The mid-championship event in Kiel
Today, Thursday 26th August, is the start of the Grand Prix of Kiel. Three weeks after the English event contested on the waters of the Solent, the Extreme Sailing Series 2010 will spend the next four days racing on the closed waters of the German port city. Still leading in the provisional championship ranking, but now tied on points with The Wave Muscat, Yann Guichard and his three crew are tackling this third event of the season with an avowed aim: to defend and conserve their leadership.

The city of Kiel is playing host to the Extreme Sailing Series for the third consecutive year; a show of loyalty which is a reflection of the calibre of this renowned ‘Sailing city’. Indeed the German city, situated on the Baltic coast, is one of the top Olympic sailing destinations, as well as hosting the famous Kiel Woche; a competition which takes place every June and gathers together the flagships of the world’s Olympic fleet.

The Extreme 40s are back in Kiel… Let’s hope that the 2010 edition will prove more favourable and fruitful for the Gitana Team than the last meeting there. Indeed, with a 4th place, which equated to the worst event of their 2009 championship, Yann Guichard’s crew can’t profess to have an excellent recollection of their time in the Baltic: “After Cowes, the crew and myself enjoyed a few days of rest so we could arrive in Germany in tip-top condition. I’m keen to be back in Kiel so I can erase the result we got here last year (4th). According to initial weather forecasts, the trend seems to be a breezy one… However, contrary to the Solent, the German race zone isn’t characterised by strong currents or rocks in close proximity, which made life complicated in Cowes. We’ll have to remain prudent as far as the weather forecasts are concerned as the situation may well change again, especially given the fact that it’s on a closed race zone” admitted the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild Group.  

In the provisional championship ranking, it’s a very close match so the German event should be able to separate the top two crews who are currently tied on points: “Prior to the third event of the season, Edmond de Rothschild Group is still leading the provisional general championship but the victory of The Wave Muscat in Cowes has made the competition even tighter as we’re tied on points. It all makes for an intense, thrilling event in Germany and we’re going to have to make sure we’re at the top of our game and in on the action from the outset when racing begins on Thursday afternoon.”

For this 3rd meeting of the season, the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group will once again welcome onboard Hervé Cunningham, who will be taking up position a little further forward than usual, on the bow. Added to that, already part of the crew of Gitana Team in Cowes, Thierry Fouchier will again make up part of the crew in Germany and will be responsible for headsail trimming.

Some ‘local’ teams to enrich the line-up
Wirsol Team Germany, skippered by Roland Gaebler, and the Audi Sailing Team Germany skippered by Johannes Polgar, will temporarily join the Extreme Sailing Series in Kiel. The presence of these two German one-designs brings the number of participants to nine, because Team Pindar skippered by Nick Moloneyhas unfortunately had to withdraw from the Grand Prix of Kiel.

The initial race marking the beginning of hostilities will start tomorrow, shortly after 1430 hours, that is if the wind decides to liven up the German race zone…

Provisional ranking in the Extreme Sailing Series (after two Grands Prix)
1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) -  14 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) – 14 points
3. Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) -   12 points
4. Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) -   12 points
5. Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) -  7 points
6. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) -   6 points
7. The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) -  4 points
8. Team GAC Pindar (Nick Moloney) -   3 points

The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman / Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer / Thierry Fouchier – Headsail trimmer / Hervé Cunningham - Bowman

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