Francois Goubau and his team on board the Bénéteau First 47.7 Moana was crowned the 2022 IRC European Champion.
They were just 0.003 of a point ahead of Picsou, the fleet’s smallest boat, after calculations via IRC’s formula that takes into account each boat’s result, plus numbers of scoring races sailed and importantly . . . class size . . . were completed.
Moana is a 2000 vintage cruiser-racer from Farr Yacht Design that Goubau has been racing since 2005 with a large contingent of immediate family, including his wife Michèle Gelhausen and sons Laurent, Mathieu and Alexis.
While Moana may be a relatively old family cruiser, racing her has been, and remains, no casual thing. Goubau is a past Commodore of the Royal Belgium Sailing Club in Zeebrugge and since 2005 the dark blue hull of Moana has been seen out on the Solent for more days than many local race boats.
For Picsou, the crew might have taken the news badly, particularly after ending up in the protest room upon coming ashore.
However they were exonerated and then accepted defeat in a most gracious, sportsman-like way. “We know the guys from Moana well, they are good friends of ours,” said owner Alain Rousseau.
And in IRC Three Picsou finished 10 points ahead of Michel Dorsman’s X-362 Sport Extra Djinn, tied on points with the third-placed HOD35 Zarafa of Iwan Vermeirsch.
Ultimately in IRC One Moana finished three points ahead of the Ker 46 Van Uden, in turn 11 in front of the MAT12 Sailplane, campaigned by Jean-Eudes Renier, winner of today’s first race.
The biggest upheaval and where the points were closest after nine races, was in IRC Two.
Here Arjen van Leeuwen’s J/109 Joule managed to cling on to the lead to win by just 0.5 points from Paul Jonckherre’s A-35 Njord which today scored a 1-2, mirroring Swiss owner Jörg Sigg and his J/99 Lällekönig’s 2-1. Radboud Crul and his Dehler 36 Rosetta were third.