Ups and downs
Mixed results for Gitana team's first day in the first Grand Prix de Galice. Gitana 11 got off to a superb start on the port tack and Gitana X made a great comeback but the second round was much more dificult with a wind which became almost non-existent.

The course in Vigo is tricky as the fog which had put paid to any ideas crews may have had of getting some training done, gave way to a fine thermal breeze in the middle of the day, only to fall off in the afternoon, making the second round of the day much tougher to negotiate. Never the less, in the morning Frédéric Le Peutrec took an excellent start on the port tack (non right of way) on the whole fleet which was on the starboard tack, so close to the committee boat that Thierry Duprey du Vorsent prevented Armel Le Cléac'h from crossing the starting line ! Gitana 11 crossed in the lead on the right side of the course as there was a little more pressure on the north shore of the ria in Vigo. The starting line was right in front of the town. The first mark to be rounded by the six strong fleet was laid off Samir's beach. To round the windward mark of the windward/leeward course, the fleet then had to enter the bay. 

Gitana 11 seemd to be able to control the fleet but a light windshift lead her to falling short of rounding a beacon hiding rocks. She had to change tack a couple of times, leaving the leadership open to Groupama-2 who had Banque Populaire hot on her heels. As the boats closed in on the Cies Islands which mark the entrance to Vigo Bay, the wind started to lighten. The first three boats across the line arrived within spitting distance of one another ! Gitana X surprised a couple of folks - Foncia ripped her gennaker and Géant made a bad tactical choice – leaping two places forward downwind to finish 4th in the first round !

The second round turned out to be much more laborious however as the wind remained under 5 knots with some completely windless patches here and there. Both Gitana boats got off to a bad start and had to free themselves from their opponents' foul wind, leaving them no choice but to choose the bad side of the course. To cap it all, the late starters had to contend with windless patches which put paid to any chance of coming back into the running. Thermal breezes of up to 15 knots should be better suited to the Gitana Team !

Rankings - Round 1 :

Westerly wind, (250° then 260°) 12 knots then 8-10 knots, calm seas, start of Vigo, them one round of a windward/leeward loop.
1-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2)
2-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire)
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11)
4-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X)
5-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant)
6-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia)

Rankings – Round 2 :

South-westerly wind (240° then 230°) 8 knots then 3-5 knots, calm sea, two rounds of a windward/leeward loop, finish off Vigo.
1-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2)
2-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant)
3-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire)
4-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia)
5-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X)

Provisional rankings after two rounds :

1-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 2 points
2-Pascal Bidegorry (Banque Populaire) 5 points
3-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 7 points
4-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 8 points 
Tie for 5th - Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 10 points ; Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 10 points

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