Nautic de Paris - The clubs, the vital links, the virtual races and the equipment at the Nautic

This Saturday, the Centre Nautique de Kerguelen Sellor (Kerguelen Sellor Watersports Centre) and the Société des Régates d’Antibe - Juan les Pins, respectively elected best Sailing School and best sports club of 2014, were honoured on the Nautic Stage.

The same was true for the winner of the Nautic Transat, who was also in attendance today at the Porte de Versailles, along with the other winners of this year’s major virtual events such as the Seven Star Round Britain & Ireland Race, the Clipper Round the World Race, the Normandy Channel Race and the Lorient Horta Solo. A truly delightful day then for tens of thousands of visitors who are packing into the Nautic Paris Boat Show for this final weekend. 

The CN Kerguelen Sellor and the SR d’Antibes – Juan les Pins rewarded for 2014

Jérôme Dominé / AFP / Nautic 2014 

A jury comprising elected members and partners of the French Sailing Federation, presided over by Armel Le Cleac’h, selected the Société des Régates d’Antibes – Juan les Pins as best sports club of the year 2014, while the Centre Nautique de Kerguelen Sellor earned the title of top Sailing School of the Year 2014 – a distinction awarded for the very first time. The latter were crowned after the traditional Top Clubs ceremony, which was hosted today for the third consecutive year. In total, 75 clubs were rewarded for their hard work in a variety of domains, including apprenticeship, sports development, competition, leisure, safety, yachting enterprise and the issuing of club licences. 

Jean Kerhoas, Vice-president of the development section and member of the Top Clubs’ jury: “For the first time this year, we’re awarding a prize for French Sailing School of the Year. This is something particularly dear to our hearts since the French Sailing Federation is also synonymous with a recreation and apprenticeship format. It seemed logical and proper to add this distinction for the federation clubs. The Centre Nautique de Kerguelen Sellor satisfies the criteria we set out, taking into account the number of its members who practise sailing, the progress it’s made, as well as the great variety of activities it offers. It’s no surprise that it’s been chosen, because this is the centre that has issued the greatest number of sailing passports this year.” 

Jean-Pierre Churet, Vice-president of the dinghy sailing section and also a member of the jury: “The Société des Régates d’Antibes – Juan les Pins was elected Sports Club of the Year 2014 in line with a number of criteria. This club has an excellent approach that is geared around competition, as well as the life of the club. It has achieved excellent results with French and European Champion titles. Furthermore, its sports policy in both dinghy sailing and cruiser-racing is outstanding. It has a real balance between performance and social interaction. The jury unanimously selected the SR Antibes – Juan les Pins and its 1,200 members and 700 racers ranked in the Individual National Federation Ranking as the Sports Club of the Year 2014.” 

“Laissebeton TPN” winner of the Nautic Transat

Present at the Nautic for the sixth consecutive year, Virtual Regatta fired the starting gun for the “Nautic Transat” on Friday 5 December 2014 at 19:30pm, during the show’s inauguration soirée. Over 51,000 players set sail on the sprint from New York to Lorient at the helm of a Maxi trimaran in some very real weather conditions. First to make the finish on Wednesday after 4 days 19 hours 21 minutes and 38 virtual seconds at sea, Patrice Champrenault, known as “Laissebeton TPN”, who also won the Lorient Horta Solo on “Les Gourfilfots TPN”, took victory in this event with a very narrow margin, less than a minute ahead of Polish player Piotr Wojtaszko known as “Piwow” and four minutes ahead of Patrick who uses the lovely pseudonym of “Megajactpn”. The podium was celebrated this Friday at 17:00pm on the Nautic Stage, in the presence of all the virtual and real winners of Virtual Regatta’s major races in 2014: Olivier Strievi, skipper of “N53” (Sodebo Autour du Monde), Philippe Metayer, skipper of “banzai49tpn” (Seven Star Round Britain & Ireland), Jacques-Yves André, skipper of “Kurun56” (Clipper Round the World) and Philippe Metayer, skipper of “banzai49tpn” (Normandy Channel Race).
Encounters and autograph signings 

This Saturday, at the Nautic, visitors to the show got the chance to meet the windsurfer Antoine Albeau, world champion some 22 times, the skipper Erwan Le Roux, winner of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe 2014 in the Multi50 category, the sailor-journalist Fabrice Amédéo, author of “Voile Spectaculaire” (Spectacular Sailing), nominated for L’Express – Nautic Maritime Book Prize, as well as adventurer Jimmy Cornell, who presented to the public his journey across all the seas of the globe via his  “Blue Planet Odyssey” project. All of them kindly agreed to sign autographs and chat with the wealth of enthusiasts at the show. 

