... The Class shall make people dream ! recommends Xavier...
Xavier is rather new to the class and within no time he and his brother Gaetan resurrected a Fiveoh
fleet in the Lyon area after 15 years of no activities. He shares with us how he got hook with our boat and
he proceeded to rebuild this fleet who gave to the class one early builder (EDEL) and several champions.
Hello Xavier ! You're one who takes a large part in the revival of the Fiveoh fleet in the Lyon area
(France) over the past two years, would you be so kind as to tell us how you got hook to our boat?
How come you started to inventory all existing Fiveohs in your region? Tell us how did you manage to achieve
Bonjour Jean-Baptiste! My parents owned a cruising boat but they sold the boat in '99. Since I could no
longer sail, my brother and I put a lot of pressure on my parents so they buy a new boat and preferably
a dinghy. One of my father's colleague was selling a "good Fiveoh". She took part to Worlds
championship. My parents finally bought her. And here we go sailing on our Parker FRA7648 and I must
confess today she frighten us in our first attempts.
How many boats did you finally inventory and how many are sailing today?
The idea came slowly after many sailing on our own…; To be the only Fiveoh sailing is not much fun.
Then on a day we finished early our sailing on the Paladru lake near Grenoble, I stop over along the
Grand Large Lake in Lyon and discovered that 5 other Fiveohs were sailing in the region. I met Maxime
the new proud owner of a well maintained Kyrwood who directed me to the class website and forum.
Rapidly we were 4 fiveohers. I then had to give many calls and send many e-mails in order to just
simply stay in touch. Our group took off the day Marcel Buffet and you came down to visit us in October
2005 in Lyon. From that day on we could rely on a list of owners with contact details and moreover
we could use our own web space and pages on the forum where we could advertise our fleet and our lakes
but more important we could carry discussions concerning our own activities in our region.
And yourself, how many boats did you fix up until today?
We managed to inventory 22 boats today in our region. 15 of them sailed once at least in 2006. Most of
them are being fixed.
What was the most difficult thing to fix on the boat? And what took the longest?
I'm finishing fixing two Parkers. I recoup a third Fiveoh (Fountaine Pajot 6210), but I ended up giving
this boat over to a young and talented handy bloke in our region. We should see this boat on the water
again sooner or later, but there is a major boat restoration to undertake.
What model did you use to fix and rig your boats? Did you share experience among fiveohers of the
Lyon area? Or with other fiveohers?
What is the most difficult thing is that you find constantly something new to do. There are two things
that I found really hard to do well particularly: replace the broken plywood deck because it takes a
lot of time and requires a lot of patience, and rig the hull because there are so many bolts to screw
in incredibly difficult places such as inside tanks.
Are all Fiveohs sailing on the same lake in your fleet?
The forum is a fantastic tool for this sort of work. The advices I got from you and Marcel were key as
well. Locally we often share our ideas. I also was lucky enough to take part in the Cavalaire regatta
and this was a great opportunity to analyse many different systems.
Do you regularly go out training together?
We actually sail on 6 different lakes, two of them are where we most sail: Lyon and Paladru namely.
A third one is taking off in Le Bourget in the Alps.
You did take part yourself to some or our regular regatta, can you say a word about this experience?
We sail together but not real structured training sessions. We intend to do this once we all sail our
boat once they are all fixed. We should set two types of training sessions: In winter on the
Mediterranean sea and during the rest of the season on our lakes. We are currently figuring this out.
As for regatta we are planning to take part to 4 regatta per year. Some of us are also taking part to
International or National regattas.
What motivates young lads like you in our class?
After you came with Marcel a year ago, I planned to go sailing the 2006 Europ Cup in Cavalaire.
I knew this would be the last Eurocup in Cavalaire and I did not want to miss this opportunity.
Cavalaire is the place I first see the open sea. This was my third regatta ever and my first time
with the large kite! To be honest, I had nothing to do there with respect to my sailing level.
Michel (Current French President) was pleased though to have me on board and we ended up 43rd out of 57 boats. For the French
Inland championship in Strasbourg, I crew for you. This was a great opportunity to visit my friends
in Elsass and to get to know the Plobsheim lake I've heard of a lot before. I enjoyed sailing in a
regatta where sailors are sailing real well.
What do you believe the class shall do to better develop the class and better help guys like you
creating new fleets in region such as yours?
The boat in herself is so much fun! To discover how she sails under different conditions
is really exciting. Take part in high level competition and large fleets is something to not
miss at all.
Are you guys going to send one team to the French National Espoir regatta (for under 25 yold)?
COMMUNICATE! The fiveoh class developed and manages fantastic Internet tools such as the
forum, the web-site and the mailing-list. The class should take full advantage of those tools to link
with new folk. Those who sails are the first point of contact and they shall make what it takes to
welcome the newcomers. This first contact must be followed up with a visit from the class officers.
Ideally to come down with 2 or 3 recent boats so newcomers can see what a good Fiveoh is like and how
to make her work properly. The class shall make people dream.
Then pick someone and promote this guy as the new fleet captain as you and Marcel did in our region.
This person becomes the point of contact and any new person willing to join in knows who to speak to.
Then the class shall help this person to organize the first local regatta or to pick one existing
regatta so everyone locally make a point to participate. The class should make available a simple
guide so the new captain can use to help him get the regatta set up right in order to avoid
disappointment and mistakes but also to be considered by officials from other bodies (League,
Department, Club officers, etc.).
If you would give and advice a young team starting sailing our boat, what would you say?
I hope so, but our young sailors are only with us for a few months. They are actively preparing their
boat. I have to give them a hand. A year ago one of our guy did take part in the 2006 edition in Le
Havre, and this was a real success. As for me, I wont be able to coach this year because of Uni exams.
For the years to come, we should focus on the Le Bourget Lake where several young teams aged 15,
I'm really impress with the fantastic atmosphere you create each time we come down visiting you and
especially the fantastic organization you guys put in place to welcome us. How do you manage this so
First thing, take the time to well know your own boat, on the water as well on the shore. Then sail as
much as you can so as to feel the boat and tune her right. Do not hesitate to join one existing fleet
so as to share advices. Finally do not hesitate to go racing in regatta of good level, as a crew at
Thank you so much Xavier for your time and all the superb efforts you are undertaking for our boat and
class in order to revive the class in this region.
Thank you very much for your kind words. But if we want to get more people into it, it is necessary
that all participants do not regret they had come. We always will be very pleased to welcome even more
people each time.
We could not decently let all those great Fiveohs drying up any longer. Thanks for your help, and the
help from Marcel and all others. This help is really key.