Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Trophée Clairefontaine has arrived in Valencia

The nineteenth edition of the Trophée Clairefontaine of Sailing Champions is being prepared here in Valencia, right inside Port America's Cup, home of 2007 America's Cup and more recently the F1 European Grand Prix. The Trophée Clairefontaine de Valencia will be raced on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September on this world-famous and natural nautical stadium. Eight great champions will be racing.

Two crews from Alinghi will welcome the six other champions on their nautical stadium, including Michel Desjoyeaux who won his fourth Trophée Clairefontaine last September. Michel Desjoyeaux is also invited for his victory in the 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre.

The Alinghi Black crew is composed of the American Ed Baird, Alinghi's helmsman, New Zealander Rodney Ardern (mainsheet trimmer) and Dutchman Pieter Van Nieuwehuyzen (bowman) who were part of Alinghi during their two successful campaigns in 2003 and 2007. This trio is used to sailing catamarans especially on the Extreme 40 catamarans of the iShares Cup circuit where they have won the last tow rounds in Hyères (France) and Cowes (Great Britain).

The Swiss Alinghi Red crew is the crew who finished second of the 2007 Trophée Clairefontaine at La Trinité-sur-Mer (France): Luc Dubois at the helm, Pierre-Yves Jorand tactician and mainsheet trimmer and Yves Detrey bowman.

The Clairefontaine catamarans getting ready. Racing will take place right inside Port America's Cup. Valencia, 9 September 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The Frenchman Loïck Peyron, seven times winner of the Trophée Clairefontaine and third of the 2007 edition, only two points behind the Swiss from Team Alinghi, will also be part of this travel to Valencia which will celebrate the Papeteries de Clairefontaine (Clairefontaine Stationary) one hundred and fifty anniversary. Besides his outstanding record of achievements and his podium last year, Loïck Peyron is also invited to the Trophée Clairefontaine de Valencia thanks to his recent victory - the third one in a row! - on the England - United States course of the single-handed transatlantic race (Artemis Transat).

Fernando León, Tornado Olympic Gold medallist in Atlanta, will represent Spain with as crew men his fellow countrymen: Jordi Calafat, 470 Olympic Gold medallist in Barcelona and Alinghi member during the 2007 America's Cup, and Guillermo Altadill. Fernando León already participated to the Trophée Clairefontaine three times, twice as crew man of the double Gold medallist Theresa Zabell, Patron of this Trophée Clairefontaine de Valencia, and once as champion (1998 - 3rd).

The Frenchman Jean-Pierre Dick was part of the 2006 Trophée Clairefontaine after his double victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre. This year, he is invited after his recent victory in the Barcelona World Race, the double-handed round-the-world race from Barcelona to Barcelona round the three capes.

The Frenchwoman Claire Leroy is invited for the first time to this event bringing together international sailing stars thanks to her Match Racing World and European titles, and her first position in the Women Match Racing World Ranking list (for two years now) and for her "2007 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year " title.

The Frenchman Nicolas Charbonnier, who has just won a Bronze medal in 470 in the the Beijing Olympic Games with his crew Olivier Bausset, is the eighth guest of this Spanish event. It is the first time that he joins this exclusive club composed of all the champions invited to the Trophée Clairefontaine of Sailing Champions.

Preparing the Clairefontaine catamarans. Racing will take place right inside Port America's Cup. Valencia, 9 September 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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