Blustery day for 60ft tris

Only one race sailed at ORMA Grand Prix in Lorient

Friday April 26th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: France


Victorious again - Franck Cammas' Groupama

It was not the ideal start to the first race of the season for the French 60ft trimarans. Instead of the gentle conditions they would have preferred it was blowing a solid 25 knots from the west northwest in the channel between the Breton port of Lorient and the outlying island of isle de Groix for day one of the ORMA circuit's Grand Prix du Pays de Lorient.

The start was delayed and when one race was held this afternoon only five of the eight 60ft trimaran ventured out of Lorient harbour to take part because of the conditions. Two races were scheduled but with winds piping up to 30 knots later in the afternoon the plug was pulled on the second.

Once underway the race was lively in the extreme. With 25 knots of wind and a reasonable sea the 60ft trimarans were at flying speeds hitting in excess of 30 knots, all with the exception of Bonduelle sailing with one reef in. Sailing with the same mast they used in the Transat Jacques Vabre (following their dismasting at the Fecamps Grand Prix last year), Loick Peyron's Fujifilm led for a majority of the race, but messed up a tack at the final weather mark.

Fuji was overtaken by Franck Cammas' Transat Jacques Vabre winner Groupama who clung onto the lead, crossing the finish line 20 seconds ahead of Jean le Cam's Bonduelle. They were followed by Biscuits la Trinitaine, the oldest boat taking part but looking quick downwind following her modifications this winter.

The only casualty of the day was the brand new Bayer of Fred le Peutrec. She retired with a problem relating to the halyard clutch for their staysail. They were lying third at the time.

Philippe Monnet's new Marc Lombard design Sopra Groupdidn't leave the harbour. Lalou Roucayrol's Banque Populaire managed to break all her battens on the way to the start and so didn't race and similarly the new Foncia 2 had a daggerboard problem. Banque Coveti did sail, but didn't take part in the race.

Hopefully a complete day of racing will be staged tomorrow (Saturday) as more strong conditions are forecast for Sunday.

Results:

1- Groupama : 1 points
2- Fujifilm : 2 points
3- Bonduelle : 3 points
4- Biscuits La Trinitaine : 4 points
5 - Bayer CropScience : 10 points (DNF)
5 ex aequo Banque Populaire :10 points (DNS)
5 ex aequo Banque Covefi : 10 points(DNS)
5 ex aequo Foncia : 10 points(DNS)
5 Ex aequo Sopra Group : 10 points (DNS)

See more of Gilles Martin-Raget's photos on page 2...

A lively start for the five who made it to the start line

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