Edmond de Rothschild Group assures its leadership
Five races were contested this Friday at the foot of the Saint-Louis jetty with some ideal weather conditions; namely a breeze oscillating between 12 and 15 knots and glorious sunshine. At the end of this second day of racing in the Grand Prix of Sète, the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild confirms its leadership ahead of the two Omani boats.
The four sailors from the Gitana Team made it back to the port of Sète with broad grins from ear to ear, their faces portraying the satisfaction of a job well done. Yann Guichard’s first words once again went to his crew – Pierre Pennec, Hervé Cunningham and Nicolas Heintz: “The guys are exemplary and there’s never an angry word… The mindset is really perfect and even when we’re badly positioned or have got off to a bad start, as was the case during the 3rd race where my initial gambit was very poor, we don’t give up” said the happy skipper of his 2010 cast.
Good cohesion amongst the crew as well as good speed and really consistent results, such were the ingredients of today’s success according to the Gitana skipper: “We go fast upwind but I think we have that little bit extra to give thanks to the quality of the manœuvres performed by my crew. We don’t take any chances as regards our rivals and consistency pays!”
The race zone of Sète once again revealed its complexity today: “the wind fluctuated a huge amount, but we were able to be opportunistic and react quickly to the slightest shifts. It was more difficult to sail today than yesterday as the courses were smaller and the windward mark was often level with the sea wall. We had to do a vast amount of work to position ourselves well in relation to our adversaries and put up a good performance! Onboard we’re constantly trying to anticipate the next mark, the next tack, so we always know where we’re heading and in what situation we’re likely to get ourselves into as regards a particular option” explained Pierre Pennec, in charge of mainsail trimming.
Winners of the first race of the day, the consistent performance by Yann Guichard and his three crew really shone through during the five races run by the Race Committee this Friday. With two second places and as many third places to accompany that, Gitana Team’s one-design never dipped below third today. Leader in the provisional ranking at the end of this second day of racing, Edmond de Rothschild Group is eight points ahead of The Wave, Muscat and ten points ahead of Oman Sail Masirah. Suffice to say that at the midway point in the event, there’s still everything to play for, especially with the wind set to increase still further over the next few days!
Provisional ranking for the Grand Prix of Sète on 28th May (after 8 races)
1.    Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) – 52 points
2.     The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) - 44 points
3.     Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 42 points
4.     Red Bull Extrême Sailing (Roman Hagara)- 35 points
5.     Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) - 33 points
6.     The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) - 31 points
7.     Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 30 points
8.     Team GAC Pindar (Nick Moloney) - 20 points
The crew of the Edmond de Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman
Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer
Hervé Cunningham – Headsail trimmer
Nicolas Heintz – No.1
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