Banque Populaire wins Challenge Julius Baer
At the end of the last reegatta of the season, the Grand Prix Corum, in which they won two races, Pascal Bidégorry and his Banque Populaire have been rewarded in becoming the first French team to win the prestigious Challenge Julius Baer, the championship for the D35 catamarans. This is the Banque Populaire team's second season in this very technical circuit which sees many of the best racers in the world line up.
The Decision 35 racing season concluded this weekend on Lake Geneva with the Grand Prix Corum where the 12 catamarans sailed seven races. The competition came particularly from Foncia, skippered by Alain Gautier and Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi but Bidegorry's team ended up second astern of Alinghi, but thanks to consistency this season, puttig together a series where in eight regattas they have never once fallen off the podium, the Challenge Julius Baer was theirs, two points ahead of Alinghi.
On arrival at the dock before the Societe Nautique de Geneve, Bidegorry commented: " We're obviously very happy and I'm really proud - I can not believe it! If you told me that at the beginning of the season, when I saw the level of the competition including teams like those of Alain Gautier or Ernesto Bertarelli or Loick Peyron, I thought I could finish 4th or 5th.
"Fortunately I had the chance to sail with a crew top, we improved a lot and it has been a crescendo. We made the right choices especially on the sails and it worked well. I would like to thank my crew for this Grand Prix but also throughout the season: Christophe Espagnon, who I do not know but with whom it has been a pleasure to race throughout this season, Nicolas Charbonnier and know-how from Yvan Ravussin, who has sailed with me for seven years, Xavier Revil with whom I made the Trophée Clairefontaine last weekend and that sailed the whole D35 season last year with me, Kevin Escoffier a team member from the Banque Populaire Maxi, who whom it was his firstD35 Grand Prix this weekend. I spare a special thought for Arnaud Jarlégan who was injured last week and has spent the week in hospital. He sailed the whole season with us and I dedicate this victory to him. Yann Courtois - thank you to our trainer who has done a great job and who prepared the boat as we trained on the Maxi. There was a lot of work for him during this season. There is still much progress to make when one looks at Alinghi."
The crew of the D35 Banque Populaire
Pascal Bidégorry (skipper, helmsman)
Yvan Ravussin (trimmer)
Kevin Escoffier (trimmer)
Nicolas Charbonnier (tactician)
Xavier Revil (main trimmer)
Christophe Espagnon (pit)
Ronan Lucas (spare)
Manu Le Borgne (spare)
Yann Courtois (shore crew)
Overall results - Challenge Julius Baer 2010
1 - Banque Populaire / Pascal Bidégorry 15 points
2 - Alinghi / ErneSto Bertarelli 17 points
3 - FONCIA / Alain Gautier 20 points
4 - ZULU / Erik Maris 27 points
5 - NICKELS / M Frederickdamper 33 points
6 - Okalys-CORUM / Nicolas Grange, Loick Peyron 35 points
7 - JULIUS BAER / Philippe Cardis 36 points
8 - Ylliam / Pierre-Yves Firmenich 38 points
9 - Ladycat / Dona Bertarelli 42 points
10 - ZEN TOO/ Guy de Picciotto, Franck Cammas 48 points
11 - Veltigroup / Steve Ravussin 51 points
12 - Zebra 7 / Loic Forest 68 points