The first heat which was raced at the end of the afternoon in unsteady 12-15 knot winds, gusting up to 20 knots. Gitana was held up by an unwieldy gennaker (big balloon jib) when being furled, crossing the line six minutes (equal to half a mile) behind her competitors. That gave the crew a handicap which they proved unable to overcome. The Gitana Team finished this first heat in last, 14 minutes behind the winner, Belgacom, 2002 titleholder of this Grand Prix. ON the last leg, Foncia announced that she was withdrawing from the event following a rupture of her mast head.
In the second heat, in a lulling unsteady breeze, Gitana was more competitive. At the last race mark before the finishing line, she lay 8th just ahead of Bayer. On the last upwind leg of fickle wind, she was never the less caught up by those chasing her, the wind changing direction all the time. However, by the finish, Gitana wound up just 5 minutes behind the winner of this second heat, Groupama.
In the overall provisional rankings in the Grand Prix de Fécamp, the French boat Géant is in the lead, followed by the Belgian Belgacom, another French boat Groupama and the Italian Sergio Tacchini.
Saturday 30th august : Second day of racing. First heat at 10:30 am.