The Eve of Act 2
Tomorrow – Friday 3rd July – the second round of the iShares Cup 2009 will get underway. And it’s in the South of France that Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group will be intent on repeating her performance in Italy… though the competition is keeping a very watchful eye on them!
It’s a classic: A day before the first official racing it is “Media Day”, an afternoon of sailing which, as the name suggests, is a day reserved for the media. The handful of races off Hyères – TPM are an opportunity for the happy journalists embarked as the 5th man, to discover the thrill of the 40 foot catamaran. This Thursday, the ten competing Extreme 40s really got into their stride between Hyères and the island of Porquerolles as they raced in a raid spanning some ten miles or so, as well as some more familiar courses from the circuit. Yann Guichard and his crew once again showed that they were a force to be reckoned with.
The weather forecasts for the weekend
Hyères-TPM is playing host to the Extreme 40 circuit for the second year running. In 2008 the mistral honoured the race zone during the three days of racing, which gave rise to numerous stylistic performances. Once again the Var region is set to be windy. Indeed, according to the latest forecasts a WNW’ly air flow, strengthened by a good thermal breeze, is likely to blow across Hyères over the coming days, which could make for some sporty, aerial racing: “The three days of racing should see us flying a hull the whole time and given the forecast and the courses being proposed, the boats are likely to come into contact with each other… As such it will be windier and above all feistier than Venice” added the skipper of Gitana Extreme.
On the eve of this new meet, the crew of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group are at the top of the provisional general ranking after their victory in Venice. Such a position naturally raises questions, most of which relate to the mindset in which Yann Guichard’s men find themselves: “There is no particular sense of pressure aboard, especially as we’re right at the start of the championship and a lot can happen between now and the final race in Almeria. You simply have to take each event as it comes!” replied the relaxed skipper.
Change of crew for Hyères – TPM
Over the three days of racing in the Var, the crew of Gitana Extreme –LCF Rothschild Group will change physiognomy slightly. Indeed, Hervé Cunningham, committed to another event a long time ago, will be replaced for this grand prix by Simeon Tienpont. This young, 27 year old Dutch sailor, loaned for the occasion by the American challenger in the next America’s Cup - BMW Oracle -, has a wealth of experience in Extreme 40’s, an athletic physique which may prove to be extremely advantageous in stiff weather conditions, and incredible motivation: “Simeon has very quickly slotted into our current team and his presence onboard is a real bonus” concluded Yann Guichard.
Crew of the Gitana Extreme / LCF Rothschild Group
- Yann Guichard / skipper-helm
- Pierre Pennec / mainsail traveller trimmer, tactics
- Christophe Lassegue / headsail trimmer, control of manœuvres
- Simeon Tienpont / headsail trimmer, control of manœuvres
General provisional ranking (after 1 event - Venice)
- Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) – 10 points
- BMW Oracle Racing (James Spithill) – 9 points
- Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) –8 points
- Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) –7 points
- Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) –6 points
- BT (Nick Moloney) –5 points
- Luna (Erik Maris) – 4 points
- Holmatro (Carolijn Brouwer) –3 points
- iShares – Shirley Robertson –2 points
- Ecover – Mike Golding –1 point