Good performance from Team ENGIE on Lake Garda

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With 4 days of racing and 19 races sailed in near-perfect conditions, the nine crews competing in the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016 provided a great spectacle with the stunning backdrop on Lake Garda in Italy. For this first major event, Sébastien Rogues and Team ENGIE finish in 5th place. The aim of finishing in the middle of the fleet has been achieved in what is a very competitive fleet. The ENGIE crew will need to continue to race well in order to move up the rankings gradually this season.

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Once on shore Sébastien Rogues gave us his impressions of the first event of the season: “This competition was exceptional in every way. The water and the conditions were perfect with a fairly windy regatta, but what we have noticed most is the high competition standard. It is clear that with several America’s Cup crews, the races were going to be intense and of a high standard. We are very happy with a 5th place and what we lack is the skill in the breeze. Being competitive sailing downwind at 33 knots is a difficult exercise. We recognise that we must work on our weaknesses, but we have an incredible opportunity to improve racing with the best sailors in the world in this discipline. The standard compared to 2015 is huge and with each event it will go up a notch further. Following this first competition there is a sense that we have made the right choice and it makes us feel confident going in to the season.”

On board looking after the mainsail traveller, Jean Baptiste Gellée, gives us some feedback on what the first event of the season was like: “We were very excited about this first major event. After Austria where we were just 4 boats racing, we are now 9 and 10 for the next event. We look forward to coming back but first we need a bit of rest because these flying machines are very physical and at the end of the day it really takes its toll on the arms and legs. Whilst results are ok for this first event I am sure we can do better.”

After the unfortunate loss of a foil, GC32 Team Tilt was forced to retire from racing. Without a spare foil spare and lying second overall, the crew led by Sébastien Schneiter was only able to get back to racing with the help of team of ENGIE. Laure Caucanas, the ENGIE Team Manager went straight to the help by loaning the Austrian team the spare. The act of teammanship was greatly appreciated by all, particularly Team Tilt who was able to hold on to second place overall behind the unbeatable team of Norauto.

The second event of 2016 season will be held again on Lake Garda and will be integrated to the Malcesine Foil Week. Sébastien Rogues, Gurvan Bontemps, Christophe Carbonnières, Jean Baptiste Gellée, Antoine Joubert are as motivated as ever now with six weeks to analyze these races and learn from the many hours of sailing up against the the cream on this discipline. Whilst the boat will stay in Italy, there will be little rest for the crew.

Overall GC32 Riva Cup standings
1 – Norauto, 37 points
2 – Team Tilt, 50 points
3 – Armin Strom Sailing Team, 79 points
4 – Sailing Gunvor, 86 points
5 – Team Engie, 111 points
6 – Spindrift Racing, 112 points
7 – Argo, 121 points
8 – Malizia, 127 points
9 – Orange Racing, 160 points

Overall ranking 206
1 – Norauto, 1 point
2 – Team 2 Tilt 2 points
3 – Armin Strom Sailing Team, 3 points
4 – Gunvor Sailing, 4 points
5 – Team Engie, 5 points
6 – Spindrift Racing, 6 points
7 – Argo, 7 points
8 – Malizia, 8 points
9 – Orange Racing, 9 points

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