The top three for Edmond de Rothschild Group
A great deal of patience was required to find out how the Cascais City Races would pan out. At the scheduled start time, a thick fog had invaded the playing field for the MOD 70 trimaran fleet and there wasn’t a puff of breeze. However, midway through the afternoon, thanks to a timid thermal breeze of 6-8 knots, the Race Committee were finally able to let hostilities commence. Two races were run before the Omani one-design was able to secure its first win. Edmond de Rothschild Group managed to snatch third place in the Portuguese races, thus scoring their third podium place in a row in this particular exercise.

Like yesterday, the five competing crews had to demonstrate great finesse today in order to drive their steeds to victory in the very light breeze. Out of the two City Races contested just a few boat lengths from the marina in Cascais, the capricious wind made the start phases and tack crossings somewhat hazardous. The upshot of this was a number of individual recalls for overshooting the start line along with a host of penalty turns:Our third place in Cascais is in line with our aim of putting up a consistent performance in this European Tour. As far as that’s concerned, it’s a positive result, though obviously there are some regrets in terms of the points we’ve let escape us through a lack of clear-headedness. This was the case on the first day of racing. We got off to a very good start with the leading group, but we fouled Spindrift at the gate during a change of tack and were penalised. This greedy indiscretion caused us to drop three places in the end, which is always frustrating. In the second race, we were among the top three boats battling for the perfect position, but all of us crossed the start line too early! It’s a pattern we’ve seen repeated since the start: one boat roots two others to the spot and together they form a three-way core which battles for ‘the’ spot at the start. The other two MOD 70s which stay away from this, either by choice or a lack of opportunity in the approach phase, then have a clear run to power up better. Despite all that, we’ve seen that the good starts are decisive and that risk taking is a necessary step. We certainly have a few adjustments to make, but I like my crew’s attitude in these contact phases,” admits Sébastien Josse.

Though they got off to a bad start in the second and final race of the day, the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group demonstrated real tenacity to finally cross the finish line in third position ahead of Spindrift Racing and Foncia. This result enabled the eight sailors on the trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild to secure another podium place in the European Tour, the third such place in the three City Races contested so far. On the highest step of the podium, we find Musandam – Oman Sail rewarded for its consistent performance throughout the latest three days of competition, with Spindrift Racing completing this triumvirate. In the overall standing for the event, the Cascais City Races haven’t altered the hierarchy established beforehand.

Cascais – Cascais: a leg full of surprises

Tomorrow at 1100 hours*, Edmond de Rothschild Group and its rivals will head off on the third ‘offshore’ leg of the European Tour. This race is ranked in the offshore category but technically it’s a long coastal course along Portuguese shores. The MOD 70 fleet will set off from Cascais after a few tacks around the bay, bound for Porto to the North. At that point they will head back to the start mark, before setting a course for the Sines mark, around fifty miles to the South, and finally returning to the entrance to the Tagus River. For the time being the course comprises 420 nautical miles, but this could be reduced given the weather conditions forecast. Antoine Koch, navigator and ‘mister weather’ aboard the boat, shared his thoughts on the latest forecasts: “the weather situation isn’t very clear. There’s a depression over the Azores, which is generating a southerly air flow offshore and a weak thermal depression over Spain, which is generating northerly winds along the Portuguese coast. As a result, there is a zone of conflict between these two breezes in the sector we’re due to be racing in. This essentially means that we’ll have some fairly light wind conditions, though the last few miles could be windier if we race the entire course proposed. In the first section, there are two main options on the cards right now. Either we can take an inshore option with the minor thermal effects of land, or we can head further offshore in the hope that we’ll be able to latch onto a slightly more powerful breeze. In this particular leg, we’re expecting to have to manage the random conditions and we’re going to have very little opportunity to sleep. It’s a short leg in terms of miles, but it promises to be complicated.”

* local time = UTC + 1 hour

Standing in the Cascais City Races (after six races)
  1. Musandam – Oman Sail – 12 points
  2. Spindrift Racing – 11 points
  3. Edmond de Rothschild Group - 10 points
  4. Race for Water - 9 points
  5. Foncia - 8 points

Standing in the European Tour (after the Cascais City Races)
  1. Spindrift Racing – 11 + 46 + 1*+ 12 + 50 + 2* + 11 = 133 points
  2. Foncia – 12 + 50 + 3*+ 10 + 46 + 8 = 129 points
  3. Edmond de Rothschild Group – 10 + 42 + 2*+ 11 + 38 + 3* + 10 = 116 points
  4. Musandam – Oman Sail – 9 + 34 + 8 + 42 +12= 105 points
  5. Race for Water – 8 + 38 + 9 + 34 + 1* + 9 = 99 points

* corresponds with the points’ bonus awarded to the top three boats at the end of the coastal section contested at the start of each offshore leg.

The crew of the MOD Edmond de Rothschild Group

Sébastien Josse (Skipper), Olivier Douillard, Florent Chastel, Christophe Espagnon, Antoine Koch, Thomas Rouxel, Cyril Dardashti, David Boileau

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