Venice, Act I
After a rather conclusive day of training for the crew of Gitana Extreme, where Yann Guichard and his men won the first race of the day and then constantly appeared in the top 3 thereafter, things will become more serious this afternoon in Venice. It’s at 1430 hrs local time that the start will be given off the Garibaldi quayside, thus officially opening the 2009 racing on the Extreme 40’ circuit.

Pertinent at the starts, at ease during the manœuvres and inspired in the tacks chosen, the crew of Gitana Extreme yesterday demonstrated that it is a force to be reckoned with this year. However, though Yann Guichard was satisfied with this trial gallop, he is all too aware that it may be a very different story today: “We’ve put in a steady performance and sailed cleanly, but today is where things really begin. Yesterday’s course, contested offshore of the entrance to the lagoon, will be nothing like what awaits us this afternoon.” Indeed, the race zone situated right next to Saint Mark’s Square and the historic quaysides of the Venetian republic bodes well for a colourful spectacle! To enable the ten Extreme 40s to manœuvre in safety, the local authorities have even agreed to suspend any movement of shipping during the races; which is rather remarkable to say the least.
It is clear then that the playing field is narrow and that yesterday’s warm-up races showed just how keen the ten crews are to get started. More than ever before, sport and adrenalin will be very much in evidence this afternoon.

If weather conditions permit, the organisers hope to be able to launch nearly eight races, each one rarely exceeding 20 minutes.

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