What is the actual role and responsibilities of a race director on an event such as Lorient-Les Bermuda-Lorient?
In essence the role is to set up and deliver the sports programme as defined by the authority organizer, in this case Lorient Grand Large, in compliance with the regulations of the FFVoile and apply the World Sailing sports and safety rules as required for this race. As such race direction is responsible for writing the notice of race, in coordination with the organizer, and the instructions which descibe exactyl what the race will be from a technical standpoint including such things as the number of participants, the resources and rules put in place to ensure safety and security and the means of communications.Race Direction then has the role of coordinator between the various entities delivering the event fairly and safely: communication, the regulation and rules panels and jury, the port authorities ... And during the race, besides the role of guarantor of fairness and eqaubility, it deals mainly with security and safety.
How did you come to be a race director?
I started out working in the sailing industry managing the Mediterranean training center, the CEM which has been within the Yacht Club of La Grande-Motte since 2002-2003 and is certified by the French Sailing Federation. As I like some diversity, I was a bit of a racer in the Mini and Figaro in particular and after being a skipper I was coaching with the Gilles Chiorri training centre. He switched to the role of Race director function and I have often worked since then as his assistant. We have collaborated on great races such as the Route du Rhum, the European Tour in MOD70 and others. And since a few years now I have wored in the position of Race Director, as a part of a succession planning by some of the older directors.
Will the course for Lorient-Bermuda-Lorient be open or relatively restricted in terms of the route?
It is a very simple route: start from Lorient, between the island of Groix and the tip of the Talus, return to Bermuda, with a buoy just the north of Bermuda to pass. We stay with the historical course. There will be the possibility of taking one technical stopover of a minimum of four hours outwith a radius of 150 miles around Lorient.
What will the programme in Lorient be?
The boats will have to be in Lorient-La Base on April 26, with entertainments and animations planned for the whole week. There will be a prologue and exhibition runs on May 1, the start will be sounded on Sunday May 5th at 13h02