On 4, 5 and 6 June, around a hundred refrigeration and air conditioning professionals gathered at the port of Crouesty in the French department of Morbihan for three days of Dufour 34 monohull regatta racing around the unique island of Houat, off the coast of Brittany.
Twelve 8-strong crews turned out for this year's Voiles du Froid, the 18th consecutive edition organised by Climalife in association with our loyal partners Assurfroid, Clima+confort, HRS, Honeywell, ITE, Mobil Industrial Lubricants, RPF and Snefcca.
One of these, unusually for the event, was an all-women crew, with members from all over Europe. The team rose valiantly to all the challenges they faced, making it onto the overall podium.
After lunch on board, giving the participants the opportunity to meet their crew mates and their professional skipper, the first two regattas, sponsored by Snefcca and HRS, were approached in a friendly spirit, with the emphasis very much on getting to know each other. Our sailors showed great adaptability and sportsmanship from the start: a brief session of introductory training was swiftly negotiated and the competition was soon underway. The ITE boat was the first to arrive at the finish line at Houat.
The competitors then retired for a well earned rest. Some stayed in hotels or gîtes, while those who preferred total immersion opted to sleep on comfortably appointed sailing boats.
In Saturday's Honeywell and Mobil regattas, somewhat chaotic due to a lack of wind and a passing bank of mist, the wiliest and most technically adept teams were able to show their class as they made their way around the various buoys on the banana-shaped course.
Late in the afternoon, all of the sailors came together on dry land for a "sand regatta" organised by Assurfroid. Armed with buckets and spades, our sailors briefly became explorers, searching for clues that had been spread across the island, before finishing the event by building a Frioplus cylinder. There was plenty of talent and ingenuity on show...
To round off an emotional day and reward the winners of the various regattas, the crews assembled under a canopy overlooking the long, sandy beach for a boisterous gala evening with entertainment by the Trio Cabaret. Assurfroid revealed the winners of the sand regatta in a torchlight procession.
On Sunday morning, with the wind conditions very much to the liking of our sailing enthusiasts, came the Climalife regatta, which offered an unforgettable spectacle as the boats negotiated the buoys, and proved decisive in the overall standings.
The ITE boat, which had been well placed since the Friday, clinched the Voiles du Froid trophy on the line, with the "Demoiselles" crew finishing as runners-up. Third place went to Bordeaux 1.
The event ended in a warm and friendly atmosphere, with the competitors sharing a cocktail on the terrace of the Crouesty Yacht Club, before returning home full of emotion, unforgettable memories and firm intentions to return next year.
Voiles du froid 2010 ranking:
Snefcca regatta: ITE / Toulouse / Paris 1
HRS regatta : ITE / Toulouse / Demoiselle
Honeywell regatta: Bordeaux 1 / Bordeaux 2 / ITE
Mobil regatta: Demoiselle / ITE / Paris2
Assurfroid sand regatta: France / Lyon / ITE
Climalife regatta: ITE / Bordeaux 1 / Toulouse
General ranking: ITE / Demoiselle / Bordeaux 1
Climalife would like to thank its partners, who each year help to ensure that the event remains an unmissable date in the refrigeration and air conditioning calendar.
If you wish to take part in Voiles du Froid 2011, don't hesitate to contact your Climalife contact person.