Edmond de Rothschild Group leads the way
This Thursday afternoon, the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series began in Sète, France. Eight teams competed in today’s three races, which took place in some medium Mediterranean conditions, which proved particularly unstable both in terms of direction and strength. At the end of this first day of racing, the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group have put up a fine performance, right at the thick of the action at the front of the fleet. Yann Guichard and his three crew are top of the provisional ranking tonight, ahead of Mitch Booth and Franck Cammas, respectively 2nd and 3rd.
There was no observation round for the men of Gitana Team. Instead they made the most of the three races run this afternoon to power through to the top spot on the provisional podium in Sète. A victory in the opening race and pole position in the ranking is clearly something Yann Guichard was able to appreciate, though he knows only too well that this is just the first day: “Today’s results are very positive. Of course it’s always nice to be in the lead, but what I am especially pleased with is how my crew behaved. In the second race, I got off to an average start and our decision to choose the middle of the race zone didn’t bear fruit. We got to the end of the first tack right at the back of the fleet. However, nobody onboard gave up the fight and we battled hard to make up two places. It’s a mindset I greatly appreciate. I’m confident about the future as these first races demonstrate that we’ve made good progress, especially as regards the communication onboard to make the manœuvres even more fluid.”
Nicolas Heintz, who had a ‘baptism of fire’ today aboard the Extreme 40 Edmond de Rothschild Group, gave us his initial impressions: “It’s really fantastic to be in the thick of the action! I still need to develop a few automatic reflexes to perform better, but overall it’s been a conclusive introduction. I really enjoyed being on the water and I’m proud to be part of this crew”. As an aside, the new recruit in the Gitana Team is very familiar with the waters here in Sète having competed in his first Match-Racing competitions here.
On a complicated race zone, characterised by some particularly unstable conditions, the four sailors on Edmond de Rothschild Group didn’t have an easy time of it, with the wind really grating the nerves of all the crews: “It’s a hazardous race zone and one that isn’t always easy to read. As such we constantly had to adapt to the wind shifts and other direction changes to remain in the running! This spices things up but it’s also testing for the crew” explained the Gitana skipper before continuing: “This year the level of the competitors is much of a muchness and from the outset we’ve been able to see that there’s going to be some close contact racing on the water.” Proof if need be that we’re in for some fantastic racing over the coming days…
Tomorrow, Friday, the racing will continue and the first session will set off from near the Saint-Louis jetty shortly after 1330 hrs.
Provisional ranking for the Grand Prix of Sète on 27th May (after 3 races)
1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) – 18 points
2. The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) - 16 points
3. Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) - 15 points
4. The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) - 15 points
5. Red Bull Extrême Sailing (Roman Hagara)- 14 points
6. Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 13 points
7. Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 9 points
8. Team GAC Pindar (Nick Moloney) - 6 points
The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman
Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer
Hervé Cunningham – Headsail trimmer
Nicolas Heintz – Bowman