At sea. Groupe Bel takes the lead in Figaro Transat AG2R
Friday, 21 April 2006
Overnight this exciting story has another new beginning! Gill-sponsored Kito de Pavant T (France) & Pietro D'Ali (Italy) have raced into 1st place on board Groupe Bel in the two-handed Figaro Transat AG2R.
They have a slim lead of just over 5 miles from 2nd placed Banque Populaire (Jeanne Gregoire /Gérald Veniard).
Groupe Bel is the 9th different leader since Concarneau and there are only 8.5 miles separating the first four boats.
In his latest radio interview with race control, Kito says that the rest of the fleet has everything to play for and that many boats are close on their heels and no doubt the whole game will re-start once the wind picks up again.
Kito comments that they are currently sailing in less than 20 knots of wind but at least the waves are going in the right direction! He is very pleased that they are now in the lead and they will do everything they can to hang on to this.
Asked by the interviewer when they expect to arrive in Saint-Barthélemy, Kito responded that it was hard to predict, but probably sometime in the evening of 29th April; the interviewer quipped, “so we’ll put you down for 29th April at 1800 then?”
Pietro is a previous a vice-World Champion in the 470 class (1987), the Star European Champion in 1993, and has a few Olympic campaigns and the Whitbread 1993 under his belt, plus six years inas part of the Prada Team campaigns. He also won a leg of the Figaro Afflelou in 2005 and finished in 8th place (the best result for a new entry in this race).
Kito won the Figaro in 2002 and finished third in 2005 which was his first year in partnership with Groupe Bel.
This charismatic duo is benefiting from a clothing partnership with Gill and using the latest KB Racer and Ocean Racer kit as well as a full range of mid and base layers products.
The 2006 race schedule also includes:
29 May-18 June: Solo Méditerranée
25 June-8 July: Odyssee Cannes /Istanbul (with Alberto Spina)
4-30 August: La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro
For the latest news on the Figaro Transat log on to: http://www.transat-ag2r.com
Last Updated ( Friday, 21 April 2006 )