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The National Foiler ETF26 in La Rochelle offered a great match

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The National Foiler ETF26 in La Rochelle offered a great match
The National Foiler ETF26 in La Rochelle offered a great match

For the fourth event of the season, the conditions on the water were very different from the previous ones. Stronger shifty wind and a light swell animated the first day of racing. Six races were sailed, with three different winners at the beginning: Youth Foiling Team (Charles Dorange), Team PRO (Jean-Christophe Mourniac) and ABC- Arbitrage - Entreprises du Morbihan (Billy Besson) who won the last three races of the day.

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The weather on Saturday did not allow the crews to sail because of the strong winds in the area. Indeed, the ETF26 are still light boats and established winds of more than 20 knots are a risk. Therefor, the two training races from Thursday were included in the scoring of the general ranking.

On Sunday, the third day of racing, the six ETF26s were able to complete a 12-mile coastal course, then on two constructed courses. Billy Besson, Matthieu Salomon and Valentin Bellet came out with a spotless record on the day by winning all three events. "What is important is for us to do the best we can on the water to win," said Billy Besson at the end of the day. "Today we sailed really well and I'm happy with our team. We made good maneuvers, good tactical and strategic choices. It was a great day!"

A homogeneous fleet level

It was not an easy event for the competitors, although they all remain positive about their learning curve on the circuit. Indeed, the fleet had had few opportunities to train in such conditions previously. "It was a pretty tough event," said Thor Anderson, crew member on Cool Runnings Racing Team. "We didn't sail at all in 2020 so at times we're still a little uncomfortable with the feel of the boat. Still, I feel like we've improved on some things from the previous event and that's pretty good. But we still have a lot of work to do, especially on the starts!"

However, as announced by his teammate ahead of the event, getting to the podium is no longer an easy task due to the rising level of the entire circuit. "The level of the fleet is quite homogeneous", adds Billy, "It's not because you win races that it's easy, quite the contrary. Everyone is getting closer and closer and we're finding that we have to push ourselves to try to be first."

The National Foiler ETF26 in La Rochelle offered a great match
The National Foiler ETF26 in La Rochelle offered a great match

Little respite

The ETF26 will have little respite this time as they will be back on the water on Wednesday for training in preparation for the Spi Ouest-France - Banque Populaire Grand Ouest, which will take place this weekend (October 8-10) in La Trinité-sur-mer. Revenge, improvements, pleasure, all have already set an objective. 

A double objective even for Youth Foiling Team, currently third in the ranking, on a par with Team PRO. The "youngsters" intend to give it their all to take the second place of the podium. "We finish in third place, equal with the second, so a little bitter," said Pierre Boulbin. "We hope to have another great battle for the last event of the year next week at Spi Ouest France. Our goal is to finish on a high note, and to enjoy ourselves!"

 

General ranking National Foiler ETF26

1. ABC Arbitrage - Entreprises du Morbihan / Billy Besson - 20 points

2. Team Pro / Jean-Christophe Mourniac - 30 points 

3. Youth Foiling Team / Charles Dorange- 30 points 

4. Toroa Racing Team / Mark Rijkse - 44 points 

5. Cool Runnings Racing Team / Thorklid Juncker - 53 points 

6. Bourgnon's Foily / Yvan Bourgnon - 58 points 

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