A good start
After this opening day of the Portugal Grand Prix at Portimao, Gitana 11 lies second in the provisional rankings courtesy of two creditable second-place finishes on the first and third rounds. For Gitana 12, the early outcome is less promising but motivation is still running high!

3 rounds were held today, amidst a south-easterly wind which ranged from 8 knots at the start of the first round to as much as 20 knots during the second before falling to 6 by the end of the third stage. This highly unpredictable pattern left plenty of room for tactical manoeuvres on a course which, as the skippers had predicted, proved decidedly complex!

Although the majestic Groupama-2 won all three rounds on the day, the crew of Gitana 11 was also not short of inspiration, especially during the third round where an astute tactical move enabled them to rise from 4th to 2nd place!

Today, Gitana 11 welcomed on board a renowned guest, Mr Guy Frequelin, Director of Citroen Sport, who shared his impressions with us:
“it's highly tactical and very technical at the same time. It really is sophisticated sailing. And in spite of all the tension, there's also a little bit of time to relax and enjoy it! I'd already been lucky enough to sail on Gitana 11 at Fécamp but the boat wasn't racing at the time so the conditions were completely different. In the race setting, you can feel the pressure and the tremendous focus of all the sailors. It's a real privilege to be able to experience these moments.”

Loick Peyron, Gitana 11 skipper

“We were honestly a bit pessimistic about the possible weather conditions but in the end it was perfect… very interesting in sailing terms! We sailed very well, although we could even have been a tiny bit better! It's true that we have to avoid focusing on Groupama-2, as once again, we're not really in that league yet. We more or less have to wait for her to finish and accept the fact that we're not going to be anywhere near her! We were talking about it with Mr Fréquelin, who we were delighted to welcome on board, incidentally. He fully understands the situation: while the talent of the sailors is very important, it can often be the machine that makes the difference.”

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Gitana 12 skipper

“We're going to try to be constructive, without donning the rose-tinted spectacles… We didn't perform as well as we could have. We had trouble finding our feet on this first day, we lacked aggression at the starts and weren't incisive enough! We also made a bit of a hash of our manoeuvres, but we'll put it behind us and hopefully do better tomorrow!”

Gitana 11  crew at Portimao:
Loick Peyron (skipper/helmsman), Lionel Lemonchois (navigator), Yann Guichard (tactician), Daniel Souben (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant (trimmer), Jean-Baptiste Epron (trimmer), Ronan Le Goff (wincher), Christophe Lassègue (bowman No. 1), François Denis (Bowman No.2), Antoine Mermod (piano), Alexandre Quiblier (wincher)
Gitana 12 crew at Portimao:
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (skipper-helmsman), Baron Benjamin de Rothschild (performer), Erwan Le Roux (tactician), Mayeul Riffet (navigator), Alexandre Marmorat (trimmer), Mathieu Tatibouet (trimmer), Arnaud Derrendinger (trimmer), Antoine Carpentier (piano), Yann Le Govic (trimmer), Léopold Lucet (Bowman No.1), Fabrice Blondel (wincher)
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