classeA/home.htm
Prize Giving Image: Dennis Lucci. Sailing Photo below C.Breschi / Ricochets17.com

- The A-Cat 2014 Europeans are going to be held at Bordeaux. Which is the exact location of the event?
Hervé Ledue: This year, the A-Cat Euros will be hosted on the Atlantic French  coast near the famous wine country of Bordeux!
The exact place is the Hourtin Lake , 25 km long and 2.5 km wide North / South oriented .
Only five kms from the Atlantic ocean, within a pine forest.  The lake is a known holiday venue.

The hosting Club is Cercle Voile Bordeaux, that is in charge of the organization of the 2014 Europeans. It is one of the major French clubs , and regularly organizes National and International events throughout the year : Finn , 505 Moth , Laser &  Catamarans.  But also some great events like the Grand Prix of the Armistice in November which includes 150-200 catamarans (Class A, F 18, etc.).

- Is there local A-Cat activity / boats through the rest of the season?
In this club, there are a dozen A Class cats, the multiple champion of France, Gilles Escarret,  is a local sailor.

- Which are the predominant local weather/wind conditions , specially during the event period , June 21-29?
Wind conditions over the last three years shows an average of 8 to 20 knots, South -West to North -East mainly . Temperatures are pleasant for the period between 18 to 25 °

- Which is the limit number of boats for racing the Euros at Bordeaux? Are you splitting fleets if we reach that limit?
The host club ( CVBordeaux ) has set a target of 120 boats, and for the first time we will experience the championship fleet division. Phase four qualifying races and then a final phase of six races. The final ranking will be established on all races, 10 races total with one discard.

- You are the 2013 French champ , how were the Nats last year? 
In 2013, I became the champion of France , during the championship which was held in Hyères. 70 A-Cats were present at this event , with the presence of different champions from Europeans countries and also Mischa Heemskerk ( World Champion 2012) and Chris Field ( European champion ) .

- How long have you been sailing As? Previous cat experience?
In my case I started sailing with  WindSurfing , and lately I became very quickly  towards sport catamarans. For 25 years now I have sailed the Formula 20 , then F 18 for 10 years, and now the Class In the last 11 years.

- When did the French A-Class started? - Current numbers of boats / members?
The French class that has about 80-90 members, all amateurs  and is responsible to organizes major events. The French Class ( AFCCA ) was formed in 1986 , it is  a  very well organized institution, and respected by its members.
It brings together many sailors & events , and has a rich calendar which includes the fleets of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean (at least 20 to 70 A Class on events during the year) .

- The French Sailing Assoc seems to support catsailing more than others NAs, does the A.Cat has any coordinated support , or it is a A-cat members effort?
The French Association supports many other classes than Cats, and coordinate the entire bussines among sailing activity in France, coordinated with its members (Nat Classes Assoc).
Today we have great champions from other classes who paticipate in our  A.Class French Association events like Philippe Presti,François Gabart, Sébastien Col, les frères Peyron et others teams (MOD 70).

- You now have two local builders offering commercial A-cats, those are the first from France beyond custom builds? - Are there any other local custom boat racing?
Today we have two French manufacturers: Askell and Addiction. Two boats build in  hight tech honeycomb, but we also have the D3 Dominique Scheurer built in France at CDK Technologies.

- Comments on current situation on the Class:
The French Association after deep reflection, produced a 85% shared by its members idea.
We do not want to keep the invective, controversy, or unnecessary debate.
We believe that intelligent conclusion must be found to satisfy all the sailors who build our Class A National associations, and our International Association. We need  to enjoy the Class together and we will work in that direction. So we encourage all initiatives taken in this direction by the IACA.

Hervé Ledue
Coordinator A-Class Europeans , Cercle Voile Bordeaux, June 20-20, 2014.