Conditions uncertain
It is difficult to say quite how long the seven strong fleet of trimarans will take to race round the Island of Beauty as Corsica is known familiarly. The opening course of the Corsican Grand Prix covers some 250 miles. Weather forecasts are for light wind today but calming overnight…

At the skippers' briefing session this morning, some even jokingly said that they might not be back before Sunday morning ! If current forecasts are anything to go by, it looks highly likely that this original course could end on Friday afternoon after thirty or so hours. As with the season's opening race from Lorient to Nice, it is common knowledge that the Mediterranean is very unpredictable apart from times when there are the very special local conditions, such as the Mistral or an easterly blow. In a zone where there is a low gradient between a high and low pressure system, winds are unstable in strength and direction. The thermal phenomena and the mountain relief play an important role close to the coast – all the more so in an island as large as Corsica. 
According to Gitana Team's meteorologist, Sylvain Mondon, the fleet should be in for a 5-8 knot easterly wind at the start (11h00), before it shifts west and veers NE again around 16h00 becoming east, weak to moderate in the Bouches de Bonifacio at the end of the afternoon. On the way back up to Cape Corsica, conditions will be calmer with a northerly breeze.

Note that Gitana X is racing with a crew of just six to be as light as possible, (one crew = roughly 100 kg with clothes and water ration) whereas they will be sailing eight up on Gitana 1I. Other skippers have made a wide range of various choices. Regular position polling is being done throughout the race (16h, 20h, 8h, 12h, 16h) and there will be a new update on the Gitana Team around 17h00 today and another around 10h00 on Friday morning. 

Crew - Gitana X for the Round Corsica Race

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helm)
Erwan Le Roux (tactician)
Mayeul Riffet (navigator)
Mathieu Tatibouët (trimmer)
Antoine Carpentier (foredeck / n°2)
Léopold Lucet (bowman / n°1)

Crew - Gitana 11

Frédéric Le Peutrec (skipper)
Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer-navigator)
Daniel Souben (tactician)
Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (trimmer)
Jean-Baptiste Epron (trimmer)
Antoine Mermod (pit)
François Denis (foredeck / n°2)
Christophe Lassègue (bowman / n°1)

Trimaran fleet - Grand Prix de Corse

Foncia : Armel Le Cléac'h
Banque Populaire : Pascal Bidegorry
Géant : Michel Desjoyeaux
Gitana X : Thierry Duprey du Vorsent
Gitana 11 : Frédéric Le Peutrec
Groupama-2 : Franck Cammas
TIM-Progetto Italia : Giovanni Soldini

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