Action at Zeebrugge

Peyron continues to set blazing pace in windier day at Belgium 60ft tri Grand Prix

Saturday July 13th 2002, Author: Vincent Horeau, Location: none selected


Jacques Caraes helps prepare the genniker on Bonduelle

After the light winds of yesterday's racing at the Belgium 9 Telecom ORMA Grand Prix for the 60ft trimarans, today's event was an altogether more spectacular affair in a building breeze and with a serious collision between two boats in the final race.

The first windward-leeward race took place in 12-15 knot north westerly winds. Despite being recalled, Fujicolor by the weather mark was once again ahead - almost a minute before Alain Gautier's Foncia in second place. Jean-Luc Nelias on the local boat, Belgacom, pulled up two places to second by the leeward mark, a position he held until the finish. Loick Peyron on Fujicolor was not to be caught and crossed the line a minute ahead.

Bertrand de Broc's Banque Covefi retired after breaking two battens.

Race 4 results
1- Loïck Peyron (Fujifilm) 1 point
2- Jean-Luc Nélias (Belgacom) 2 points
3- Alain Gautier (Foncia) 3 points
4- Franck Cammas (Groupama) 4 points
5- Karine Fauconnier (Sergio Tacchini) 5 points
6- Philippe Monnet (Sopra Group) 6 points
7- Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) 7 points
Abandoned - Bertrand de Broc (Banque Covefi) 9 points

Race five comprised a 40 mile offshore, but in the WNW conditions, the 60ft tris ate up the miles, hitting speeds of 35 knots. Groupama led the charge but at the first mark was being chased closely by Fujifilm and Bonduelle. But Peyron's boat took over the lead winning by a margin of 1 minute 47 seconds to second placed Belgacom. This was his fourth win out of five races so far staged at the Grand Prix.

Race 5 results
1- Loïck Peyron (Fujifilm) 1 point
2- Jean-Luc Nélias (Belgacom) 2 points
3- Franck Cammas (Groupama) 3 points
4- Alain Gautier (Foncia) 4 points
5- Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) 5 points
6- Philippe Monnet (Sopra Group) 6 points
7- Karine Fauconnier (Sergio Tacchini) 7 points
8- Bertrand de Broc (Banque Covefi) 8 points

By race six the wind had gradually built to 20 knots and varied between 18-22 knots for this three lap windward-leeward. Groupama got off to the best start, but by the weather mark Belgacom had taken the lead, 23 seconds ahead of Groupama with Fuji in fourth. However following a penalty, the result of an incident with Groupama, belgacom slipped back to third place. Groupama was the ultimate winner, finishing just 25 seconds ahead of second-placed Fujifilm.

It was in the approach to the weather mark that Sopra Group ran into Jean le Cam's Bonduelle during a port-starboard incident.. The starboard float on Sopra Group, the starboard tack boat, rammed into the crossbeam on Bonduelle. It is believed that the incident occurred when Bonduelle's tactician, Figaro sailor Bruno Jourdren failed to anticipate Sopra Group's acceleration, which rapidly went from 5 knots to 16. Thankfully no one was hurt during the incident, but both boats were forced to retire and return to port to assess the damage with is serious. Sopra's starboard bow has been demolished back to the crash bulkhead, while it appears that some bulkheads may be broke in Bonduelle's beam.

A protest was being heard this evening, but it is unlikely either boat will race tomorrow.

Race 6 results
1- Franck Cammas (Groupama) 1 point
2- Loïck Peyron (Fujifilm) 2 points
3- Jean-Luc Nélias (Belgacom) 3 points
4- Alain Gautier (Foncia) 4 points
5- Karine Fauconnier (Sergio Tacchini) 5 points
6- Bertrand de Broc (Banque Covefi) 6 points
Abandoned - Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) 9 points
Abandoned - Philippe Monnet (Sopra Group) 9 points

With two wins in the bag today, Loick Peyron and Fujifilm consolidate the lead they established over second-placed Groupama yesterday.

Results after six races:

1- Loïck Peyron (Fujifilm) 8 points (1+1+2+1+1+2)
2- Franck Cammas (Groupama) 14 points (2+3+1+4+3+1)
3- Jean-Luc Nélias (Belgacom) 22 points (7+4+4+2+2+3)
4- Alain Gautier (Foncia) 24 points (5+2+6+3+4+4)
5- Philippe Monnet (Sopra Group) 37 points (3+6+7+6+6+DNF)
6- Karine Fauconnier (Sergio Tacchini) 37 points (4+8+8+5+7+5)
7- Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) 37 points (6+5+5+7+5+DNF)
8- Bertrand de Broc (Banque Covefi) 41 points (8+7+3+DNF+8+6)

Groupama - new foils this winter, but will they be enough to hold off the onslaught of the new Fujifilm?



Loick Peyron's Fujifilm is showing incredible pace

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