During the Pentecost weekend the Grand Prix International de la Cote d'Opale celebrated its 10th edition at the harbors of Dunkerque and Boulogne sur Mer in Northern France. More than 46 teams joined the Helly Hansen supported regatta to make a great fest of the anniversary. The GPICO is the biggest sailing event in the region and is organized by Ligue de Voile du Nord-Pas-de-Calais (North of France Sailing Association). The sailing association comprises of 20 000 sailors and supports 2 major top level competition structures, to further promote high level sailing.
The participating teams were racing the whole weekend along the English Channel and the Nordic Sea where they enjoyed various sailing and weather conditions inshore, as well as offshore. Saturday, the sun and the light 10 knots breeze offered to the participants an opportunity for a very strategic battle in the classes HalfTonner and IRC1. Sunday was the 35 nautical miles offshore race day with rain and wind of 20 knots that let the boats sail with full power.
On the shore and in the harbors of Dunkerque & Boulogne sur Mer the public enjoyed the ambiance and the various activities organized for the 10th birthday of the GPICO. The highlight was the baptism of the last Mini 6.50 "Hissons les voiles en Nord-Pas-de-Calais" of the skipper Julien Marcelet, who finished 12th in the Pornichet Select last month.
This 10th edition of the GPICO offered a great spectacle. With the changing weather conditions no race was boring even for a moment! At Helly Hansen, we are very proud to support such a sailing forum. We want to wish again a very "joyeux anniversaire" to the staff and everyone involved in the organization, and congratulate them for preparing an event of such quality.
More Info: http://www.gpico.org/