Midway analysis: Edmond de Rothschild Group still in control
For this second day of racing in the Grand Prix of Sète the wind is back in force again, as is the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group, who are holding onto pole position after the first three races. However, the day isn’t over yet…
A 12 to 15 knot wind and summery temperatures are accompanying the Extreme 40s today. Conditions are perfect for enabling the crews of the 40 foot one-designs to show off the full extent of their power and their agility at the helm.
The tension and keenness of the eight competing teams is palpable this Friday and the first start of the day proved very exciting. Indeed the race committee had to call back all the competitors (general recall) who were seemingly too eager to get going. However this false start didn’t prevent the Extreme 40s from putting on a real show just minutes later. The author of a very fine start at the committee boat end, the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild immediately positioned herself in the leading pack. She managed to stay with this group and even got to the head of the fleet on the last lap, despite a very well negotiated gennaker wrap. As such the first race and the first victory of the day went to Yann Guichard and his men. Following that the committee quickly launched into the second race. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, the victim of hydraulics damage to the mainsail, wasn’t able to take the start of this race so it was just seven boats on the start line. Groupama 40 controlled the competition from beginning to end, whilst Gitana Team managed to cross the finish line in 3rd position: once again it was a case of a consistent performance paying dividends in the provisional general rankings.
Shortly before 1600 hours, the third race of the day began off the Saint-Louis jetty. Edmond de Rothschild Group got off to a bad start at the pin end and was even forced to put in a gybe to get past the mark. Finally getting away in last position, Yann Guichard and his three crew didn’t lose hope, quite the contrary in fact. Thanks to a fine series of manoeuvres and with some well-timed tactics, they gradually powered their way up through the fleet to take second place just behind Red Bull, which had returned to the racing. A very fine second place then, which testified to the great spirit aboard the Gitana boat.
Provisional ranking for the Grand Prix of Sète on 28th May (after 6 races)
1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Gui chard) – 39 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) - 34 points
3. The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) – 28 points
4. Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 27 points
5. Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 26 points
6. Red Bull Extrême Sailing (Roman Hagara) - 23 points
7. Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 22 points
8. Team GAC Pindar (Nick Moloney) - 16 points
The crew of the Edmond de Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman
Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer
Hervé Cunningham – Headsail trimmer
Nicolas Heintz – No.1