Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

Semaine Olympique Française in La Rochelle - 'A very nice surprise'

by Groupama sailing team on 14 Oct 2013
Franck Cammas / Sophie DeTurckheim (FRA) - Nacra Thom Touw http://www.thomtouw.com
These few words echo Franck Cammas' thoughts about this initial victory in the Olympic series. Tied on points with the English at the start of the Medal Race, which scores double points, the Groupama crew still had a great deal to lose given the handful of points separating the top four.

However, once again, at the finish, it was Frank that took the win. Franck and Sophie we should say... with the duo securing the France Elite champion title, against the world's top racers. This win caps what has been a brilliant year that has included the French Match Racing champion title, the French Offshore Racing champion title, victory in the Tour de France à la Voile and finally the World C-Class champion title.

On the waters of La Rochelle on Sunday morning, there was virtually no wind at all. One by one, according to a well-established order, the series headed offshore to compete in the only race of the day. It proved to be a rather special race, which was half as long as the other ten races that had been contested since Wednesday.
As time went by, a light breeze kicked in and peaked at 12-14 knots just as the Nacra's took the start.

Very much at ease in the light air, the crew of Groupama was all too aware that in this steadier wind, its rivals would be hard to contain. To take the overall win, it would need to finish ahead of the English duo of Saxton - Diamond and prevent any boats from finishing between them and Iker Martinez or Besson-Riou.

At the start Franck and Sophie lacked speed and had their progress suppressed by Besson - Riou, whilst the English and Spanish were ahead of them.

Clearly things weren't panning out well early on. However, as has often been the case since the start of the week, the crew of Groupama managed to get free of the pack and sail in clean air.

At the first windward mark, the English and the Spanish were still ahead, but not far away.

On the first downwind sprint, the French managed to get back in contact with the leaders and then opted for the far right-hand side of the race zone on the second beat, controlling the Besson - Riou duo, whilst the Spanish and English powered along down the far left-hand side of the course.

On the water, the spectators waited for the next crossing of tacks with baited breath. Quick and inspired, Franck and Sophie rounded the final windward mark in second position with a comfortable lead over their most dangerous rivals in the overall ranking.

At that point all that remained was a run under spinnaker to the finish line, something which our two racers excel at, leaving no hope for any of their pursuers.

This initial victory in the Olympic series represents a great deal for the Groupama skipper, who is more used to racing offshore than putting in tacks on Olympic courses: 'We're very happy to win in our very first year as we weren't the favourites.

Our aim was to finish in the top five, so you can imagine how great we feel! We're still a long way from getting the best out of the Nacra 17, which is a very demanding and very technical boat. We still lose a lot of ground over the start phases, the manoeuvring and the transitions. We need to manoeuvre well whilst keeping an eye on the surrounding race zone. However, down a straight line, we know just how to get the boat working smoothly and we're pretty quick. That's why we're going training in Morocco this winter with the French team.'

For Sophie de Turckheim: 'It was a victorious race and it's always good for morale to win. It's very enjoyable. This morning I was fairly relaxed. I said to myself that we had to sail our own race without worrying too much about what the others were doing. Franck was more hyper, as he is everyday, but there was no particular tension there. We tried to sail as we normally do and that paid off.'

Indeed, on listening to the Groupama crew, the racing was fairly simple; perhaps a little too simple for some. And Iker Martinez certainly won't deny that...

Overall ranking in the Semaine Olympique Française (French Olympic Week) after 11 races
1/ Cammas - de Turckheim FRA : 46 points
2/ Martinez - Pacheco ESP : 53 points
3/ Besson - Riou FRA : 56 points
4/ Saxton - Diamond GBR : 56 points
5/ Wilson - Gibson GBR : 68 points
6/ Zajac - Frank AUT : 68 points
7/ Macgregor - Walsh GBR : 73 points
8/ Vaireaux - Audinet FRA : 75 points
9. Ogereau - Vandame FRA : 81 points
10/ Bissaro - Sicouri ITA : 92 points
Ancasta Botin Fast40 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearGiacomo Yacht Sale