For 10 days, the Nautic is doubtless the largest equipment showroom in France. Indeed, practically everything that is deck hardware, sails, outdoor clothing, hydraulics systems and machinery of all kinds, has been gathered together at the Porte de Versailles venue. A number of trends have appeared and they are always geared around the latest technological innovations and are 100% practical 

Present in Paris for the very first time, Tribord has hit the ground running at the Nautic with two key products, which are sure to revolutionise the practice of marine leisure activities. The EasyBreath snorkelling mask makes the mask and snorkel pairing look very old hat thanks to its comfortable, and above all perfectly natural approach to breathing underwater, whilst the Wairgo lifejacket is suitable for any kind of watersports activity, from dinghy sailing to swimming in the sea, to kayaking, SUP and surfing. This small pectoral jacket is self-inflating to 50 Newtons and ensures a minimum level of buoyancy in the event of oral or automatic inflation. Along the brand new gangway linking Halls 1 and 2, the 100% Breton brand Hoalen is debuting a neoprene winter wetsuit that goes by the name of Noire and boasts an incredibly competitive price and a sophisticated look. Currently being sold at a temporarily low rate (through until the end of March), there is one condition: each user has to promise to send the manufacturer some feedback on how the product is to use: Surfing the wave is good, ensuring that the user is entirely satisfied is better! Also worth discovering is a new textile brand — Wear is my boat — created by two former employees of the European Centre for Innovative Textiles (CETI), which provides technical underwear that improves a person’s resistance to seasickness. It works by incorporating a membrane that reflects the infrared naturally emitted by a person, thus enabling permanent auto-warming of the body and maintaining the sailor’s muscle tone. The product was successfully tested by a crew during the last Transquadra Race. 

Électronics, the path of Wi-Fi 

Wireless connectivity limiting the complexity and weight of an electronic device appeals to an increasing number of sailors. 
In this way, Furuno has launched the first Wi-Fi radar in its range. Of course, the power continues to be supplied by wire, but the data is transmitted using waves sent directly to the skipper’s iPad or iPhone. Solely compatible with Apple devices, the radar information broadcast in this way is displayed via a free application or the Maxsea navigation app. 

Another wireless device is the SonarPhone Tbox sounder, distributed by Navionics, which also enables the display of depth information on a smartphone or a tablet. 

Geared this time at users of an Android tablet, as we await the development of an IOS version, the famous weather prediction application and 4D weather routing is transformed into very comprehensive navigation software. Coming in at €60, the complete cartographic catalogue from the French hydrographic service is accessible in tablet form. Weather forecasts, routing and navigation are thus grouped together into one application at a competition-busting price. 

Concentrating the data from a navigation centre, a sounder, a radar, a chart tracker and navigation software with the weather and tide times, the tablet and the Smartphone become the navigator’s primary tactile wireless interfaces, whatever the boat size. With one of these devices, all you need then is to protect the screen with one of the numerous watertight, anti-impact skins offered at the Nautic, such as CaseProof, and you have 21st century all-purpose, economic, mobile electronics. 

Very light kit

Lightness seems to be the motto in the equipment hall with several new additions to the market which highlight the weight saving. With this in mind we have the designer NUB, a new, spherical, friction block weighing in at sixteen grams and capable of withstanding loads of four tonnes! The same applies to the Baro-plug, an electronic plug&play barometer that connects to the on-board NMEA 2000 network, which broadcasts its measurements via the navigation centre and its different indicators. The objective reached was the same for the little individual RescueMe MOB1 beacon weighing just 90 grams and enabling a man overboard to be pinpointed thanks to AIS technology. Finally, even lighter than ever, the new automatic lifejacket from Plastimo will ultimately replace the Pilot Race model thanks to a textile harness rather than a stainless steel one and thanks also to a zip closure instead of heavy metal loops. Finally, the eternal liferings that have pride of place on the pushpits of our boats are also under threat from the new inflatable IOR pole from Plastimo, which has proven to be a suitable modern counterpart whilst providing optimised safety. 

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