Domaine du Mont d'Arbois 6th in the Cap Istanbul
The Cap Istanbul (double-handed race from Marseilles to Istanbul) came to an end late on Thursday afternoon for Domaine du Mont d'Arbois, the Gitana Team's Figaro vessel. The skipper, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, and his co-skipper, Kito de Pavant, finished sixth overall in the provisional classification. To all intents and purposes, this Mediterranean race served as a trial for the big event of the summer, the Solitaire du Figaro. We look back at three weeks of intense racing.

Back at the start in Marseilles on 26 May, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent savoured his final moments on land in the company of his Team Manager, Loïck Peyron, who offered him a few final tips before leaving the deck. Accompanied by his co-skipper, Kito de Pavant, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent then got off to a cracking start and the duo never left the leading positions all the way to Trapani in Sicily, securing third place for the stage. This first leg had been contested at a swift pace, especially on the last day, when Domaine du Mont d'Arbois was zipping along at between 16 and 20 knots. At 800 miles in length, the second stage was more complex. Linking Sicily to Turkey, it was marked by highly variable weather conditions, with winds varying between 0 and 45 knots and a sea that was flat as a pancake one minute and very choppy the next. Domaine du Mont d'Arbois was the 5th vessel to reach the finish in Turkey, after which there were two shorter stages on route to Istanbul. Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and Kito de Pavant, in the upper echelons of the general classification at the start, experienced several difficulties, most notably on the 4th and final stage of the Cap Istanbul. Having finally taken 6th position in this Mediterranean event, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent looks back at these three weeks of sailing.

Learning and performance...

After a BPE Trophy in April when the Gitana Team skipper made a magnificent start to the race, this provisional 6th place bodes well for the future. Thierry Duprey du Vorsent was nonetheless unable to hide a touch of disappointment at not being on the podium, but was full of enthusiasm about an exciting race and a fast-track apprenticeship alongside Kito de Pavant.
My overall assessment of the Cap Istanbul is generally positive. It was a fine race which in particular allowed me to get to grips with the pace I'll have to deal with on the Solitaire this summer. It's very different to sail for 3 or 4 days, to stop for 48 hours and then to set off again. I suppose it's a matter of habit... In terms of sporting performance, Kito and I were in with a shout right through the first three stages. The fourth, during which we slipped down a couple of positions, was difficult. My partnership with Kito has been really beneficial and hopefully effective for what lies ahead. I've learned a lot alongside him, but I'm going to have to organise myself more and be very structured, because Figaros are boats that require constant manoeuvring. This summer's Solitaire? It's not going to be easy, as the field is very competitive and working with Kito for three weeks has confirmed to me that the gap in levels is considerable between the experienced skippers and the less experienced ones like me. I'm going to carry on training in order to bridge that gap between now and start of the Solitaire”.

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