Before the start of the Vendee Globe 2004 race, the first three boats of a new class – First Class 7.5, which were built by Beneteau at one of their factories in Saint Hilaire de Riez, came to the marina. Skippers, journalists, representatives of yacht clubs and sailing schools were invited to get acquainted with the new boats, which will replace the popular First Class 8 racing class from January 2005.
The yacht’s combination of excellent handling and ergonomics immediately attracted the attention of specialists. The First Class 7.5 was named Yacht of the Year by the renowned French Voile Magazine and is the fruit of a two-year collaboration between many designers and the French Sailing Federation (FFV). The yacht turned out to be very maneuverable, sporty and perfect for sailing training.
Michel Poitevineau, President of Marine Sports in the Les Sables region, predicts a bright future for this model: “This yacht will soon completely replace First Class 8. This yacht is the future for our yacht clubs.” To speed up these processes, the President announced the organization of the Skippers Trophy race before the Vendee Globe regatta.
“This is really an opportunity for Vendee Globe skippers to relax a bit in the company of journalists and local yachtsmen, to walk a little at good speed in good company. We will award the winner of this competition. It is also a great opportunity to once again show the First Class 7.5 to the general public. “
All French yacht clubs were invited to show the new class. “We are currently building a First Class 7.5 fleet at Les Sables,” said Mr Michel Poatevineau at a press conference. “This way we will be able to meet our regional challenges related to the growth of talented yachtsmen on modern sailing yachts-monotype.
Associations and fleets of these yachts will also be created on the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean. In my opinion, at present, with the support of the Regional Consul of the Vendee Region, Beneteau, the City of Les Sables and the French Sailing Federation, the First Class 7.5 will have a remarkable development within 20 years. “