Int'l C-Class Catamaran Championship - Groupama leads by 2 races
Fri, 27 Sep 2013
Currently competing against the Hydros catamaran of Jérémie Lagarrigue and Billy Besson, Franck Cammas on Groupama is leading by two races to zero in the final of the International C-Class Catamaran Championship. In the fleet Race, Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij are fighting for the third place in conditions rather giving the advantage to another type of boats.
The weather conditions of this world championship remain difficult, with a light wind barely exceeding ten knots, a choppy sea, fog and drizzle.
Facing Franck Cammas on Groupama in the final of the Little Cup, Billy Besson and Jérémie Lagarrigue didn’t give up today, but they suffered against the French champion of match race. However, once back to base, both sailors kept on smiling and showed maturity.
'The first feeling I have, is a certain frustration because of the fact of not being able to go challenge our opponents, and to sometimes feel a little like being part of the landscape. But when we stand back and analyze the situation, we quickly realize that we have only been working on this project for one / one and a half year. We defeated the Canadians, title-holders, and we are now struggling against a team which is among the best of the world. Of course, we are competitors, and we would always like to win! There are things to change, hours of training to add, and work to be achieved, to come back more experienced and to race to win', said Billy Besson, skipper of SUI 1.
Jérémie Lagarrigue added: 'The objective was to qualify for the final, and we did it. Now, we would have preferred to be able to fight a little more during these races, but we must admit that upwind, our boat is less efficient than Franck’s boat (Cammas). Experience is something that has to be gained, and that is exactly what we have always done: building our knowledge, collecting data to become better. Right now, we are going to continue like that and we have already proven that our foils are excellent and that we are very efficient downwind. It is hard to admit that we will not win this time, but we have to be wise and see all the work we have done this year, where we are today, and we where we could be soon!'
In fleet race, Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij are fighting for the third place in conditions not favoring them. Indeed, their catamaran is designed - just like the one of Besson/Lagarrigue, to fly on its foils, and thus in a wind ideally above eight knots. However, these conditions do not seem to be part of this world championship and in fact boats less high-tech, designed to sail the traditional way are leading the race.
The ranking the teams had yesterday, made up of the sum of the nine races (minus the points of the two first boats), was converted to one race. The points of the following races will, from now on, be added to it.
Thus, SUI11 (Heemskerk/Tentij) are now number five after the two finalists as well as the boats Canaan and Cogito.
'Today, we did our best, we sailed properly, but the weather conditions were clearly in favor of our adversaries, designed for light winds. A boat is always a compromise, and it is difficult to be the best everywhere. We must work on versatility today. I also have to admit that we are fed up with the fog and the light winds. I believe that we have the same feeling as Billy today, a certain frustration to have given everything.'
Mathematically, the French are only leading by two points. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Americans have reminded the sportsmen of the whole world that it is only at the end of the competition that the results are final. Unfortunately, the weather conditions are likely to jeopardize the navigations of the next days, with a violent front forecasted as from tomorrow with winds around 30 knots.