Sunday, 14 August 2011

America's Cup and Extreme 40 : Yann Guichard Makes a Quick Switch from Extreme 40 in Cowes to AC45 Match Racing in Cascais

Yann Guichard on board the Alinghi Extreme 40. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OCThirdPole.

by Benjamin Schweizer

At the end of the six day long race on the Solent, in Cowes, the Alinghi team came third in Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series, climbing the podium for the first time this season. In the end, it was the Wave, Muscat crew that won this event followed by the Italian boat Luna Rossa. Yann Guichard tells us about this leg which, once again, showed the extreme characteristic of the competition.

Q : Yann, the Alinghi Team has just finished third in this fifth edition of the Extreme Sailing Series, your best ranking this season; what is your first reaction at the end of this sixth and last day of competition?

Yann Guichard : « I’m extremely happy. We really sailed at a top level today (Friday). We were battling all day long while managing the risk taking. I think we’ve finally found our modus operandi. We’ve progressed together during the whole stage, strengthening the cohesion day by day. I’m very satisfied and confident for the future. »

Q : Once again, this stage in Cowes has been very spectacular. What is it about this straight that makes it so unique?

YG : « Every year, it is physically the most difficult race. It is windier and there is this constant stream of 2 or 3 nods, creating a lot of waves. It all makes the steering very complex and difficult. Sometimes you have to sail very close to the coast for protection. It is a stage filled with intensity and emotion. Until you’ve reached the finishing line, your position is never granted.

In the end, you have to be consistent in your efforts without taking too many risks. This risk management is the most important thing, as it can lead to an incident, like we’ve seen on several occasions during those six days of racing. »

Q: Now, you’re going to join the French challenge Energy Team in Cascais. You will be at the helm on Sunday, for the last and only event included in the general ranking of the America’s Cup World Series. What is your state of mind facing this challenge?

YG: I’m very happy to take part in it, but I will go in all humility. The other crews will have had 10 days of racing behind them. So i will do my best to sail neatly. I haven’t spoken to the team this last week because i wanted to stay 100 % focused on this fifth edition of the Extreme Sailing Series. So we’re going to have a big briefing on Saturday before getting used to the boat again during a training session. »

Yann Guichard
Team Alinghi
Energy Team
Extreme Sailing Series
America's Cup