At last ! The single-minded determination of Franck Cammas was starting to look like a hold-up. After his grand slam in Calvi, his win in La Giraglia, everyone was starting to wonder quite whether they would ever manage to see Franck Cammas in their rear view mirror. Well, now that has been taken care of, and a nice job i twas too on behalf of Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew ! Thierry Duprey du Vorsent also showed him a thing or to on one round. The third round was run in a 13-17 knot breeze (whereas the two previous ones were raced in 3-10 knots). Perfect conditions on a flat sea. The difference in light air between the fleet and Groupama-2 was much less noticeable. It was necessary to get to grips with a rather technical, even tricky, course.
Frédéric Le Peutrec got off to an excellent start on the starboard tack with Pascal Bidégorry as the five other trimarans opted for the port tack to head out to the open sea in search of wind. But Marseille harbour entrance was out of sorts today, alternating puffs of wind and windless zones, along with rather noticeable changes of pressure and shifts. As Gitana 11 rolled round the first windward mark ahead of Foncia and Banque Populaire, Gitana X blocked Groupama-2 throughout the whole of the first upwind leg. Same speed, same heading – perfect conditions for Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and his crew.
Frédéric Le Peutrec was backed up on tactics by Yann Guichard and ran a masterly race marking Pascal Bidégorry perfectly, taking his first Grand Prix win of a round this season. Gitana X was also in the match as she twice beat Italian Giovanni Soldini. A great day all round for the Gitana Team !
ITV with Yann Guichard, tactician on Gitana 11 :
« A tough but beautiful day. Conditions were changeable in terms of intensity and wind direction but we ended up with a good third round. Opportunist with a spot of good luck, just what is needed to win ! Franck Cammas was caught up with on a couple of occasions, depending largely on the wind. In light air, it is almost mission impossible but in winds of more than 12 knots, it can be done. He got of to a good start and we had an excellent one, as did Pascal Bidégorry, on the starboard tack. We did an excellent first section downind with a little more pressure which meant that we were able to increase the gap with Banque Populaire. On the second round, we broke the rudder on the port float at the last windward mark. The shore crew did a fantastic job. We only had 30 minutes before the next start and they managed to change the rudder in time ! Brilliant ! During the winter, they had the bright idea of putting the transom in front of the rudder stock – it is more practical to work on ! »
ITV with Erwan Le Roux, tactician on Gitana X :
« We've good reason to be pleased ! We discovered a dagger board adjustment which meant we could hold our own with Groupama-2 throughout a whole upwind leg. That's new and great to know. Otherwise, we pulled off one or two good things here and there, a couple of good starts, some good manoeuvres. We still have a spot of bother holding onto our position over two or three days. We had Géant, TIM-Progetto Italia… and Groupama-2 in our rear view mirror from time to time. Not bad ! The boat is better, but in light air on the first two rounds Gitana X still has a tough time keeping up. This is like an extension of the Grand Prix de Corse. We can put up a fight, put our friends in difficulty and hold onto positions we couldn't hold onto last season. We are more at ease on the water and that can be seen with the crew too who did an excellent job all round today. When the manoeuvres go well, you can go the distance more easily. It's interesting. That's where the sporting element comes in – tactics and all that ! Looking forward to tomorrow… »
Provisional Rankings - Grand Prix de Marseille Métropole after three rounds :
1-Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (1+1+4) 6 points
2-Pascal Bidegorry – Banque Populaire (2+3+2) 7 points
3-Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (3+4+1) 8 points
4-Michel Desjoyeaux – Géant (4+2+5) 11 points
5-Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (5+5+3) 13 points
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent – Gitana X (6+7+6) 19 points
7-Giovanni Soldini – TIM Progetto Italia (7+6+7) 20 points
Round 1 : windward-leeward course, 3 rounds, S wind 3-8 knots
Round 2 : windward-leeward course, 2 rounds, S wind 8-12 knots
Round 3 : windward-leeward course, 2 rounds, SSE wind 13-18 knots