A thwarted podium
Yann Guichard and his three crew conclude the Trapani event in fourth place tonight despite a brilliant start to the Grand Prix. For the competitive crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group, this finish at the foot of the podium is bound to be a disappointment. However, already they are setting their sights towards Andalusia and the town of Almeria, where the winner of the Extreme Sailing Series 2010 will be decided in a fortnight’s time.
The fourth meet of the season, despite being contested in a Mediterranean destination famed for its mild climate, has been marked by some breezy conditions and what might easily be described as some lively races:“In this Grand Prix of Trapani, conditions have been windy and, with the exception of Thursday, we’ve always had more than 15 knots. For the time being, with one regatta to go till the end, we’ve had a championship dominated by the breeze. As such our decision at the start of the year to make the crew a little heavier and stronger for this type of weather was the right one”said Yann Guichard assuredly.
Prior to this final day of racing in Sicily, the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was in third place on the provisional podium. For Yann Guichard and his men, the objective was clear: to sail cleanly and try to hunt down the second place and naturally keep their distance from any pursuers. Up until the third race of the day, things were going really smoothly and the sailors from the Gitana Team were gradually making up ground on Masirah. Unfortunately, the end of the afternoon didn’t shine favourably on them: “We sailed well during the first three races, systematically coming in the top three. After that though, Muscat prevented us from sailing as we wanted to in view of the overall championship ranking. That then enabled the other Omani boat and Ecover to get down to business without us and score 2nd and 3rd in the event. It’s a calculated move that we could’ve pulled in Kiel, as we certainly had the chance to do that, but we didn’t want to. It’s a mindset which isn’t reminiscent of mine or that of my crew!” admitted the Gitana skipper with a hint of bitterness, before saluting the exemplary job done by Pierre Pennec, Hervé Cunningham and Yves Detrey during the past four days of competition: “My crew have once again performed very well and our fourth place in Sicily isn’t representative of the quality of their work. We’re coming to the end of the championship and with the final outcome drawing near, our adversaries are beginning to weigh up the scores and are basing their sailing on that, that’s all.”
In the overall ranking of the Extreme Sailing Series 2010, the Grand Prix of Trapani hasn’t been a great operation for the crew of Edmond de Rothschild group, who have conceded their first place, as Yann explains: “This evening we’ve dropped a step on the 2010 championship podium and, as we forecast pretty early on in the season, everything will be decided in Almeria. We mustn’t question ourselves at all when we’re there. We simply have to ensure we’re in front and give everyone a run for their money.”
A little over a month from the start of the Route du Rhum, Yann Guichard is constantly linking together the Extreme 40 competitions and his preparation aboard the maxi-trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. In this way, the Breton skipper will be back in Paris, France tomorrow, where he will attend a press conference on Tuesday evening for the famous transatlantic race between Saint Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre. Then, on Thursday morning, he’ll be back with his shore crew in La Trinité-sur-Mer to continue his training on Gitana 11. A busy programme ahead then, though Yann Guichard seems very suited to the rhythm.
Final ranking for the Grand Prix of Trapani (after twenty-four races)
1.       The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) – 138 points
2.       Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 120 points
3.       Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 114 points
4.       Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) - 112 points
5.       Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) - 96 points
6.       Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) - 82 points
7.       Trapani The Sailing Seacily (Gabriele Bruni) - 35 points
Provisional ranking in the Extreme Sailing Series 2010 (after four Grands Prix)
1.       The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) - 28 points
2.       Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) - 27 points
3.       Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 25 points
4.       Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 24 points
5.       Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) - 13 points
6.       Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) - 12 points
7.       The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) - 8 points
8.       Team GAC Pindar (Nick Moloney) - 3 points
The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group in Trapani

Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman / Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer / Hervé Cunningham – Headsail trimmer / Yves Detrey - Bowman

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