The Edmond de Rothschild Group’s catamaran is as good as new as she readies herself for the second half of the Extreme Sailing Series championship. Indeed, following damage suffered in early July during the Porto Grand Prix, Sébastien Stéphant and Hubert Corfmat have expertly completed a fast and effective refit. Fourth in the annual provisional standing, tied on points with the team in third place, the men on Edmond de Rothschild Group will be giving it their all to make it onto the series podium and are determined not to allow the current leader to have things all their own way.
Pierre Pennec is tackling this fifth Grand Prix of the season at the head of crew, half of which has been altered since the last meet. Arnaud Psarofaghis and Romain Petit are keen to continue the adventure in Wales and the crew of the Edmond de Rothschild Group Extreme will this time be boosted by Christophe André and Romain Motteau, who will respectively take up the positions of bowman and headsail trimmer: “It’s a temporary replacement for this act as Hervé Cunningham and Bernard Labro are compelled to race on another circuit during the competition in Cardiff. Christophe André and Romain Motteau will be filling in. The crew has had the chance to get its bearings during a few days’ training in Lorient at the end of July and though some members aren’t Extreme 40 specialists, they are all very experienced multihull sailors. This knowledge, together with the fact that this is a physical group, means that we have a good hand. Furthermore, we’ll be able to count on the expert eye of Alexandre Guyader, who will coach us as he did in Qingdao. We’re tackling this Grand Prix without any particular pressure and as a fresh challenge”, admitted the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild Group on the eve of the first races.
Situated at the mouth of the River Taf, the Cardiff race zone will provide calm waters, but the wind could still have a few surprises in store for the crew of Gitana Team, as Pierre Pennec explained: “Cardiff is something new for everyone and to date the only thing we know about it is that it’s an inshore race zone and fairly typical of the Extreme Sailing Series. The sea state shouldn’t be too big but at the end of August we can expect strong winds just as easily as light airs.”
After two days of training in the fleet, matters will begin to get serious tomorrow, Thursday, for the nine competing crews. Racing will kick off tomorrow at 1400 hours (local time).
Provisional standing for the Extreme Sailing Series after four Grands Prix
- The Wave Muscat – 39 points
- Red Bull Sailing Team – 33 points
- Oman Air – 31 points
- Edmond de Rothschild Group - 31 points
- GAC Pindar - 22 points
- Alinghi – 18 points
- SAP Extreme Sailing Team - 18 points
- Zoulou - 16 points
The crew of the Extreme Edmond de Rothschild Group
Pierre Pennec (Skipper / Helmsman),
Arnaud Psarofaghis (trimmer and traveller), Romain Motteau (headsail trimmer), Christophe André (Bowman), Romain Petit (trimmer), Alexandre Guyader (coach)