Related Articles

Triple bullets for 470 stars in a windy westerly at Kiel Week
In Men’s 470, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored three bullets and have launched into a commanding lead over their fleet. In Men’s 470, multiple world and Olympic medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored three bullets and have launched into a commanding lead over their fleet. It was a stellar day too for the Polish team now in charge of Women’s 470 leaderboard. Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Gliszczynska won all three of their heats and have displaced Germany’s Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort from the top spot.
Posted today at 6:12 am
52 Super Series - Audi Sailing Week - Quantum Racing captures the lead
Quantum racing is currently in the lead of the provisional results at the Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series Quantum racing is currently in the lead of the provisional results at the Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series followed by Rán Racing and Gladiator, tied for points but in second and third places respectively.
Posted today at 5:33 am
IRC Nationals fleet licking their wounds after tough opening day
With the southwesterly piping up to 30 knots in the final race, the RORC IRC Nationals got off to a brisk start today With the southwesterly piping up to 30 knots in the final race, the RORC IRC Nationals got off to a brisk start on the Solent today with two windward-leewards followed by a round the cans race.
Posted today at 4:43 am
Sled takes lead on Day 1 at Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series
Sled in first place, followed by Alegre and Rán Racing who finished in second and third places respectively today. The Audi Sailing Week, an event that is organised by the Yacht Club Costa in collaboration with Title Sponsor Audi, officially started today. The fourth event in the most competitive circuit of keelboat racing will end on Sunday, June 25th and currently sees Sled in first place, followed by Alegre and Rán Racing who finished in second and third places respectively today.
Posted today at 3:43 am
52 Super Series - Audi Sailing Week - Azzurra fights but doesn't win
Azzurra is having bad time of it in home waters, hasn’t been able to get results at Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series Azzurra is having a bad time of it in her home waters and hasn’t been able to get results at the Audi Sailing Week -52 Super Series. Today’s two races were won by Quantum and Gladiator.
Posted today at 3:24 am
RORC IRC National Championship - Pace blitz on Day 1
It is uncanny how this is always a windy regatta.” remarked Johnny Vincent, owner/driver of Ker40+ Pace It is uncanny how this is always a windy regatta.” remarked Johnny Vincent, owner/driver of Ker40+ Pace, after scoring an impressive 2-2-1 in the FAST40+ Class on the first day the RORC IRC National Championship. “We didn't have a great start to the season, so it was great to get going in this regatta with a thrilling day on the water. The last race was right at the top of the limit for a FAST40+
Posted today at 2:48 am
'Survival' sailing at the Para World Sailing Championships
Whatever wind was lacking on Thursday at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships certainly wasn't on Friday Whatever wind was lacking on Thursday at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships certainly wasn't on Friday, as the breeze turned up several notches, pushing sailors into 'survival” mode.
Posted today at 2:06 am
52 Super Series - Audi Sailing Week - Better never stops
Wednesday’s transgression may be two days behind them. Today they climbed to top of Audi Sailing Week standings Wednesday’s transgression may be two days behind them. Today they climbed to the top of the Porto Cervo 52 Super Series Audi Sailing Week standings, sailing one, three, one, four since they retired on from the first day’s coastal race due to an error, but Quantum Racing’s hard driving tactician Terry Hutchinson has in no way put the opening day mistake behind him.
Posted today at 1:48 am
Lunven triumphant winner of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
A bold decision on the English coast, opting for the more offshore route saw Hardy tumble 20 places down the leaderboard Justine Mettraux (Teamwork) retains her place in the top 10 standing of the fourth stage finishing in ninth position, this result enough to take the seventh place position in the General standings beating her closest rival by under three minutes. Mettraux takes the highest ranked International competitor and also the top female competitor in the 2017 edition!
Posted on 23 Jun
Audi Sailing Week - TP52 Super Series – Day 3 images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five
Posted on 23 Jun