The battle of the three is well and truly on
For the crew of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group this first day in Andalusia ends a lot better than the way it started. After three races with mixed results, essentially down to some inconsistent starts, Yann Guichard and his men won the 4th and final race of the day hands down. Tonight they are in fourth position in the provisional ranking, enveloped by their two main rivals for the title, but the deficits are minor once again leaving the game wide open… the expected suspense is very much in evidence!
Though the sun shone throughout this Saturday afternoon, the wind was a little more timid since it oscillated between 2 and 5 knots. The resulting conditions really put the nerves of the ten competing teams to the test: “It’s been a difficult first day for us but I think that was the case for everyone. It’s a complicated and fairly small race zone and the wind conditions we had to deal with were really light, which didn’t make our job today any easier. There is an additional boat in the line-up compared with what we had in Amsterdam and that has made things tighter, especially at the starts. This was evident in the last race, where there was a collision, but fortunately there was little wind”explained Yann Guichard.Unfortunately, it was Mike Golding’s crew that paid the price of a port starboard incident once again, this time during the start of the 4th race. The collision resulted in the transom of the one design Ecover being damaged. The English team will have to work through the night to make the start line tomorrow at 1500 hours.
The start often dictates the ranking!
“The start is really crucial and our results today are a perfect illustration of that once again. We got off to three poor starts and one superb start in the final race: there’s no secret there. You have to be in the thick of it from the start!” conceded the skipper of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group, before explaining the difficulty of this phase, which is so vital when you are out for victory: “As the courses are small, at least ¾ of the fleet strive to set off on port tack in order to have the priority at the first tack. This leads to a large number of crossing tacks prior to the start. Added to that, since there isn’t a lot of water to race on each side of the line, due to the fact that we head off between two sea walls, we very quickly get back in contact with each other. It’s pretty stressful and not always easy to deal with.”
Tomorrow the race zone in Andalusia is set to be livelier as the weather forecasts are announcing ten knots or so of breeze.
Crew of Gitana Extreme - LCF Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard (skipper-helm)
Pierre Pennec (mainsail traveller trimmer, tactics), Christophe Lassegue (headsail trimmer, control of manoeuvres) and Hervé Cunningham (headsail trimmer, control of manoeuvres)
Ranking on the first day (after 4 races)
1/ BT (Nick Moloney) – 31 points
2/ Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) – 26 points
3/ Holmatro (Mitch Booth) - 26 points
4/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann GUICHARD) - 24 points
5/ Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) – 24 points
6/ iShares (Shirley Robertson) – 22 points
7/ Luna (Erik Maris) – 22 points
8/ Rumbo Almeria (Fernando Echavarri) – 18 points
9/ Ecover (Mike Golding) – 14 points
10/Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 13 points
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