Spectacular sailing
After last night's violent storms, a strong north-north-easterly wind soon cleared the skies. Hot weather has made a comeback bringing perfect albeit windy conditions. The 10 entrants in the Grand Prix de Corse are back in business once again.

As soon as the fleet left the harbour, they were greeted with choppy to strong seas, with winds gusting to 25 knots giving the Race Committee plenty of work to keep them busy – on several occasions they had to check the race marks were safely moored.

Round n°2 of the Grand Prix de Corse

At 11h 14, the 10 strong fleet set out head to wind at 18 knots on the first windward / leeward loop, the second round in this Grand Prix. Wind strength ( 15/20 knots with gusts of up to 25 knots ) made several tactical options possible, explaining the several upsets in this round which lasted a little over one and a half hours. The early stages of the race saw Gitana 11 in the middle of the fleet and gradually making her way up through her opponents to 4th. Shortly before crossing the line, Groupama II had to lighten up her pace a little when the crew saw that a shroud chainplate looked as though it were about to part company with its float, running the risk of having the mast come tumbling down. No sooner had Franck Cammas brought his green trimaran across the start line than he turned tail heading back to Calvi harbour for emergency repairs putting him out of action on the next race.

Round n°3

Two incidents marked the start of this round. One was not too significant, but the other turned out to have major consequences for two competitors. In the first instance, Gitana 11 and Sergio Tacchini, no doubt carried away by their desire to get down to it, crossed the line too early and lost a number of precious minutes in having to cross the line once again. In the second instance, the lively start cost Sodebo and the Italian boat, Tim, very dearly indeed as they collided violently into one another. The force of the impact was such that the Sodebo lost the crash box of her port float and Tim waved goodbye to more than one metre of her aft starboard float, the flank also sustaining damage in the impact. It was not long before both boats were keeping Groupama II company in Calvi marina to start repairing the damage sustained in the collision. Both parties involved lodged the usual protests. For all that Gitana 11 was hampered by her premature start, she was 5th to round the first mark just one minute behind Banque Covéfi. The crew of Gitana 11 was clearly on the ball in the second half of the season. She continued to snap away at the heels of the leading pack right through to the final stretch of this round, finally coming away with a brilliant 2nd place.

Round n°4

After having made provisional repairs, Groupama II got back into the thick of it, leaving the rather unfortunate colleagues Sodébo and Tim up to their eyes in laminate repairs. At 16h 30, the Race Committee kicked off a third start .... which almost all of the boats made too hastily. General recall, everybody back and the race finally started 15 minutes later in conditions where the sea was still rough and the sun was still shining brightly, but where the wind was starting to drop. In this last race, Gitana 11 made a speedy climb up through the ranks after a minor incident at the first mark. Fred Le Peutrec's crew, going for it all the way, came into contact with the mark earning a 360° penalty turn into the bargain. Not the sort of guys to let this get them down, the Gitana Team fought twice as hard as soon made up for lost time, after one and a half hours racing taking third behind Groupama II and Sergio Tacchini. These are Gitana 11's fiercest rivals on the circuit. At the end of this truly amazing day, Gitana 11 and Groupama II were on a level pegging for second, but yet again, Groupama took the advantage as she had win three rounds. This makes Gitana 11 3rd in the overall rankings, after 4 rounds already run in this Grand Prix de Corse whcih will be finishing tomorrow with what everyone hopes to be yet another extraordinary day of racing.

Result – Round n°2 / Start : 11h 14

1 – Groupama II – 1 point
2 -  Sergio Tacchini – 2 points
3 – Géant – 3 points
4 – Gitana 11– 4 points
5 –  Foncia – 5 points
6 – Sopra Group – 6 points
7 – Banque Covefi -  7 points
8 – Banque Populaire – 8 points
9 – Tim Progetto – 9 points
10 – Sodebo – 10 points 

Result – Round n°3 / Start  :  13h 53

1 – Banque Covefi  – 1 point
2 -  Gitana 11– 2 points
3 – Sergio Tacchini – 3 points
4 – Géant – 4 points
5 –  Sopra Group – 5 points
6 – Banque Populaire – 6 points
7 – Foncia -  7 points
8 – Groupama II – DNS – 11 points
9 – Tim Progetto – DNF - 11 points
10 – Sodebo – DNF – 11 points

Result – Round n°4 – Start :  16h30

1 – Groupama II  – 1 point
2 -  Sergio Tacchini – 2 points
3 – Gitana 11– 3 points
4 –  Foncia – 4 points
5 – Géant – 5 points
6 – Sopra Group – 6 points
7 –  Banque Covefi -  7 points
8 – Banque Populaire - 8 points
9 – Tim Progetto – DNS - 11 points
10 – Sodébo – DNS - 11 points

Overall rankings 

 1 – Sergio Tacchini –  10  points
2 -  Groupama II – 14 points
3 – Gitana 11 – 14 points
4 – Géant – 19 points
5 – Foncia – 20 points
6 – Banque Covefi – 23 points
7 – Sopra Group -  27 points
8 – Banque Populaire – 31 points
9 – Sodebo – 34 points
10 – TIM progetto Italia  – 37 points

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