Although Groupama had led the way in the Spi Ouest France over the past three days, it unfortunately took a final day of racing to reveal the winner of the competition, a title which ultimately went to Courrier Dunkerque. Sailing two great races whilst Groupama 34 put in a counter performance in the penultimate race, the sailors from northern France outshone Fabien Henry's crew to the tune of just one little point.
2014 Spi Quest France
Sport is a tough law and you just have to accept it. Obviously disappointed, Fabien Henry, skipper of Groupama 34 in the absence of Franck Cammas, the latter currently participating in the Sailing World Cup in Hyères aboard a Nacra 17, assumed responsibility for this second place: 'Tugdual Bécquemie couldn't be with us today and that was planned in advance. As such I took the helm but it took me one race to get into the swing of things. Courrier Dunkerque made the most of that to embroil us in a veritable duel and we came off badly with a very poor eighth place.'
During the final Easter race, Groupama 34 managed to get the upper hand in relation to Daniel Souben's crew, but was unable to position itself one boat clear: 'There was very little in it with Oman, which we came really close to overtaking. It didn't happen though. It's unfortunate and we're all disappointed as we wanted to do better than last year, when the only race we didn't win was the Spi,' Fabien adds.
And yet looking at things in more depth, the results aren't so bad: 'It's a very good preparation for the season and for the Tour de France. We're really quick in a lot of conditions though we still need to make progress in the start phases, as we're too inconsistent at the moment. As far as the rest is concerned, the crew is on top of its game and we're getting along as well as ever,' explains tactician Tanguy Cariou.
See you at the Grand Prix Guyader for the second event of the season.
Ranking for the Spi Ouest France 2014:
1. Courrier Dunkerque with 27 points
2. Groupama 34 with 28 points
3. Omansail with 39 points
4. Bretagne Crédit Mutuel with 54 points
5. Vox Sea with 65 points
6. Ville de Geneve Carrefour Addiction with 77 points
7. Normandie with 81 points
8. Nantes - Saint Nazaire with 95 points
9. Baya with 96 points
10. Tpm with 99 points