Spindrift in front on tiebreak
The Route des Princes started in earnest today with the first three inshore races for the MOD70 class off Valencia. This has left Spindrift with the narrowest possible lead, only topping the first day’s ranking by virtue of a tie break with the Seb Josse-skippered Edmond de Rothschild.
With three different race winners and each of the teams at least leading at least once through the afternoon of racing, it is clear that there will be no foregone conclusions over the six race inshore regattas which take place at each venue, Valencia, Lisbon, Dun Laoghaire-Dublin and Plymouth. Overall the inshore series account for around 25% of the available race points.
Xavier Revil is standing in for skipper Yann Guichard on the helm of Spindrift (Guichard is arriving in Valencia late Saturday night from racing the Ladycat D35 in the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve) and the black and white MOD70 won the first race, was third in the second despite having to take a penalty for being OCS. She then finished second in the third race behind class debutants on Virbac Paprec who won a race on their first day of racing in the ultra-competitive one design trimaran class.
After his first ever day steering on the short, inshore race course, Revil was pleased to come away with a small lead: “In the second race we were too good and started early so had to make the penalty to come back. The first two races the winds were about 15 knots and then for the third it dropped away a little. We had a good start and we stayed second all the way around. We are quite happy.
“The difference on the start line is very small. You have just to accelerate at just the right time. But it is not easy to train for because in France we have only been able to practice against one boat. So it was more difficult today. And now it is all on for tomorrow.
“With Yann not here there is a little pressure on me because there is a little pressure on me to manage the boat properly on a small course. This is the very first time I have done it on a small course like this and so I am quite pleased. It is really close with all the teams. It is certainly nice to finish the first day leading.”
In the 12-15 knots of breeze, Sébastien Josse’s crew on Edmond de Rothschild was probably the more consistent team round the race course, making fewest errors. After finishing a close second behind Spindrift in the first race, Edmond de Rothschild was well positioned to steal the lead close to the finish when Sidney Gavignet’s crew on Oman Air-Musandam, long time race leaders, made a mistake as they closed on the finish line. Josse’s crew also finished the day on 24 points.
Charles Caudrelier, navigator on Edmond de Rothschild said: “We did some good work and are happy because we worked hard and got the reward. The last race was not so good for us, but we are in the match. We were very close with Spindrift and they are for sure the favourites, they sail very well. They just made that one mistake in the second race. They are always in the match. I think the very level is even. We won the second race at the finish when they made a mistake on the last lay line. At the buoy they chose to change to the solent and we stayed with the gennaker and that made the difference."
As the fleet newcomers, Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac Paprec did have their own small problems around the race course from time to time, but they were pleased to make an excellent start to the final race of the day, able to hold on to a good lead to the finish.
Round the world legend Roland Jourdain crewing on Virbac Paprec 3 said: “It was good to win a race and in fact we were leading the first race early on until we had a problem with the gennaker hook. But we are the youngsters in this school, just learning. We are happy to go to bed after winning that third race. We made a very good start. Jean Pierre was good with Fred Guilmin the tactician and we had no problems and so after that upwind it is OK, it is easier. I think we are still learning but we were happy to be close to them today because they have one season already in the boat."
At the end of the day Oman Air-Musandam is bringing up the rear. Sidney Gavignet commened: "We did a lot things well but we should have tried to keep things simple because I think in a way we were trying too hard and overcomplicating. But we showed that we were in the game among a highly competitive fleet with no fear of the competition and that was very good. We could do better, for sure but this is a tough but even contest and we have to be at the top of our form.
“Our crew work was excellent so tomorrow, we will be concentrating on correcting any errors made today and on not making any new ones because racing between these boats is so close, that small errors are very costly. It has not been a great day for us but there are plenty of good things that have come out of it and we will have a good debrief tonight and come out tomorrow and try and win."
The Multi50s completed two races with the first won by the crew of FenêtréA-Cardinal led by Erwan Le Roux. Arkema – Aquitaine’s skipper Lalou Roucayrol shrugged off the effects of a minor head wound sustained in the first race when they won the second race.
MOD70 results after three races :
1. Spindrift (Xavier Revil) 24 pts
2. Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 24 pts
3. Virbac-Paprec 70 (Jean-Pierre Dick) 20 pts
4. Oman Air-Musandam (Sidney Gavignet) 16 pts.
Multi50 results after two races:
1. FenêtréA-Cardinal (Erwan Le Roux)
2. Actual (Yves Le Blévec)
3. Arkema - Aquitaine (Lalou Roucayrol)