Gitana taste victory

Success slips through Karine Fauconnier's fingers at ORMA Grand Prix in Corsica

Monday September 27th 2004, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
The final day of the ORMA Grand Prix for the 60ft trimarans in Calvi on the north coast of Corsica saw the welcome win of former Tornado Olympian Fred le Peutrec at the helm of Baron Rothschild's Gitana XI in a close finish just two points ahead of Karine Fauconnier's Sergio Tacchini and three ahead of Franck Cammas on Groupama in the overall results.

Going into the final day Gitana II was level-pegging on points in second place with Groupama 2. Over the four days of this regatta competitors saw everything from medium conditions on Thursday, to storm force winds on Friday that caused racing to be abandoned, to brisk conditions on Saturday. Today's racing, in contrast again, was in light winds, the breeze backing from the east to the north and slowly building to 5-8 knots.

Eventually the start got underway at 13.18. On the line Fred le Peutrec, with French Tornado star Yann Guichard calling tactics, made the best start and found a good lane ahead of Yvan Ravussin and Alain Gautier. In contrast Franck Cammas and Karine Fauconnier were slow out of the blocks, Sergio Tacchini's position further compounded when tactician Luc Pillot chose to tack into the coast, while offshore was favoured.

Gitana II was able to maintain her first place around the course and by the finish line was some six minutes ahead of Alain Gautier, second on board Foncia.

Following this Grand Prix the leaderboard for the 2004 ORMA championship could not be closer. Following the Grand Prix in La Trinite and Fecamps and now Corsica, plus the Transat and the Quebec-St Malo races just two points separate Geant from Groupama 2 and Sergio Tacchini. All will be decided at the imminent Grand Prix, the last in the season, in Marseille.

1-Gitana 11 - Fred Le Peutrec (5+4+2+3+1) 15 points
2-Sergio Tacchini - Karine Fauconnier (3+2+3+2+7) 17 points
3-Groupama-2 - Franck Cammas (1+1+11+1+4) 18 points
4-Foncia - Alain Gautier (4+5+7+4+2) 22 points
5-Banque Covefi - Yvan Ravussin (8+7+1+7+3) 26 points
6-Géant - Michel Desjoyeaux (7+3+4+5+8) 27 points
7-Sodebo - Thomas Coville (2+10+5,7+5,7+5) 28,4 points*
8-Sopra Group - Philippe Monnet (10+6+5+6+9) 36 points
9-Banque Populaire - Pascal Bidégorry (9+8+6+8+6) 37 points
10-TIM-Projetto Italia - Giovanni Soldini (6+9+11+11+11) 48 points

* Sodebo was awarded 5.7 points for the races she failed to sail on Saturday following her collision with Giovanni Soldini's TIM.

Overall results ORMA World Championship
1-Géant (Michel Desjoyeaux) 22 points
2-Groupama-2 (Franck Cammas) 23 points
3-Sergio Tacchini (Karine Fauconnier) 24 points
4-Sodebo (Thomas Coville) 41 points
5-Foncia (Alain Gautier) 50 points

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