Amazing story of the Barracuda Tour
In 2011, BENETEAU took the world by surprise when it launched its first sport fishing range. The attractive lines, sturdy and reliable appearance and the minutely-designed deck and pilothouse layout of the Barracuda 9 caused quite a stir among keen saltwater fishers. Very soon, the idea of creating a Barracuda community occurred to BENETEAU.
BENETEAU decided to equip two Barracuda motorboats and invite well-known sport fishers to take part in a new open competition. This was the birth of the Barracuda Tour! The first event set out from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and headed to St Malo. It was an exciting programme, and the boats even braved the Raz de Sein for rounds of No Kill bass fishing. In each round, keen fishers would rush from boat to boat eager to meet other competitors and to try out their superbly decorated boats. The range appealed unanimously for its winning temperament and excellent sea-keeping!
The second event was in the form of an all-comers competition; probably one of the reasons it was so successful. The number of sponsors increased and the registrations to embark on the twenty Barracuda 7 set aside by BENETEAU came pouring in. A spectacular ballet of fishing boats could be seen from Concarneau to La Rochelle, taking in Noirmoutier on the way. Apart from the atmosphere, being open to everyone and the excellent organization, the competition owes its success to its one-design concept, made available by BENETEAU. Given the same equipment, the anglers could compete on a level footing for the first time internationally.
The 3rd Barracuda Tour was in three successive stages this year in Arcachon, Paimpol and Concarneau. A Mediterranean Barracuda Tour was launched in Corsica, while German and Chinese dealers organized their own Barracuda Tours in the form of “selections” for the Grand Finale, which is always held on the French Atlantic coast. In the sport fishing community, we even started to hear ‘Barracuda’ used as a substitute for ‘rigid hull boats".
The Barracuda Tour dropped anchor and changed approach. It started in the spring with the local selections organised by participating dealers and finished in La Rochelle, at the Barracuda Village. For the first time, the public will be able to take part in the amateur challenge on the first weekend. The aim was simple: win a place on board the all-new Barracuda 8 to join in the Grand Finale and the 40 crews that won the selections.
Following the success of the Barracuda Tour in La Rochelle, keen anglers were invited to meet up again in Arzon. The 75 winning teams from the Selections, the Amateur Challenge and Barracuda owners competed with each other at Port du Crouesty on the shores of the Gulf of Morbihan. The enthusiasm of the hundred or so fishers (men and women) taking part spread like a powder trail on the social media – a sign that the event would grow bigger in the future.. Thanks to the Barracuda Tour’s official partners, which provided similar equipment for each boat, thereby playing an important role in the success of the event, it became the top no-kill saltwater fishing competition in Europe.
The 6th Barracuda Tour took over the Port du Crouesty for the second year running. For a few days, the waters of Quiberon Bay offered a wonderful theatre for best European no-kill saltwater fishing competition. With 60 boats and 600 participants from all over the world, the Barracuda Tour reached maturity. Two new features could be noted: the opening of the competition to all species (even though sea bass remained the prize catch, all species caught were taken into account) and the organisation of a Rock Fishing competition with Fish à l’Affiche to encourage children to go fishing.
2019 was an excellent year, since the BARRACUDA TOUR has now reached maturity with everything running smoothly, the BENETEAU teams in full control, and anglers eager to take part! The figures did not disappoint: 150 teams, 600 participants from 19 countries, 60 BARRACUDA 7, 8 and 9 powerboats provided, 80 Suzuki engines installed by interns from the Professional maritime training school in Etel and no less than 20 partners who provided the contenders with their considerable expertise and the best products, to make this seventh BARRACUDA TOUR a resounding success!
In seven years, BENETEAU has risen to the double challenge of launching a new range, while creating the leading saltwater fishing competition in France.