A superb 2nd place for Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group
Winners of two of the six events in the racing calendar – Venice and Amsterdam -, Yann Guichard and his three crew were unquestionably one of the great protagonists of this 2009 season. After an exceptional final and notably a last day packed with incredible suspense, the crew of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group ranked second in the Almeria event, just three points behind Masirah, the outright winner of this Spanish meet. With this latest victory, Pete Cumming’s men win the 2009 circuit, just ahead of the sailors from Gitana Team.
For this final day of racing in the 2009 championship, the crew of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group were really at the top of their game. Determined and extremely motivated, Yann Guichard’s men showed that they were able to keep a cool head and perfectly control the Andalusian race zone by winning three of the six races contested this Monday: “We started off this final day of racing very well by winning two races then ranking second in another. On the 4th day of racing we were over the line too early and I think that cost us victory in the final grand prix and in the championship, but that’s the name of the game! We had to give it our all and try our luck. We have nothing to be sorry about” explained Yann Guichard.
Second to the crew of Pete Cumming in this Andalusian event in the general championship ranking, the skipper of the Gitana Team was keen to pass on the crew’s hearty congratulations to the winners: “Oman Sail Masirah were the strongest this year. A big bravo to all Pete Cumming’s team who have provided us with a superb adversary.”
Great teamwork
Today, more so than the result, it is worth remembering the way in which the crew of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group were able to make such a great debut in the iShares Cup: “what will stay in our minds is that, throughout the season, we’ve battled along, race after race without ever giving up” insisted Yann Guichard, before once again applauding the performance of his sailing crew and the work carried out by Gitana Team’s shore crew: “I got a huge amount of enjoyment from sailing with Pierre, Hervé and Christophe this year. We really worked well together – as we have in the past – and that makes things onboard just perfect. Everyone has their position and each of them did a very good job. To add to all that, harmony and good humour were very much in evidence… This was achieved with a boat which was superbly well prepared thanks to all the Gitana Team, with a little extra for Cyril Ducrot and Marie Dixneuf, who supported us over the six events.”
Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group, a rookie off to a great start!
This year, the one design fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild performed in her very first iShares Cup. Up against crews who were a lot more accustomed to the atypical racing which the Extreme 40 circuit offers, Yann Guichard and his three crew - Pierre Pennec, Hervé Cunningham and Christophe Lassegue – knew just how to get the very best out of Gitana Extreme. Indeed, by hoisting her onto the second step of the 2009 championship podium, the vast amount of hope invested in them has proved to have been well founded!
Pierre Pennec (tactitian, trimmer): “We are really happy with this 2nd place as we’ve given it our all. We battled right the way to the end by sailing cleanly, without damaging the boat and without incurring penalties on our rivals. Masirah is a fine winner; they were more experienced on the circuit than us and during their first participation they finished 4th. For our part we finished 2nd and that’s very positive for the next stage.”
Christophe Lassegue (trimmer):  “It’s a really satisfying result. We sailed well whilst enjoying ourselves on the water. Right now we’re a little disappointed to come second just three points behind Masirah but I think you have to put things in perspective as this evening we have little to blame ourselves for. We can sleep soundly tonight with the satisfaction of a job well done!”
Hervé Cunningham (trimmer): “Our first year on the circuit concludes very well, even though we were so close to outright victory that it’s a little infuriating. Up to the last race we kept on making progress and that’s really positive. The winner is always the strongest and justice has been respected today.”
Cyril Dardashti (team manager of the Gitana Team): “I really want to congratulate the whole crew and shore team. Since the first day in Venice, our four sailors have always sailed well whilst respecting their adversaries. Yann Guichard, who was helming a Gitana craft for the first time, knew exactly how to demonstrate the extent of his talent and confirm the certainty we had placed in him. Finally, a big thank you to our boat owners, Baron and Baroness de Rothschild, as well as the LCF Rothschild Group, who enable us to experience some exceptional sporting moments.”
Ranking in Grand Prix of Almeria (after 16 races)
1/ Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) – 132 points
2/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann GUICHARD) - 129 points
3/ Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 112 points
4/ Luna (Erik Maris) – 96 points
5/ Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) – 96 points
6/ Holmatro (Mitch Booth) - 82 points
7/ BT (Nick Moloney) – 79 points
8/iShares (Shirley Robertson) – 83 points
9/ Rumbo Almeria (Fernando Echavarri) – 73 points
10/Ecover (Mike Golding) – 49 points
Final championship ranking 2009 after 6 events
1/ Oman Sail Masirah – 53 points (4th, 1st, 1st, 1st, 5th, 1st)
2/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group – 52 points (1st, 4th, 2nd, 4th, 1st, 2nd)
3/Oman Sail Renaissance – 49 points (3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th)
4/ Groupama 40 – 41 points (5th, 5th, 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd)
5/ iShares – 27 points (9th, 7th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 6th)
6/ BT – 26 points (6th, 6th, 4th, 8th, 8th, 8th)
7/ Luna – 26 points (7th, 9th, 7th, 5th, 7th, 5th)
8/ Holmatro – 24 points (8th, 8th, 8th, 7th, 4th, 7th)
9/ Ecover – 9 points (10th, 10th, 9th, 10th, 9th)
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