The 49th annual 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race concluded 4 p.m. Rouen, France time Monday, May 28. This year, Mercury dominated the event — powering the top nine finishers: Mercury powered the top five in Class 3 (mostly Mercury S3000 race engines with a sprinkling of Evinrudes). Merc owned all of Class 2 (OptiMax 200XS SST or SST 120 power). The fourstroke Mercury’s swept the top four in Class 1 competition (Mercury, Honda and Yamaha brands).
Rouen 2012 was historic on many fronts:
1) This was the first time in recent history the race start date was changed from April 30. It was the second consecutive year the race was not run continuously for 24 hours. This year the race was stretched out to three days, with six hours of racing on Saturday, May 26; 12 hours of racing on Sunday, May 27; and the final six hours run on Monday, May 28. Racing began 3:30 p.m. local time Saturday, May 26 and ran until 9:30 p.m. Racing convened at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 27 and ran until 9:30 p.m. Racing convened again 10:00 a.m. Monday with a 4 pm finish.
2) This year also marked the first time in history an International All-Female team (Olympic Team Rouennais #24) competed in the event.
3) 2012 was the first time a Mercury fourstroke won Class 1 which has historically favored 2-stroke Yamahas.
Class 3 and Top Five
Team Pegase Humanis #8, a Mercury S3000 race outboard-powered Moore hull won the race overall and Class 3 competition. Drivers Christophe Boyard, Xavier Savin and R. Avenel completed 730 laps, 30 laps ahead of Drakkar #2. Force Inshore #18, Neptune Inshore #14, and Tech Motor Racing-Matm #16 rounded out the top five overall and in Class 3 competition. All were powered by Mercury S3000 race outboards.
Class 2 Sweep
Reigning Class 2 champion Team Dailly Inshore Passion #36 completed 593 laps, one ahead of Neptune Inshore #34 to capture their second consecutive Class 2 victory and a respectable sixth place overall. Dailly Inshore Passion #35, Olympic Team Rouennais #24 and Marine Inshore #28 rounded out the top four in Class 2 and 6-9th place overall with Mercury OptiMax power. All finished ahead of the Class 3 competitor RBI #3 (1oth overall) featuring a larger, more powerful Evinrude race outboard.
Marine Inshore #28, Team Privilege #25, One Team Family #30 and Navikart #32 rounded out 5-8 in Class 2 competition. all were powered by Mercury OptiMax 200XS SST or SST 120 race outboards.
1st Class FourStroke
In Class 1, Mercury 60 EFI Formula Race outboards have competed in Rouen for some time. Last year it powered Team Vallee de Seine #77 to a second place podium finish. This year, Vallee de Seine drivers Oli Letellier, Jer Amedee and Thomas Cleret completed 412 laps to capture the checkered flag and place Mercury in the record books as the first Mercury fourstroke outboard to win Class 1. VSI #50, Team Magaur #48 and DKV #70 round out a 2-4 in Class 1 competition. All were powered by Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace outboards.
We are very proud of all competitors. Congratulations to Pegase-Humanis for winning overall and Class 3. Kudos to Dailly Inshore for their second consecutive Class 2 victory. It is difficult to win anything consecutively. To repeat anything in Rouen is special. The ladies of Team OTR did us proud. Now that you have your feet wet, I’m sure you will return for the 50th with a vengeance. Marit, I’m sorry you didn’t have a chance to show your stuff on the River Seine. Please keep the women on their toes and return for another run in 2013. Thank you Oli, Jer, Thomas and the entire Vallee de Seine #77 team for your Class 1 victory and writing a new chapter for fourstrokes in your highly competitive class.
It’s hard to believe Rouen turns 50 next year. It would be wonderful to celebrate it’s golden anniversary by racing a continuous 24 hours. Just like the good ol’ days.