A lively Grand Prix
Seven rounds were raced all in all with a race Round Corsica in varied conditions. Four rounds were run on Saturday in medium to strong wind with two windward leeward courses in light air. Gitana 11 finishes second and Gitana X fifth with the certainty that the time spent in the shed this winter was not in vain, and without which a veritable leap would not have been possible. Gitana 11 is the only boat to have led Groupama in this Grand Prix!

Concentration and patience paid off. A Zen attitude was required to tackle both of today's rounds in a very light NW breeze of around 3 to 7 knots. Coastal phenomenon and calm zones made their presence felt. Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew found the going tougher in these conditions. In spite of an excellent start where Gitana 11 managed to get ahead of Groupama-2 and Géant before the starting shot was fired. Both had to take a 360° penalty turn. Franck Cammas came back into contact within 5 meters and was even able to block the fleet at the compulsory change of tack by the citadels in Calvi.
Sailing almost at the speed of a snail on a ski slope (sic), no real tactical option other than follow my leader was open to the rest of the fleet. The hierarchy was in place by the time the fleet reached the windward mark, with Gitana 11 fourth and Gitana X seventh.

The following round was almost identical with fickle winds in terms of direction, although steadier in strength, shifting 20° just after the start over to the right where Franck Cammas had gone. Groupama-2 had no trouble clocking up his seventh win whereas Gitana 11 moved up to fourth and Gitana X just could not come back on the fleet, in spite of having negotiated the first stretch of the course really well. 

The final outcome of this Grand Prix de Corse is therefore highly positive. Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew were the only team to have been able to give Groupama-2 cause for concern, retaining their lead over Banque Populaire, Foncia and Géant, their most dangerous opponents. For half the crew on Gitana X, this was the first Grand Prix. Quite a success as four times they were ahead of TIM-Progetto Italia but most of all, she managed to round marks in third position

Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) :

« Groupama-2 was at home on all fronts – fast and good. That makes things difficult for the rest of us ! She dominated the event, just as we knew she would and they sailed well. She is a fast boat because after having been elbowed out at the start of the first round today, she was back in the lead in no time at all – after having taken a 360° penalty turn too ! Excellent result for Gitana 11 : in spite of one or two crew changes we did a good job and the result is highly satisfactory. »

Crew - Gitana 11

Frédéric Le Peutrec (skipper), Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer-navigator), Daniel Souben (tactician), Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Epron (mainsail trimmer), Jean Le Huérou-Kérisel (trimmer), Alex Quiblier (wincher), Loïc Le Mignon (wincher), Antoine Mermod (piano), François Denis (foredeck / n°2), Christophe Lassègue (bowman / n°1)

Crew - Gitana X

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helm), Erwan Le Roux (tactician), Mayeul Riffet (pit-navigator), Mathieu Tatibouët (mainsail trimmer), Yann Le Govic (mainsail trimmer), Jacques Guichard (trimmer), Caroline Vieille (trimmer), Arnaud de Boringer (wincher), Xavier Dagault (wincher), Antoine Carpentier (foredeck / n°2), Léopold Lucet (bowman / n°1)

Ranking - Grand prix de Corse (after seven rounds) :

1-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 7 points
2-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 18 points
3-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire) 22 points
4-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 27 points
5-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 40 points
6-Giovanni Soldini (TIM-Progetto Italia) 41 points
7-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 48 points

Provisional rankings – ORMA Championship (after IB Group Challenge and the Grand Prix de Corse) :

1-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire) 3 points (0+3)
2-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 10 points (6+4)
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 11 points (9+2)
4-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 19 points (12+7)
5-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 20 points (15+5)
6-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 21 points (21+0)
7-Giovanni Soldini (TIM-Progetto Italia) 57 points (51+6)
8ex-Thomas Coville (Sodebo) 69 points (51+18)
8ex-Yvan Bourgnon (Brossard) 69 points (51+18)

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