The Gitana Team knows that when the wind is under 5 knots, they cannot come close to the other tris. They cannot be sailed as close to the wind as the other boats, and glide less efficiently downwind. The starts were that much tougher as a result, idem the tactical choices upwind and the controls downwind. In spite of everything, a bit like in Marseille, Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew showed that they could worry the untouchable Groupama-2, which is particularly at ease in fickle conditions and light winds. Gitana 11 is now the only boat to have win a round against Groupama-2 !
In the 7th round on Sunday afternoon, Gitana 11 won with elegance. Franck Cammas had a clear lead when Frédéric Le Peutrec was fourth. Cammas headed off on the wrong side of the course on the last upwind leg to mark his direct opponents, Pascal Bidégorry and Michel Desjoyeaux. Just what the doctor ordered as this played right into the hands of Gitana 11 who set out in search of a wind shift out to sea after a rain cloud had blown over. The Rothschild trimaran changed tack in good wind pressure as the others were having a hard time in a no wind zone. Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew of 9 rolled round the mark slightly ahead of Pascal Bidégorry and Franck Cammas. On the run downwind, with the gennaker up, Gitana 11 flew down to the finishing line to win the round !
Gitana X did likewise on a windward leeward loop on Satruday in extremely light air which seemed to screw the boats in place. Thierry Duprey du Vorsent and his crew found the Achilles heel and found themselves racing against the opponents and back to within spitting distance of the three leaders, particularly ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux and Frédéric Le Peutrec. He crossed the line at a snail's speed, but holding onto his place never the less !
The Gitana Team is not over the moon with the final result but are pleased to see that both crews devoted all their energy to making up for the speed deficit in such fickle conditions. A simple hair's breadth, a second catastrophic round was enough and Gitana 11 struck a mark caught up in the down thrust from a helicopter to finish last. Think positive - Yann Guichard (Gitana 11) and Erwan Le Roux (Gitana X) did the best they could and the Gitana Team is still highly motivated. Rendez-vous in Lorient at the end of the month for the last Grand Prix of the season. Could be in for a tough battle.
Provisional rankings - Grand Prix du port de Fécamp over 8 rounds :
1- Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (1+1+1+1+1+1+3+1) 10 points
2- Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (2+2+4+5+3+2+4+2) 24 points
3- Pascal Bidégorry - Banque Populaire (3+4+5+2+2+4+5+3) 28 points
4- Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (4+6+3+3+6+3+1+4) 30 points
5- Michel Desjoyeaux – Géant (5+3+2+4+5+5+2+5) 31 points
6- Thierry Duprey du Vorsent - Gitana X (6+5+6+6+4+6+6+6) 45 points
Crew - Grand Prix de Fécamp (Gitana 11) :
Frédéric Le Peutrec (skipper), Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer), Yann Guichard (tactician), Franck Citeau (trimmer), Daniel Souben (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Epron (mainsheet), Alexandre Quiblier (wincher), Loïc Le Mignon (wincher), Antoine Mermod (pitman) , François Denis (foredeck - n°2), Christophe Lassègue (bowman - n°1)
Crew - Grand Prix de Fécamp (Gitana X) :
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helm), Erwan Le Roux (tactician), Mayeul Riffet (pit-navigator), Jochen Krauth (trimmer), Mathieu Tatibouët (mainsheet), Yann Le Govic (mainsheet), Eric Péron (trimmer), Arnaud de Boringer (wincher), Xavier Dagault (wincher), Antoine Carpentier (foredeck - n°2), Léopold Lucet (bowman - n°1)
For further information… www.gitana-team.com
In the world of sailing, the name Gitana is inseparable from the French-Swiss branch of the Rothschild family. It conjures up century old images of a particular lifestyle where passion, team spirit and the quest for excellence come together. Under the aegis of the Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the Gitana history turned to multihulls in 2000 when the Gitana IX entered the Transat Québec /Saint-Malo. For the second year in a row, the Baron has entered two trimarans - Gitana X and Gitana 11 – in the ORMA Championship. The Gitana X, is devoted to the training of young talent and the objective for Gitana 11 is excellent performance at the top level. Tradition, innovation and transmission…
Photo Image Bank : Yvan Zedda Video Image Bank : Néfertiti Production