La Giraglia was not that instructive. Sailing in winds of less than 5 knots over a course of 250 nautical miles from Saint-Tropez to Genoa via Cape Corsica, was more of a lottery than a daggers drawn battle. The gaps at the finishing line in no way reflected the day-long battle which had taken place, hindered further by the windless zones. The situation should be altogether different for the Grand Prix de Marseille-Métropole. A light westerly flow has been forecast for the end of the weekend, picking up in the afternoon, with the onset of thermal breezes. Ten knots in the morning should rise to 15-18 knots by the time the last rounds are being raced in the three day long competition. Perfect conditions for the Gitana Team, as shown a fortnight ago in Calvi.
As a result, Gitana X has moved up a rung or two in terms of potential with a crew of young talents on board. Most of the bright young things were competing in their first Grand Prix. They never the less managed to put several more experienced teams behind them from time to time, finishing fifth, sometimes even being the third to round the windward mark ! This means that the trimaran is more at home in steady winds than in light top medium air. There is plenty of room for progress. After La Giraglia, the boat went back to La Ciotat, before rallying Marseille on Sunday evening and sailing on Monday with the whole team on board, including Jochen Krauth windsurfing champion, who has joined the nine men and one woman crew on board, replacing Alex Marmorat.
For Gitana 11, the pitstop in La Ciotat lasted one day longer as the boat was delivered on Monday afternoon. Gitana Team's shore crew did not have that much work to do on the boats after the number of races run since the middle of May : Lorient-Nice, then Calvi and La Giraglia, one after the other ! Last weekend, both trimarans were put into a Grand Prix configuration (shedding as much gear weight as possible) and are engaging upon their training sessions with the Port La Forêt training centre on Tuesday afternoon with five other multihulls already in Marseille.
Gitana 11's objective is to grab as many points as possible to climb back up through the rankings in the ORMA Multihull Championship – to get ahead of Géant (three points ahead), to try and break Groupama-2's run of good luck, to reduce the gap with current leader Banque Populaire. For Gitana X, the aim is first to confront the crew in reshuffling the job sheet on board to coordinate the manœuvres in the best way possible, to destabilize Foncia to whom he only concedes one and a half points and to continue keeping TIM-Progetto Italia in her rear view mirror.
The crews have more than one string to their bow – now is the time for them to exploit their assets !
Crew - Gitana 11
Frédéric Le Peutrec (skipper), Yann Guichard (tactician), Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer-navigator), Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (trimmer), Daniel Souben (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Epron (mainsail trimmer), Alex Quiblier (wincher), Loïc Le Mignon (wincher), Antoine Mermod (pit), 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), Jochen Krauth (trimmer), Mathieu Tatibouët (mainsail trimmer), Yann Le Govic (mainsail trimmer), Jacques Guichard (trimmer), Caroline Vieille (trimmer), Xavier Dagault (wincher), Antoine Carpentier (foredeck / n°2), Léopold Lucet (bowman / n°1)
Provisional rankings – ORMA Multihull Championship:
After the IB Group Challenge (weighting factor : 3), le Grand Prix de Corse (weighting factor : 1) and the Giraglia Rolex Cup (weighting factor 0.5) :
1-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire) 5 points (0+3+2)
2-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 11.5 points (6+4+1,5)
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 14.5 points (9+2+3,5)
4-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 20 points (12+7+1)
5-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 21 points (21+0+0)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 22.5 points (15+5+2,5)
7-Giovanni Soldini (TIM-Progetto Italia) 60 points (51+6+3)
8ex-Thomas Coville (Sodebo) 78 points (51+18+9)
8ex-Yvan Bourgnon (Brossard) 78 points (51+18+9)