A fairytale setting, an atypical race zone and capricious weather conditions, which continued to ease throughout the course of the afternoon: this briefly sums up the first day’s racing in Venice. However, the description wouldn’t be complete without the five adrenalin pumping races, which were eventually launched by the organisers. Indeed, despite a wind rarely in excess of eight knots and dropping off to less than three knots over the final tacks, the battle very much raged between the ten Extreme 40s participating in the 2009 circuit.
With two second places and above all one fine race victory, Yann Guichard and his three crew have had a fabulous day. They’re currently in second place in the provisional ranking, four points behind the American, James Spitill and with just a one point lead over Masirah.
« You could say that it’s been a positive first day! With the exception of the 4th race of the day, where due to a poor start, we made a series of bad tacks and brought up the rear of the fleet, we knew how to put in a steady performance and that paid off. In addition, we knew the starts would be vital: the team that pull out all the stops on the line always manage to hold onto their lead » explained the skipper of Gitana Extreme the minute he was back on dry land. « However, we also noticed that, given the highly unstable weather conditions, both in terms of strength and direction, on the race zone, there was still everything to play for before the finish. It was worth defending every metre. I’m very happy with the teamwork today. The manoeuvres are clean, there’s no agitation onboard despite what are often pretty ‘full-on’ situations, and the cohesion between the guys is just as I hoped it would be. These first races were important in enabling us to gauge our performance in relation to the competition and we’re right on the money » concluded Yann Guichard, a happy skipper after a successful introduction!
Like this Friday, tomorrow racing will kick off shortly after 1430 hrs.
Crew of Gitana Extreme - LCF Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard (skipper-helm)
Pierre Pennec (mainsail traveller trimmer, tactics), Christophe Lassegue (headsail trimmer, control of manoeuvres)and Hervé Cunningham (headsail trimmer, control of manoeuvres)
Ranking on the first day (after 5 races)
1/ BMW Oracle Racing (James Spithill) - 40 points
2/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann GUICHARD) - 36 points
3/ Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) - 35 points
4/ Holmatro (Carolijn Brouwer) - 31 points
5/ Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) - 30 points
6/ Luna (Erik Maris) - 26 points
7/ Groupama 40 (Gildas Philippe) - 25 points
8/ BT (Nick Moloney) - 21 points
9/ iShares - Shirley Robertson - 17 points
10/ Ecover - Mike Golding - 13 points