Deposed but not beaten
In Trapani the days follow on one after the other, but they’re rather different to say the least. This is the case not solely for the results but also the weather. Indeed a depressionary front is currently passing over Sicily and today’s six races have been contested in a wind of in excess of 25 knots. The rain and storms have also decided to invite themselves along to see the action. These lively conditions, which are proving a little too extreme for the Gitana skipper, haven’t enthralled Yann Guichard’s men. Despite what they describe as a difficult day, the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group are still on the provisional podium and are in the supporting role tonight behind The Wave Muscat.
This second day of Sicilian racing has been punctuated by some great stylistic moves, none of which have transformed into a capsize fortunately. However, there were a few narrow escapes today: “The wind was blowing at around 25 knots in the first five races, but then it increased over the last race to reach 30 knots. It was a little too extreme for my liking as it’s a small playing field for such conditions, so we were racing on a razor’s edge, which was bordering on being unacceptable. The way Masirah and Groupama buried their bows so deeply was a very clear demonstration of that. Fortunately everything ended up alright but it could have been very different. Yann Guichard goes further: “My crew and I were keen to bring back a boat which was intact and that’s what we’ve done. We didn’t really get the results we wanted, even though we won the third race of the afternoon, but I really didn’t want to put ourselves into some risky situations. That’s not the way I work!”
Like the Edmond de Rothschild Group yesterday, The Wave Muscat had an excellent day today. By winning three of the six races contested, the crew of Paul Campbell-James have snatched first place in the provisional ranking from Yann Guichard’s men. This evening they boast an eleven point lead over the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, whilst Groupama 40 has stepped up into third place, tied on points. Suffice to say that given the number of races left to run, the deficits are minimal. As such, the second part of this Grand Prix of Trapani promises to be both hard-fought and enthralling.
Given the weather conditions, the fleet of Extreme 40s have this evening been tucked away in Trapani’s commercial port, as Yann Guichard explains: “the front is passing over us tonight and at that point we’ll be hit by the maximum amount of wind, namely gusts of 30 to 35 knots in the squalls. For safety reasons and the fact that the moorings provided aren’t solid enough, the organisation has opted to moor the boats at the far end of the port, right next to the commercial shipping, and that’s the only thing that can be done.”
Tomorrow the rain should be some distance away from Sicily but the wind will remain strong. Indeed Edmond de Rothschild Group and her rivals will once again have to deal with around twenty knots or so of breeze.
The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group in Trapani
Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman / Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer / Hervé Cunningham – Headsail trimmer / Yves Detrey - Bowman
Provisional ranking for the Grand Prix of Trapani on 24th September (after 12 races)
1. The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) – 67 points
2. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) - 56 points
3. Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 56 points
4. Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 54 points
5. Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 49 points
6. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) - 40 points
7. Trapani The Sailing Seacily (Gabriele Bruni) – 14 points