Tuesday, 31 August 2010
by Kate Jennings (in translation from Tiphaine Combot-Seta)
The catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild took victory this Sunday 29th August in the third Grand Prix of the season, which has been contested in Kiel since last Thursday. Impressively consistent and at ease in the tricky, unstable conditions in force on the German race zone, Yann Guichard, Pierre Pennec, Hervé Cunningham and Thierry Fouchier have scored their second win of the 2010 season. This latest success further boosts their leadership position, which they’ve held onto since the first event of the year.
It’s been a rainy but happy Grand Prix for the Edmond de Rothschild Group. After their dazzling victory in the opening event in Sète at the end of May, the crew have sailed a blinder by winning the 3rd Grand Prix of the Extreme Sailing Series 2010 in Kiel. It’s a performance that Yann Guichard and his Dream Team patiently built on day after day. Third in the provisional ranking at the end of the first day of racing, they moved up the podium a step at a time before taking the head of the fleet on Saturday evening and never giving it up.
Throughout the four days of racing, Yann Guichard and his men knew exactly how to control their game and contain the attacks from their rivals. Consistent, always at the front of the pack, opportunistic and pertinent during the start phases, the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group found a winning combination which was nudging perfection. The positive dynamics and cohesion of the crew, observed aboard the catamaran throughout the German event, go a long way to explaining the reasons behind this latest victory: “Kiel has been the finest race by the Gitana Team since our arrival on the circuit last year. We got right into the thick of the action from the outset on Thursday and we continued to make progress, especially as regards linking together the manœuvres, on the following three days. This weekend my crew were really bordering on perfection and to be completely free from the manoeuvre aspect enabled me to concentrate on the start phases, which we know to be decisive for having a good race. Everything came together beautifully for us and I have to say that I was very impressed by my team” admitted Yann Guichard, aware of having put up a very fine demonstration of strength! The huge smiles of delight etched across the faces of the crew on the final passage across the line – where the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild also scored her third victory of the day – spoke volumes about the motivation of the Gitana Team.
By returning to Kiel, a year to the day since their last visit, Yann Guichard and his crew were keen to erase all traces of the fourth place they scored here back in 2009. This evening, the results table speaks for itself: “It’s here that we scooped up our worst position last year by finishing in 4th place. This particular stage at the foot of the podium cost us dearly for the rest of the championship. This year, we warded off fate in the best possible way and we’ve shown our playmates that we’re a force to be reckoned with” assured Pierre Pennec.
The mid-championship Grand Prix, Kiel was considered by the men of Gitana Team to be one of the most important races of 2010. According to them, a good result in Germany proved to be indispensible in hunting down the outright title last year: “Kiel was a key stage not to be missed. The race for the championship is very much on and the level of competition between the top four boats is continuing to increase. Muscat dominated in Cowes, Ecover is increasingly consistent which they demonstrated that by leading the way here for two days and Masirah is still very much on track. Among this foursome, any slight counter performance will be paid for in cash!”
In a little less than a month’s time, the protagonists involved in the Extreme Sailing Series will get together in Sicily, in the town of Trapani; a Mediterranean venue which will be playing host to the Extreme 40 circuit for the very first time.
Final ranking for the Grand Prix of Kiel on 29th August (after twenty-three races)
1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) - 167 points
2. Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 142 points
3. The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) - 128 points
4. Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 125 points
5. The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) - 125 points
6. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) - 99 points
7. Groupama 40 (Tanguy Cariou) - 92 points
8. Wirsol Team Germany (Roland Gaebler) - 67 points
9. Audi Sailing Team Germany (Johannes Polgar) – 61 points
Provisional ranking for the Extreme Sailing Series 2010 (after three Grands Prix)
1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Yann Guichard) - 22 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) - 20 points
3. Ecover Sailing Team (Mike Golding) - 19 points
4. Oman Sail Masirah (Loïck Peyron) - 17 points
5. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) - 10 points
6. Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) - 9 points
7. The Ocean Racing Club (Mitch Booth) - 8 points
8. Team GAC Pindar (Nick Moloney) - 3 points
The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group:
Yann Guichard - Skipper, helmsman / Pierre Pennec – Mainsail trimmer / Thierry Fouchier – Headsail trimmer / Hervé Cunningham - Bowman
Extreme Sailing Series Europe