Groupama Sailing Team: Nacra 17: tough times
After posting a mediocre performance on the last day of the Sailing World Cup in Hyères during which some four races were contested, Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim dropped four places in the overall ranking, which means they haven't qualified for the Medal Race. However, this frustration will serve only to reinforce the determination of the Groupama crew in its Olympic quest.
Fifth in the overall ranking after the first two days of racing and then eighth on the morning of the last, the Groupama duo has clearly demonstrated the considerable progress it has made in breezy conditions, which proved to be last year's Achilles heel.
Generally very at ease in the lighter wind, both technically and tactically, the French champions had some other shortcomings: "It's not good. We've been making the same mistakes as last year in the starts. We haven't dared to take enough risks by mixing it with the others to get a good spot to leeward of the line. By getting off to a poor start, it frequently hampered our first beat and we were left with no other choice than to try to focus on extracting ourselves. The rest of our race was often good but we simply had too much ground to make up by then," explains the skipper of Groupama.
Though it was the Besson - Riou duo who once again took the overall win, Franck Cammas highlights the uniformity of the Nacra 17 fleet: "It's very, very dense. Save from the frontrunner, there's a great deal of jockeying for position. Among the top five, here in Hyères, some weren't in the top fifteen in Palma a month ago and vice versa. We need to find the consistency that we've been lacking, though we're managing to do some things quite well. Indeed we can see the Italian, Bissaro, who won in Miami and finished just ahead of us here, or the second placed boat in Palma, which is 20th.
It's not catastrophic. It's the name of the game for everyone. We're having tough times but we need to continue to make progress. Roll on the next race," concludes Franck, who already has Eurosaf Saling Week in Medemblick in his sights from 26 to 30 May 2015.
It's a competition in which the Groupama crew finished in second place last year, just behind... Besson and Riou.
In the meantime, coach Bertrand Pacé, who has the ability to look over the tactical and technical performance of the Groupama crew with a critical, uncompromising eye, is sure to give Franck and Sophie a detailed report. That way they can rest assured that they won't be taking any chances in future.
General ranking after 11 races (20 first competitors)
1. Billy Besson / Marie Riou - 55.00
2. Mandy Mulder / Coen de Koning - 80.00
3. Renee Groeneveld / Steven Krol - 86.00
4. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves - 89.00
5. Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen / Christian Peter Lübeck - 93.00
6. Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin - 99.00
7. Darren Bundock / Nina Curtis - 100.00
8. Moana Vaireaux / Manon Audinet - 101.00
9. Paul Kohlhoff / Carolina Carolina Werner - 104.00
10. Luke Ramsay / Nikola Girke - 105.00
11. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri - 110.00
12. Franck Cammas / Sophie de Turckheim - 117.00
13. Thomas Zajac / Tanja Chiara Frank - 122.00
14. Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders - 128.00
15. Matías Bühler Matías / Nathalie Brugger - 130.00
16. Allan Norregaard / Anette Viborg Andreasen - 142.00
17. Federica Salvà / Francesco Bianchi - 146.00
18. Euan McNicol / Lucinda Whitty - 154.00
19. Lucy Macgregor / Andrew Walsh - 173.00
20. John Gimson / Hannah Diamond - 180.00
Photo : Yvan Zedda/Groupama