Marseille Yo-Yo
Three rounds were run on Saturday in a southerly 8-15 knot breeze. At the end of this 2nd day of racing, Gitana 11 lay second in the overall rankings of the Grand Prix de Marseille Métrople. Gitana X was less at ease in slightly less windy conditions but the crew continues to make progress and has lost none of its motivation !

Groupama-2 has got over her counter-performance of Friday when Gitana 11, Banque Populaire, Foncia were ahead in the last round of the day. But on Saturday, the breeze was a little lighter and Franck Cammas did not put a foot wrong… He now lines up three wins in a row and pulls into a nice clear lead into the overall rankings. 

Frédéric Le Peutrec got off to a good start in the first round, a 45 mile coastal run from Marseille, to Sausset and then Maïre. However as the fleet passed these islands, the wind fell off altogether whereupon the whole fleet came together in a general assembly. Gitana X, stuck in irons at the start, never managed to make it back into the match. When it was time to head north for the finish off Marseille, Franck Cammas made a breakaway with Armel Le Cléac'h hot on his heels, whereas Frédéric Le Peutrec had a tough time getting free of a windless zone and finished sixth. 

On the next windward leeward loop, the Gitana Team showed that they had no intention of being shaken. A good start for Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew followed by an excellent run back down with Pascal Bidégorry, starting out in the lead, being overtaken by Groupama-2 and Gitana 11 right before the finishing line ! The course to follow was every bit as technical with a favourable leg over to Pointe Rouge, and Gitana 11 kept up the pace behind Groupama-2 and Géant whereas Banque Populaire, who had crossed the starting line before the shot had been fired, battled hard with Gitana X. The latter was not at her best in winds of 8-12 knots - Thierry Duprey du Vorsent's crew gave it all they had but there was no way they could hold out for long against the rest of the fleet.

Léopold Lucet, n°1, bowman on Gitana X :

« Conditions today are not what Gitana X likes best of all. Light fickle air with the odd breeze here and there. We had a rough ride in. Our boat is a little heavier than the others so it was difficult getting up to speed in such fickle winds. What's more, we did not get off to a very good start in the coastal course. As the course sections were long, there was not much we could do tactically. Pure speed was what was required here. The second round was better with a start where we had worked out well. We followed the fleet as far as the Pointe Rouge, on a leg which was compulsory really. Once again we were hampered by light air so we were out of the match and chose different options to try and come back. To wrap it up, we got off to a great start on the third race but in spite of having made the right decision to hug the coast, the gaps increased and so we had to adopt yet another strategy to avoid being foul-winded. But even on a day like that, which is not that good for us, we continue to get better with much more fluid manoeuvres, improved coordination, faster gybes.  »

Christophe Lassègue, n°1, bowman on Gitana 1 :

« It all started out well on the morning's coastal course where we were hot on Groupama-2's heels. But things worsened when we got near to Riou island where there was no wind at all ! The fleet regrouped and those who were behind took advantage of our rotten situation to pull ahead. Impossible to get our own back as the wind started to pick up, but in front ! GThe second round was better in fact as we got off to a good start and managed to hold onto a good position compared to the rest of the fleet. We gained ground on Banque Populaire who was in the lead who had more or less forgotten that we were there as they were busy trying to catch up with Groupama-2. We pipped Pascal Bidégorry at the post too ! The third round was something of a repeat performance as you had to hug the coats – upwind and downwind. Not much room for tactics. We moved into third place at the windward mark and in spite of chasing Géant, we never made it back into the match. In the overall rankings, we used Banque Populaire's rotten start to our advantage taking us into second in the provisional overall rankings. Sunday is going to be tense between us, Michel Desjoyeaux and Pascal Bidégorry ! »

Provisional overall rankings - Grand Prix de Marseille Métropole after six rounds :

1-Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (1+1+4+1+1+1) 9 points
2-Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (3+4+1+6+2+3) 19 points
3-Pascal Bidégorry – Banque Populaire (2+3+2+4+3+6) 20 points
4-Michel Desjoyeaux – Géant (4+2+5+3+4+2) 20 points
5-Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (5+5+3+2+6+4) 25 points
6-Giovanni Soldini – TIM Progetto Italia (7+6+7+5+5+5) 35 points
7-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent – Gitana X (6+7+6+7+7+7) 40 points

Round 4 : coastal course of 45 miles (Frioul-Sausset-Frioul-Maïre-Marseille), SE, 10-15 knots, lightening S 5 knots to the end of the course
Round 5 : windward leeward loop, 2 rounds, S, 8-12 knots
Round 6 : windward leeward loop, 2 ½ rounds, S, 10 knots

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