A positive outcome
Second overall in the Grand Prix de Marseille Métropole following on from a second place in Calvi, Gitana 11 seems to be the only crew up to destabilising Franck Cammas' leadership. But in the future, there will have to be a steadier breeze. As for Gitana X who cannot make up for her slight deficit in light air.

The Grand Prix de Marseille Métropole was a tough test for the Gitana Team. Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew were put under pressure by Michel Desjoyeaux, Pascal Bidegorry and Armel Le Cléac'h who were clearly more on the ball in Marseille than they had been before. Gitana 11 never the less remains the only trimaran to have broken Groupama-2's winning streak but remains at ease in stronger wind. Her second place can be put down to the crew and strategy. As for Gitana X, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent's crew have made noticeable progress  but the weather meant that they could not really show what they were made of. The trimaran ran some fine rounds, gave the hierarchy a shaking for a few rounds, managed to clock up three rounds in sixth place and held Géant, Groupama-2, Banque Populaire, TIM-Progetto Italia off the stern before being dominated on pure speed. Encouraging.

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) :

« This Grand Prix de Marseille confirms what we had already suspected to be the case in Nice. Gitana X finds it very difficult to hold her course if there is not much wind. A breeze of 8-12 knots is not good for us, even if we still have a fair bit to learn in terms of trim, manœuvres, and paths. The difference is too great in relation to the rest of the fleet for us to be better placed than we are. For all we manage to do some good stuff out on the course, we cannot put up a fight over two rounds – much less so on three in a windward leeward course. But we have not lost heart – we just need more wind. We'll keep working on crew manoeuvres and paths, and picking up speed after rounding the marks. On the tactics front, it was hard-going as there were lots of compulsory sections which put paid to any initiative. Our starts were pretty good on the whole, well placed but not fast enough. That was a real handicap for us against the others who are much faster off the mark. The last two legs on Sunday gave us the chance to gain ground on Banque Populaire and TIM-Progetto Italia downwind which is encouraging. But this really is a tough wind range for Gitana X. There is still room for progress when it comes to communication in-house so that everything runs more smoothly and fits together better. The arrival of Jochen Krauth who had previously sailed on Bayer with Frédéric Le Peutrec then on Sodebo with Thomas Coville, brought more serenity overall and lots of individual progress has been made. We returned to La Ciotat on Monday and I'll be setting out for Vigo with Mayeul Riffet (stand-in crew) on a qualifying passage for the Jacques Vabre two-handed transatlantic race. Erwan Le Roux will be using this time to do a weather course with Sylvain Mondon. »

Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) :

« All in all, we have every reason to be happy even if the second place in Marseille is not quite the second place that we had in Calvi ! In Corsica, we clocked up five second places in a row from the start and the outcome was already decided before the last day in light air. The battle here was much more intense although Groupama-2 remains almost untouchable in light air. We had a hard time hitting second against Géant, Banque Populaire and Foncia who play a much more incisive game than before. The crews are getting the feel of their machines now and the changes made over the winter shed sessions have made them increasingly competitive, particularly when there is not much wind. Gitana 11 really sails fast as soon as the central hull is out of the water, in more than 10 knots of wind. In all situations, even the most complex ones, we managed to score a few points, even in the last round which was capital as we had to be ahead of Géant if we were to hang onto out second place overall. We never let up and right through to the very end, we held him off, pipping him at the post ! The coastal race was not easy. We lost a rudder in the fifth round which obviously meant that we were second but we had fought very hard. Vigo is going to be anyone's game. The newcomers (Quiblier, Souben) have fitted in really well. Yann Guichard, back from the Tornado Worlds (5th), raced really well on this course which is particularly tricky. On Tuesday, I'm setting out with Yann Guichard on a qualifying passage to La Trinité sur Mer for the Transat Jacques Vabre. It should take us a week or so and we'll be getting underway on Saturday once again to rally Vigo for the Grand Prix (15th-17th July). »

Rankings - Grand Prix de Marseille Métropole after nine rounds :

1-Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (1+1+4+1+1+1+1+1+1) 12 points
2-Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (3+4+1+6+2+3+3+3+2) 27 points
3-Michel Desjoyeaux – Géant (4+2+5+3+4+2++2+2+3) 27 points
4-Pascal Bidegorry – Banque Populaire (2+3+2+4+3+6+6+5+5) 36 points
5-Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (5+5+3+2+6+4+4+4+4) 37 points
6-Giovanni Soldini – TIM Progetto Italia (7+6+7+5+5+5+5+6+7) 53 points
7-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent – Gitana X (6+7+6+7+7+7+7+7+6) 60 points

Provisional rankings  ORMA Multihull Championship:

After the IB Group Challenge (scoring factor 3), the Grand Prix de Corse (scoring factor 1), the Giraglia Rolex Cup (scoring factor 0.5) and the Grand Prix de Marseille (scoring factor 1) :

1-Pascal Bidegorry (Banque Populaire) 9 points (0+3+2+4)
2-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 14.5 points (6+4+1,5+3)
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 16.5 points (9+2+3,5+2)
4-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 21 points (21+0+0+0)
5-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 25 points (12+7+1+5)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 29.5 points (15+5+2,5+7)
7-Giovanni Soldini (TIM-Progetto Italia) 66 points (51+6+3+6)
8ex-Thomas Coville (Sodebo) 96 points (51+18+9+18)
8ex-Yvan Bourgnon (Brossard) 96 points (51+18+9+18)

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 (mainsheet), 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 (mainsheet GV), Yann Le Govic (mainsheet), Jacques Guichard (trimmer), Caroline Vieille (trimmer), Xavier Dagault (wincher), Antoine Carpentier (foredeck / n°2), Léopold Lucet (bowman / n°1)

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