For quite some time, the Groupama crew led the rankings and was on the podium for three-quarters of this World Cup leg in Palma, but they end up in eighth place in the overall rankings after crossing the line too soon in the Medal Race with the podium still within their reach. Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim were naturally disappointed, but not that depressed, as they achieved the two goals they had set themselves this week: qualifying for the Test Event in Rio next August as well as the world championships in Santander in September.
They were out early today to warm up with Besson - Riou, who were already certain of winning the event. The French were expecting a lot from this final race, which counted double and was raced in moderate conditions, as they were hoping for a place on the final podium.
That hope was however soon dashed, as three boats were called back by the Race Committee after crossing the line too early. Franck and Sophie didn't think they were concerned and so didn't make up for their mistake, which led to their disqualification. 'We didn't think we were over the line,' declared Franck at the finish. 'We dropped back four places in the overall rankings, but we wouldn't have made it to the podium in any case,' added the Groupama skipper, who was rather unhappy with the outcome of the last two days: 'We started the week well with two wins in light conditions. We have to make progress, and take care of the little details, if we want to win.'
Alongside him, Sophie de Turckheim came up with a similar argument. 'We're not that far off, but we need to be more consistent. And technically we need to make progress in stronger winds.'
As for the overall French result, it is excellent with a clear win for Billy Besson and Marie Riou, who didn't even need to compete in the Medal race to be certain of overall victory. The other crew in the French team, Vaireaux - Audinet finished eleventh, while Matthieu Vandame is having to wait until a scan he is due to have this evening (Saturday) to know whether he is able to get back out there racing.
Franck Citeau, the trainer of the French Nacra 17 team knows he has an excellent squad to ensure the French continue to dominate. He was nevertheless rather frustrated with the outcome on this final day of racing. 'It's really a pity for Franck and Sophie, as they deserved better. They have however had a very good week. It's a pleasure to work with them.'
The next Olympic event for the French team is the World Cup in Hyères in a fortnight from now. They will be focusing on the Test Event in Rio, where France will be represented by Besson - Riou and Cammas - de Turckheim. It's as if the Olympic selection had already begun... Overall rankings after 13 races (73 competitors)
1. Billy Besson - Marie Riou with 38 points
2. Vittorio Bissaro - Silvia Sicouri with 66 points
3. Darren Bundock - Nina Curtis with 81 points
4. Thomas Zajac - Tanja Frank with 87 points
5. Iker Martinez - Tara Pacheco with 89 points
6. Ben Saxton - Hannah Diamond with 94 points
7. Lucy Macgregor - Andrew Walsh with 95 points
8. Franck Cammas - Sophie de Turckheim with 97 points
9. Euan McNicol - Lucidna Whitty with 110 points
10. Renee Groneveld - Steven Krol with 128 points Groupama website