Gitana 11 ready for the Corsican Grand Prix
After having set out from La Trinité-sur-Mer (southern Brittany) last Wednesday, Gitana 11 rallied the port of Calvi at quarter past eight yesterday evening. The 1,700 mile long delivery passage went swimmingly with Yann Guichard, tactician – navigator in charge of the delivery together with his crew of four, Erwan Le Roux (crew Gitana X), Fred Le Mestre (crew Gitana X), Fred Brousse (crew Gitana 11) and Léo Lucet (shore crew). The full Gitana Team was hard at work to help the crew dock and tidy up to free up the 5 sailors so they could go and have a bite to eat and get some rest.

Yann Guichard : « Everything went well. There were one or two tricky moments on the passage, in the Bay of Biscay, the Gibraltar Strait and a long stretch in the Mediterranean. Crew cohesion is strong . We had a lot more wind than expected at the start. Even the finish was quite tough, between the Balearics and Corsica. Brilliant sail though and no gear failure to report. The boat will be perfectly ready to attack the big races in the Corsican Grand Prix once we've tidied up a bit which is always necessary after a week's sail. We also need to take down the delivery sails and install the racing sails. »

A 40 knots wind was still blowing a few hours before Gitana 11 arrived in Corsica. Foncia and Géant arrived a few hours later completing the 10 strong fleet of multihulls entered in the Grand Prix de Corse.  All is well this morning with the fleet getting ready to attack the first event, the Tour de Corse tomorrow, weather permitting. Strong winds lasting 24 hours have been forecast for tomorrow afternoon.

Fred Le Peutrec, Gitana 11's skipper : « The Grand Prix looks very much as you would expect it to look for the  Mediterranean, with wind and contrasts in the weather which can be rather marked, with traditional local phenomena  off Cap Corse or Bonifacio. For Thursday average winds of 35 knots have been forecast strengthening locally, perhaps increasing to 45 – 50 knots. In fact it is part of the Mistral wind which blows in from the Rhone corridor and the Tramontane from the Gulf du Lion and the Pyrenees. But it is difficult to have a reliable forecast beyond 30 hours in the Mediterranean, particularly at this time of year where the systems tend to be unsettled. There's going to be a briefing session with the organisers this evening to decided upon the course for tomorrow. We'll be setting a main with three reefs for this first race (our ocean-sailing mainsail) so that we can shorten sail as much as possible if a strong wind kicks in. »

So the course for the Tour de Corse will be determined at this evening's weather briefing session. The Tour should take around 20 hours, no doubt a shortened course a few hours from the reagttas in the beautiful Bay of Calvi.

Competitors in the Grand Prix de Corse

Gitana 11 Fred Le Peutrec (F)
Foncia Alain Gautier (F)
Géant Michel Desjoyeaux (F)
Sergio Tacchini Karine Fauconnier (F)
Groupama Franck Cammas (F)
Sodébo Thomas Coville (F) 
Banque Populaire Pascal Bidegorry (F)
Tim Giovani Soldini (I)
Sopra Philippe Monnet (F)
Banque Covéfi Steve Ravussin (CH) 

Programme of the Grand Prix de Corse

Thursday 23rd September : Start of the Tour de Corse
Friday 24th September :  Finish of the Tour de Corse
Saturday 25th September :  10h 30 – one or several rounds of a windward/leeward loop
Sunday 26th September : 10h 30 - one or several rounds of a windward/leeward loop
 17h -  prize-giving.

At the end of the Grand Prix de Corse, competitors will set out on their delivery passage for Marseille, where the Grand Prix racing will get underway on Friday 1st October.

Crews for the Grand Prix de Corse

Tour de Corse

1-Fred Le Peutrec
2-Yann Guichard
3-Yann Marilley
4-François Denis
5-Fred Brousse
6- Loïc Le Mignon
7- Yann Eliès
8- Christophe Lassègue

Windward-leeward loops in Corsica

1-Frédéric Le Peutrec
2-Yann Guichard
3-Yann Marilley
4-Yann Eliès
5-Christophe Lassègue
6-François Denis
7-Jean Baptiste Epron
8-Nicolas Berthoud
9-Fred Brousse
10-Xavier Dagault
11- Loïc Le Mignon

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