Cammas takes an early lead
between 2.30pm and 4.00pm on the Sailing Stadium, close to the enthusiastic
crowd watching from La Grande Motte sea wall.
In race one Michel Desjoyeaux was fastest off the start line at 11.00 in a solid breeze, but it was Franck Cammas rounded the Buoy Quo Vadis leading. The long
swift gybes under spinnaker towards the tip of l'Espiguette, at the end of the Bay of
Aigues-Mortes, allowed Franck Cammas to increase his lead, but then as the wind dropped and became irregular, his lead gradually decreased. A threat came from behind from Yann Eliès, but several wind holes later, it was the Groupama skipper who prevailed, first to cross the finish line off La Grande Motte.
In the flukey winds, Nicolas Charbonnier, Michel Desjoyeaux and Pascal Bidégorry all overtook Yann Eliès by the finish.
The second race, this time on a coastal course was raced in 12 knots of wind. Michel
Desjoyeaux led the fleet from the first buoy, despite a pretty nice start from German
Class 40 sailor, Boris Herrmann. However, with Franck Cammas finishing second,
Desjoyeaux has had to settle for second overall in the Challenge Quo Vadis, which is
scored on points gained during the two coastal races of the Trophée Clairefontaine.
Then, the great show started for the public with the catamaran completing three runs raced to music. Those races were sailed only a few metres from the public.
"In 20 Trophée Clairefontaines, I have never seen such a keen interest for the Saturday regatta ", declared Yvan Griboval, creator and organiser of the event.
Nicolas Charbonnier won the first run, followed by Michel Desjoyeaux and Loïck Peyron. Then, Michel Desjoyeaux took the second and at the same time, the overall leadership in the regatta. But at the end of the third run (Leg 5), Franck Cammas stole the advantage back from Michel Desjoyeaux.
Going into the two two, the field remains wide open, the winner almost certainly to be decided on the very last race.
Provisionnal overall results after five races:
1- Franck Cammas, 41 pts (1,2,4,2,1)
2- Michel Desjoyeaux, 36 pts (3,1,2,1,7)
3- Nicolas Charbonnier, 29 pts (2,5,1,3,8)
4- Yann Eliès, 22 pts (5,7,6,4,2)
5- Loïck Peyron, 20 pts (6,6,3,5,5)
6- Pascal Bidégorry, 20 pts (4,4,5,6,6)
7- Fernando Echavarri (Spain); 16 pts ( 7,3,8,7,4)
8- Boris Herrmann (German); 11 pts (8,8,7,8,3).