by Kate Jennings (in translation from Caroline Muller)
The third of five events scheduled this year, the German stage of the Extreme Sailing Series came to an end in Kiel this Sunday. Already credited with one stage victory in Sète, the Gitana Team skippered by Yann Guichard, stood out once again in front of the English team on Ecover and The Wave Muscat. Meantime Groupama 40, skippered by Tanguy Cariou in the absence of Franck Cammas, scored a praiseworthy seventh place.
With Tanguy Cariou at the helm, Benoît Briand on the mainsail, Niels Frei trimming the headsails and finally Christophe Espagnon on the bow, the Groupama Team gave it their all for the four days of competition and 23 races contested. “We’re fairly satisfied with the way we sailed and our progress over the course of the racing. However, it’s obvious that we’re lacking hours spent practising in our respective positions compared with the other crews” explained Tanguy Cariou.
“The team are continuing to up the ante and it’s clear that Yann Guichard and his crew have put up an impressive performance: they were quick and got off to some good starts. Along with Ecover (stage winner in Cowes), their performance is above the rest of the fleet. A tad beneath them are the two Omani boats, then a group of four boats including Groupama 40. It’s clear though that the difference between whether or not you perform well comes down to very little. The tiniest of gaps on the water and you drop several places”.
Another positive point that Groupama 40’s helmsman picked up on was the number of spectators who came out to watch the show: “Despite the driving rain this Sunday, there were a lot of umbrellas on the banks”. It’s an observation, which will doubtless delight Mark Turner’s teams, who are constantly working to bring the public and the sailors together.
Next stage: Trapani in Sicily from 23rd to 26th September with Franck Cammas at the helm and Tanguy Cariou on tactics...
Extreme Sailing Series Europe