Edmond de Rothschild Group gets into the rhythm
Today was set to be coloured by light winds but ultimately a steady breeze of around a dozen knots was dished up for the Extreme Sailing Series fleet, punctuated by some violent gusts from a variety of directions. In these changeable conditions, Edmond de Rothschild Group occasionally found it hard to position themselves on the start lines. However, the crew has now found its bearings aboard and didn’t let up, showing the pace of the boat fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. After eight physical races, including one fine victory in the final race of the day, Pierre Pennec and his men moved up two places in tonight’s overall standing in the Cardiff Grand Prix.

It takes an average of 12 minutes to complete an Extreme 40 race. In such a short space of time, the one-designs take the start, perform two beats, two runs, and return on a reach, slaloming between the course marks situated off Cardiff’s sea wall. All these different points of sail call for constant trimming and sail changes. “I found the crew to be highly effective in these boisterous conditions. Despite the need for a physical performance, everyone managed to keep a clear head and remain calm. It’s not yet perfect but given the little time we’ve had together in contact with our rivals, I reckon the team works very well.”

The Gitana Team is being supported in Cardiff by a sports coach, Alexandre Guyader, who can look at the races from the outside, as well as focusing on the crew’s recovery: “In this strong breeze, over a series of short courses one after the other (eight races today), you really have to monitor the guys’ recovery and hydration. There are still two days of racing to go, which will be just as demanding, so they mustn’t burn out.”

Today Edmond de Rothschild Group was able to show the Welsh its speed. Often covered during the starts, Pierre Pennec and his men moved up through the fleet each time and rounded off the day nicely midway up the leaderboard. “One time the door closes, another time I’m too close and I get slammed with a penalty. It’s obviously frustrating! However, what we’ve noticed is that when we are last out of the blocks, a long way behind at times, we manage to move up into fourth place. That means that we’re quick and that we’re manoeuvring well! Similarly, when we start out in front, we stay ahead. Although it feels like we’ve been sailing below par for the past two days, we’ve still managed to move up two places in the overall standing, which means we’re closer to the podium tonight,” explains the skipper from La Rochelle. And to finish on a positive note, the crew of Gitana Team ended the day with a victory after what spectators referred to as a ‘perfect’ start.

Like yesterday, the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild is nineteen points shy of the leader in the overall standing this evening. However, Pierre Pennec and his four crew are just ten points astray of the team currently in second place. Just a slight deficit then, given the number of races left to run and the points still to be awarded this weekend.

Tomorrow conditions are very likely to resemble those encountered today, with the wind building towards the end of the day and still strong gusts again, which give spectators a real fright as the catamarans come close to capsizing as they fly a hull. Racing starts tomorrow at 1400 hours local time.

Today’s results for Edmond de Rothschild Group

Race 9 – 4th

Race 10 – 7th

Race 11 – 2nd

Race 12 – 6th

Race 13 – 5th

Race 14 – 6th

Race 15 – 2nd

Race 16 – 1st

Standing for the Cardiff Grand Prix after the second day (sixteen races run)
  1. Red Bull Sailing Team – 102 points
  2. Oman Air - 93 points
  3. The Wave Muscat – 91 points
  4. GAC Pindar - 86 points
  5. 5. Edmond de Rothschild Group - 83 points
  6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team – 80 points
  7. Alinghi – 78 points
  8. Team Wales – 56 points
  9. Zoulou - 50 points

The crew of the Extreme Edmond de Rothschild Group

Pierre Pennec (Skipper / Helmsman),

Arnaud Psarofaghis (trimmer and traveller),

Romain Motteau (headsail trimmer),

Christophe André (Bowman),

Romain Petit (trimmer),

Alexandre Guyader (coach)

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