Continually progressing since the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Pierre Pennec and his crew have had a great day this Saturday. Seventh on the first day and back in the top three yesterday evening, Edmond de Rothschild Group is now in first place with a six-point lead over the team in second place. The skipper of the French catamaran looks back on the weather conditions for today’s races: “Once again, the wind varied in intensity according to where you were on the race zone, with a little less breeze at the start than at the windward mark. The difficulty today was anticipating the wind rotations throughout the course and there were a number of them. However, overall the wind was stronger than yesterday and those are the kind of conditions the crew are fond of. The onboard communication was excellent and we really paid a great deal of attention to preparing for our races. We’ve had a real speed bonus since the start of the Grand Prix and this proved true again today. However, nothing gets done on its own in these physical, demanding conditions and everyone gave their all aboard Edmond de Rothschild Group.”
With three race victories out of the eight contested this Saturday, the men of Gitana Team certainly have a right to be satisfied. However, more than the race wins, it’s a consistent performance they most cherish. Indeed, this latter element was what was lacking yesterday: “We were frustrated by our lack of consistency. All of a sudden, today the watchword was to be consistent. Indeed, much as we like winning races, on this circuit, it’s being in the top 4 in every race that pays. Today, everything panned out very well: the manœuvres, the tactics and the speed. We’re getting an increasingly good understanding of the race zone and we’re able to express our potential. Yesterday, we rounded off the day with a last place in the final race, but today we didn’t commit the same errors and the whole crew refocused to round the day off in style,” admitted Bernard Labro, bowman aboard.
Tomorrow, it’s not only the results of the Grand Prix, which will be decided but also the final standing for the Extreme Sailing Series 2012. Currently lying in second place and making its presence felt over the past three days, The Wave Muscat looks to be heading for the title. However, there’s still everything to play for to secure second, third and fourth place. The calculations are simple: with a two-point deficit in the overall standing in relation to Oman Air, Edmond de Rothschild must finish ahead of Morgan Larson and his men, as well as ensure that there is another boat between itself and its Omani rival. With regards Red Bull Sailing Team, Pierre Pennec and his crew will only be able to allow a single one-design between them if Roman Hagara gains the edge tomorrow. The battle promises to be as intense as it is thrilling and the men of Gitana Team are ready to get down to business: “There is the overall standing, where there are three of us vying for the same spot, as well as a desire to add a Grand Prix victory to our list of wins. These two battles will be decided among the same three crews whatever happens, and together with The Wave for victory in Rio. Tomorrow the contact phases will be sure to be a lot more frequent and we’re expecting Morgan Larson to be on our tail. We’re ready for it though!” admitted Pierre Pennec.
The final round of the 2012 race circuit kicks off tomorrow from 1400 hours (1600 GMT). These races will be broadcast live on the Extreme Sailing Series website (www.extremesailingseries.com) from 1500 hours (1700 GMT).
In the seventh race of the day, The Wave Muscat was the victim of a collision caused by the local crew Team Brasil. Believing that it was in the right during the incident, the Omani skipper called for a redress. Bernard Labro gives us more details about this situation: “The Wave Muscat reckons that one boat (Team Brasil in this case) fouled it. The mistake wasn’t its fault, but it prevented it from finishing the race. As such, it can make a request to the jury to be the infringed yacht. If the jury decides that it is indeed the infringed yacht, the calculation to determine the number of points that the boat picks up for this is as follows: they take the average from its races that day and improve its score by that number of points.” UltimatelyThe Wave Muscat’s request had a positive outcome and that’s why Leigh McMillan has a total of 138.2 points this evening.
Provisional standing for the Rio Grand Prix (after 22 races)
1. Edmond de Rothschild Group - 144 points
2. The Wave Muscat – 138.2 points (after the jury)
3. Oman Air – 125 points
4. Red Bull Sailing Team – 124 points
5. Alinghi -117 points
6. SAP Sailing Team – 112 points
7. GAC Pindar - 93,6 points
8. Zoulou – 83 points
9. Team Brasil - 61 points
The crew of the Extreme Edmond de Rothschild Group
Pierre Pennec (Skipper / Helmsman), Arnaud Psarofaghis (trimmer and traveller), Hervé Cunningham (headsail trimmer), Bernard Labro (bowman), Romain Petit (trimmer)