The M2 Association
The Southern Attraction
Text: Pierre Meyer
After a very satisfactory 2011 season, highlighted by Tilt’s victory in the final of the Safram M2 Speed Tour, the M2 Association Committee (AM2) is now looking to 2012 with a raft of new ideas to give even wider exposure to the series, and to discover new horizons.
“We are at a crossroad,” says Rodolphe Gautier, President of the AM2. “The series has matured with the gradual internationalisation of the fleet (which now includes eight foreign boats), with new entrants, and also some of their precursors who are reluctant to give up. The timing is perfect to give new impetus to the M2 class, and to satisfy those who consider the regatta programme to be too heavy, as well as those who aspire to chart other waters, taking into account the non-Swiss M2 participants.”
A new format
Based on this observation, Rodolphe Gautier and his committee took advantage of the off-season to put together the new format, an attractive proposal which will create a better balance between the regattas and the personal lives of those involved, whilst providing some trips across national borders. “This opportunity is open to us because the majority of M2 crews have trailers, which facilitates travel. The AM2 is also willing to set up a winch for mast stepping to further reduce costs and expand opportunities for the home ports. In this way, returning to the Mediterranean or the Italian lakes will no longer be an insurmountable problem, and at the same time, the season will be shortened and more concentrated.”
With regard to 2012, Rodolphe Gautier has also proposed to radically change the present arrangement, with five firm fixtures: a meeting at Hyères over three days, early in the season (May), with a Grand Prix; back to Switzerland for the two grand classics of June (Geneva-Rolle-Geneva and Bol d’Or) and a Grand Prix at the end of July on Lake Geneva; finally, in September, the renowned 100 miles of Lake Garda with a Grand Prix final.
“Our principal sponsor is ready to follow us and a second associate is also prepared to back us,” says the delighted President of the AM2, who is sure that this new format will motivate the crews, both existing and new, whether Swiss or foreign.