Yachting Art Magazine

Barracuda Tour 2017 - 36 Barracuda 7 and 8 on the Water, and 300 Fishermen for the Grand Finale only

The 2017 edition of the Barracuda Tour is exceptional. Yachting Art met with Yannick Hemet, Commercial Director of Bénéteau who presented it to us in exclusivity!

Barracuda Tour 2017 - 36 Barracuda 7 and 8 on the Water, and 300 Fishermen for the Grand Finale only

Yannick Hemet, what about this new edition of the Barracuda Tour?

Yannick Hemet - The Barracuda Tour 2017 is already in its fifth edition! It takes place in Brittany, at the port of Crouesty, town of Arzon, and welcomes about 20 partners. As usual, the Barracuda Tour is as a sportive fishing contest with no-kill: all the fish are put back into the water once measured, and only bass is fished.

This fifth edition is clearly marked by the international confluence...

Yannick Hemet - This is the first year we will be hosting so many competitors from international provenance, and this is part of the mechanics of the selection events we have been organizing: we can now see that the English, the Norwegians, the Spaniards are beginning to go through the selection events to qualify for the Grand Finale of the Barracuda Tour. The most represented country is Spain for which we already have at least six or seven foreign crews; then come Turkey, Norway, Great Britain... We will welcome this year the person in charge of outboard motors for Bénéteau in the USA, in order to learn what to do to eventually organize a US Barracuda Tour!

How many selection events have been organized for this edition in the network Bénéteau in France and abroad?

Yannick Hemet – From the selection events, we will retain a total of about 40 crews, after the Barracuda Tour, there will be other selection events for next year's edition... There are about twenty selection events abroad, as well as another 20 in France, thus a total of 40 this year.

How many participants in total?

Yannick Hemet - For the Grand Finale - with the partner boats - we can count on more than 70 crews of 4 people, so more than 300 people who will be on the water during the Grand Finale. Regarding the Amateur Challenge, we have about 20 partner crews and 20 amateur crews, so about 60-70 people. It is therefore possible to estimate the total number of participants for the Barracuda Tour 2017 at approximately 500-550 people in Crouesty.

What is the difference between the Amateur Challenge and the Grand Finale?

Yannick Hemet - The objective of the Amateur Challenge was to allow many people to benefit from a boat made available to them: They create their crew and compete for two days. The winner of this competition wins the keys of the Bénéteau boat for the Grand Finale.

When do this Amateur Challenge and Grand Finale take place?

Yannick Hemet - The Amateur Challenge will begin this Friday, May 12th with the launch and inauguration of the Barracuda Tour, and will continue for two competition days on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14 at Crouesty. The Grand Finale will take place from the evening of Wednesday, May 17, until Saturday, May 20.

The Barracuda Tour has become one of the world's no-kill fishing event. It is also a technical challenge for Bénéteau and partners...

Yannick Hemet - It's clearly a challenge. At the level of Bénéteau, we must put 36 boats available this year: 15 Barracuda 8 and 21 Barracuda 7, all equipped with Suzuki engines. It is not only a challenge for us at the boat preparation level; it is a challenge for the Suzuki team who mounted the engines, as the V8 are twin-engine, so we already have 30 engines of 150 horsepower to be mounted, in addition to the V7 in 200 horses, for a total of more than 50 engines to mount on the boats...

The Barracuda Tour traditionally hosts partner boats. These boats are customized with a total covering. How many boats this year?

Yannick Hemet – We have 18 boats with total coverings this year: The 15 Barracuda 8 which are in total covering, as well as 3 Barracuda 7. I would like to emphasize in this area the exploit realized by the company of Julien Bertho ATM Communication that realizes these coverings. Every boat requires a work time ranging from 8 to 12 hours!! In this regard, a contest of the most beautiful covering will be launched on Facebook, in which the Internet users by their likes, choose the personalization they like best. I invite all your readers to participate!

In terms of launch, the Barracuda Tour is also an opportunity to focus on a boat, the new Barracuda 7...

Yannick Hemet - That was the goal! We launched the Barracuda 7 at the Dusseldorf Fair and the Nantes Fisheries Fair, and received the first boats for the Barracuda Tour 2017. This Barracuda 7 is the culmination of the Barracuda Tour experience: It is a boat that has been developed and evolved with everything we were able to set up on the Barracuda Tour and the lessons we drew from it!

A great push forward for this boat?

Yannick Hemet – Yes, indeed a great push forward, and then there are two days during the Amateur Challenge, where people who are potentially interested in Barracuda 7 will be able to come and try it. 

Among the evolutions of this year, the village is open to all, maybe in a more obvious way than last year... 

Yannick Hemet - The village is located all around the captaincy of the port of Crouesty, and we have events organized with various partners in the village during the first and second weekend; It goes from training in electronics to the demonstration of fishing equipment; many of our partners played the game at the occasion of these animations during the Barracuda Tour. 

Last questions, Yannick Hemet, there are two boats with the livery of Bénéteau engaged this year? 

Yannick Hemet - Yes, we have a first boat in the livery of Bénéteau, the very first Barracuda 7 that was released, hull no. 1, this boat will be with the crew winning the Amateur Challenge for the Grand Finale, and we have put a Barracuda 8 in the livery of the Barracuda Tour. 

What are Bénéteau's ambitions for the Grand Finale?

Yannick Hemet - I'm not targeting placement. What I seek through the Barracuda Tour is conviviality, people enjoying what they are doing whatever their place in the competition; we always said that the main thing is to participate, but I think most importantly that the important thing is that everyone has a good time on the water, not looking at the places, but looking at how people will enjoy life for 10 days.

=> Barracuda Tour 2017 - 36 Barracuda 7 et 8 sur l'eau
et 300 pêcheurs pour la seule Grande Finale

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