At the Grand Prix Guyader, the conditions were much more navigable than yesterday which the sailors appreciated accordingly. It was still chilly, the wind was lighter and the Grand Prix Guyader Dragon competitors feasted on a sea that had calmed down overnight.
Grand Prix Guayder
After a general recall at 11:30, the Committee was able to start the first race 10 minutes later. It's always the same story when racing and even more so in the Dragon fleet, where a good start is essential, as it determines 50% of your success. So there was a little game of 'loser wins' as the pressure built during the races and a handful of Dragonists tried their luck, leaving a few others in their wake. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't ... And presto! Back to square one.
This morning, for the second start attempt, this time under the black flag, the spirits had subsided and the race got away cleanly. The black flag means that if one part of the hull, crew or equipment crosses the line in the minute before the start, the competitor is disqualified. It's quiet obviously a deterrent....
There were 10 to 15 knots from the west with partly cloudy conditions illuminating the stage of the Grand Prix Guyader. It was a lovely day for racing in the Bay of Douarnenez, to the extent that the committee boat had this comment: 'We would like to be in their shoes! '
However, there was no time for dreaming and the only Swiss owned boat (Sui 311) broke the treaty so dear to Helvètes of perpetual peace and immediately took command of the fleet, which he refused to relinquish all the way to the finish. On his heels, Luc Pillot (FRA 386) did well after a disappointing start to his Grand Prix (OCS in the second race) and Wiezer Markus Wiezer (UKR 7) came chasing after them. These three Dragons then led a clean and beautiful race, giving no quarter to their rivals, although 'Strange Little Girl' (RUS 76) tried on several occasions to tickle their sterns.
Taking advantage of these great conditions Race Officer Philippe Faure moved in for the start of a second race.
The weather gods are making sure they deliver something for everyone this week in the Bay of Douarnenez. The stronger winds over the past few days have not been enough to frighten most of the 59 crew of the Grand Prix Guyader 2013, however, Tam Nguyen (HKG 55), the winner of the Coupe De Bretagne Stef warm up event, comes straight from Hong Kong and feels much more comfortable in the light winds that prevailed the last weekend than in these heavier conditions.
'In Hong Kong we sail in shorts all year, we do not need to wear jackets, fleeces and all the equipment necessary this week. Our specialty is light airs, we never encounter much wind or big seas and so to suddenly finish in the top 20 is an incredible performance for us!' Behind his gentle smile and the look of a leading man, Tam hides a sacred commitment and ability to adapt quickly. From the first race of the day, he was up in the leading group, often alongside Christian Guyader (FRA 365), the sponsor of the event, who is also competing. For the second race, both boats had excellent starts and led the fleet as they approached the first mark, to be overtaken on the windward mark by Markus Wiezer (UKR 7) and Gérard Blanc (FRA 409), as the wind had fallen and shifted 30° left. Ultimately, it was Markus Wiezer who won the last race of the day, followed by Rémy Arnaud (FRA 396) and Henrik Witzmann (UAE 20).
Christian Guyader is a doubly happy man tonight, not only as the organizer of this beautiful event, but as a racer too, since he ranks fourth in the competition aboard the mythical boat Ar Youleg (FRA 365 ). This morning, his teammate, Erwan Dubois, suggested they would like to finish in the top 20 ... As for Tan Nguyen (HKG 55), he also exceeded his target, finishing 16th and 14th in today's races. 'Unheard of,' he said upon leaving the dock ...
The first boats crossed the virtual line off Penmac'h this morning, and the race must now wait while the competitors return to the port of their choice before submitting their rankings which they do by taking a photograph of their GPS at the moment of their finish and then it to the Race Committee for the calculation of their position.
Grand Prix Guyader
by Véronique Guillou Le Bivic
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7:05 PM Fri 10 May 2013GMT
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