A win a day keeps the others away
Superb final day in the Grand Prix Cap l'Orient. Steady northern wind permitting Gitana 11 to take another round, and where Gitana X managed to cause a spot of bother for Groupama-2 and Foncia upwind ! Third after nine rounds, largely due to technical hitches, Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew had ups and downs throughout the competition. Thierry Duprey du Vorsent affirmed the excellent standard of his crew of bright young things.

Second overall was still possible for Gitana 11 but after having taken a penalty before the start for having got in Banque Populaire's way on a change of tack, they waved goodbye to any chance of coming back on the rest of the fleet. For all that Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew tried hard to come back, there was no way they could make it. Yet Gitana 11 had got off to a superb start on Sunday with a second place a few metres from the winner, Banque Populaire on one round. Gitana 11 had made a superb comeback under gennaker at more than 30 knots ! Then came victory, working their way up through the ranks, wave by wave, on the second windward/leeward course of the day. In spite of being the last to reach the first windward mark, they were never the less first across the finishing line after having pulled off one or two excellent tactical moves.

For Gitana X, the wind this weekend was very much in their favour. Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and his young crew did some excellent manœuvres and took some fine tactical options. But they were always a little short on speed, essentially downwind, which did not give the trimaran with the X-shaped cross beams the chance to seriously challenge the rest of the fleet. In keeping with the image of the last course, Gitana X was impressive upwind and did never the less threaten both Franck Cammas and Armel Le Cléac'h, in the lead at the time ! In spite of a breeze which sometimes exceeded 28 knots, both trimarans had only minor technical problems, which goes to show how effective the boats have been prepared. In the end, Frédéric Le Peutrec, who was third in Lorient, is now on a level pegging with Michel Desjoyeaux in the Multihull Championship and Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and Erwan Le Roux are also ready for the last race in the season, the Transat Jacques Vabre, starting of Le Havre in 6th November.

Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) :

« Great start to the day, finishing second a few metres from Pascal Bidégorry after having overtaken Franck Cammas downwind after a brilliant gybe. A great final win in spite of the fact that we were last to make it to the windward mark. We caught up bit by bit, boat by boat, with Banque Populaire in the lead, got stuck in a windless zone and finished fifth. The last round was anybody's match for second as we were just two points behind. But we took a (debatable) penalty which put paid to the race for us, leaving us with too much lost ground to catch up. Without any other tacking option, except heading to the wrong side of the course, Gitana 11 finished fourth in the round, and third overall in this Grand Prix. Satisfactory result all round as there were three new crew on board as a result of the regular crew being out of action for injury. Everyone had to adapt, which is not that easy in stiff winds. Three rounds won, one a day – not bad at all !

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) :

« Some excellent work here and there but we were not consistent enough. Erwan Le Roux initiated some excellent tactical options on what is a pretty vicious course in the wind. Just goes to show that Gitana X is much more at ease in a blow but that the crew still has its work cut out.  We managed to hold our own much better against the other trimarans and the boat sometimes has an enormous potential. At other times though, we just can't keep up. Gitana X is much finer, much more sensitive and more difficult to trim, particularly in unsteady conditions. You have to find the right trim from the word go, otherwise she rides high on her float (banana-shaped compared to the rest of the fleet, whose lines are much more elongated). The other tris are much more tolerant and can load their float gradually lifting the central hull out of the water. A difference which means that Gitana X requires a lot more concentration and a higher degree of attentiveness. She needs more trimming than the other boats but she can also be highly incisive in more stable winds. I hope that the crew formed this season will remain in place for next year – we're getting better all the time and it's really encouraging for the future. »

Provisional rankings - Grand Prix Cap l'Orient (over nine rounds) :

1- Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (1+2+1+1+1+3+2+3) 17 points
2- Pascal Bidégorry - Banque Populaire (2+3+2+2+2+2+1+5+1) 20 points
3- Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (4+1+4+4+4+1+2+1+4) 25 points
4- Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (3+4+3+5+5+4+6+4+2) 36 points
5- Michel Desjoyeaux - Géant (6+5+5+3+3+7+4+3+5) 41 points
6- Thierry Duprey du Vorsent - Gitana X (5+6+6+6+6+5+5+6+6) 51 points

Provisional rankings – ORMA Multihull Championship:

1-Pascal Bidégorry (Banque Populaire) 16 points (0+3+2+4+2+3+2)
2-Franck Cammas (Groupama-2) 21 points (21+0+0+0+0+0+0)
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec (Gitana 11) 27 ½ points (9+2+3 ½+2+4+4+3)
3-Michel Desjoyeaux (Géant) 27,5 points (6+4+1,5+3+3+5+5)
5-Armel Le Cléac'h (Foncia) 36 points (12+7+1+5+5+2+4)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana X) 47 ½ points (15+5+2 ½+7+6+6+6)
7-Giovanni Soldini (TIM-Progetto Italia) 117 points (51+6+3+6+17+17+17)
8ex-Thomas Coville (Sodebo) 147 points (51+18+9+18+17+17+17)
8ex-Yvan Bourgnon (Brossard) 147 points (51+18+9+18+17+17+17)

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