Gitana 11 in great shape
As expected, the total lack of wind in the early hours of Friday morning required lots of patience from the 7 boats remaining in the last event of the ORMA 2004 Championship. Three hours later than had originally been planned, the starting shot of the first round was finally fired (13h 26), on a glassy sea and in a light unsteady thermal breeze of 10-12 knots.

The 7 competitors still in the running - after the withdrawal of Tim at the end of the Corsican Grand Prix and Sodébo and Banque Covéfi yesterday after having dismasted in training – were able to run two rounds yesterday.

Summary of the first round :

Sopra Group, the only trimaran to have set off on the port tack, took the first round. An option which turned out to be the right one as the circuits favourites, including Gitana 11, did not manage to get the upper hand. Setting out on the starboard tack like the 5 other multihulls, Gitana 11 lost a bit of ground on the first upwind leg rounding the first mark in 5th position, a position she held onto through to the end of the run downwind. To get back into the swing of things, Gitana 11w as the first to sail an offset leg off on the starboard tack for a few minutes. At that moment in time, the wind was already rather light and fickle to say the least, easing off to the right of the course where Groupama, Foncia and Sergio Tacchini all were, but remained constant to the left where Gitana 11 was. Appearing in the top three on the second round, Gitana 11 took 3rd in this first round 34 seconds behind the winner.

Summary of the second round :

Groupama II claimed victory in the second round in highly fickle winds. The course had got off to a good start in a nice 15 knot south-westerly breeze, which soon dropped to 6-8 knots, to become highly unstable in strength and direction. On this highly sensitive course, Gitana 11 did not get off to a good start and did well to finish 4th in this round, taking her to 3rd in the provisional overall rankings. Her crew got their heads down, and right through to the end concentrated on getting back into the match, focusing all their attention on avoiding the wind holes which were scattered all over the course. One of the finest images of the day was to be seen as Gitana 11 and Banque Populaire approached the finishing line neck and neck, Banque Populaire finishing 5th a hair's breadth behind Gitana 11 in this second round.

Crew of  Gitana 11 for the Grand Prix de Marseille 

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


Result – Round n°1 / Start : 13h 26 – Finish : 14h 52

1 – Sopra Group – 1 point
2 – Groupama II – 2 points
3 – Gitana 11 – 3 points
4 – Sergio Tacchini – 4 points
5 – Foncia – 5 points
6 – Géant – 6 points
7 – Banque Populaire – 7 points
8 – Sodébo – DNS – 9 points

Result – Round n°2 / Start : 16h 08 – Finish : 17h 10

1 – Groupama II – 1 point
2 – Sergio Tacchini – 2 points
3 – Foncia – 3 points
4 –Gitana 11 – 4 points
5 – Banque Populaire – 5 points
6 – Géant – 6 points
7 – Sopra Group – 7 points
8 – Sodébo – DNS – 9 points

Overall rankings after two rounds

1 – Groupama – 3 point
2 –  Sergio Tacchini – 6 points
3 – Gitana 11 – 7 points
4 – Sopra Group – 8  points
5 – Foncia – 8 points
6 – Géant – 12 points
7 – Banque Populaire – 12 points
DNS -  Sodebo – 18 points

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