Gitana Extreme fourth in Hyères
Yann Guichard’s men have nothing to regret… In a final day of racing which saw windy yet shifty conditions, six more races were organised with Gitana Extreme finishing 4th in the second event of the iShares cup 2009. The French event in the programme was won by Pete Cumming’s crew whilst James Spithill and Loïck Peyron complete the podium places respectively.
The tension was palpable throughout the day and on studying the points which separate the top five in the final ranking, we can easily understand why. This is all the more true given that the wind decided to spice things up for the ten crews in the Extreme 40’s. Indeed the breeze continued to fluctuate between 7 and 15 knots, filling in dramatically to around 20 knots during the 6th and final race of the day. Some ideal conditions then for the 40 foot catamarans, which put on a spectacular show, flying their hulls right next to the local crowds
Fourth with a lead of just one point over Groupama, but solely three behind Oman Renaissance in third, the skipper of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group looked back at the three days of racing: “It’s a mixed result: some very good things and some not so good things… We started out with a difficult first day, where we found it hard to get into the race, but we made up for lost time the following day by getting ourselves back in contention for a podium place. Ultimately though, we stayed at the foot of the podium, despite four superb first races today. The penultimate rate this Sunday, where we brought up the rear, cost us very dearly”analysed Yann Guichard, as Gitana Extreme arrived back in the port of Hyères.
However, the Breton skipper has already demonstrated it: he much prefers drawing on the positive aspects of his experiences and projecting himself forward to the future: “We have the place we deserved and it’s not a disappointment as we remained in contact with the frontrunners. We nevertheless won four races over the course of the weekend, which is not something to be sniffed at. We are still well placed in the championship, with a joint second place that we’re sharing with today’s winner. There’s certainly a great battle on now, which promises some fiercely contested events in the future and that’s exactly what we want!”
Finally, we must salute the performance of Pete Cumming and his men, the outright winners of this French stage. With eight race victories out of the nineteen disputed Oman Sail Masirah climbs to the highest step of the podium, which escaped them by just a handful of points in Venice.
The next meet for the Extreme 40’s will take place in Cowes on the Isle of Wight (England) on 1st, 2nd and 3rd August. This third event will mark the mid-season point in the 2009 circuit.
Crew of the Extreme Gitana / 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
Final ranking in the Grand Prix in Hyères – TPM (after 19 races)
1/ Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) – 161 points
2/ BMW Oracle (James Spithill) – 151 points
3/ Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) – 135 points
4/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann GUICHARD) – 132 points
5/ Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 131 points
6/ BT (Nick Moloney) – 118 points
7/ iShares – Shirley Robertson – 107 points
8/ Holmatro (Carolijn Brouwer) – 91 points
9/ Luna (Erik Maris) – 62 points
10/ Ecover – Mike Golding – 50 points
Provisional ranking in the championship (after two events)
1/ BMW Oracle (James Spithill) – 18 points
2/Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann GUICHARD) – 17 points
2/ Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) – 17 points
4/Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) – 16 points
5/ Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 12 points
6/ BT (Nick Moloney) – 10 points
7/ iShares – Shirley Robertson – 6 points
8/ Luna (Erik Maris) – 6 points
9/ Holmatro (Carolijn Brouwer) – 6 points
10/ Ecover – Mike Golding – 2 points
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