They had started with a bang by winning the “Tout commence en Finistère” (Everything starts in Finistère) challenge on Thursday morning. Sam Goodchild and his crew have done it again today and Saturday: Laurane Mettraux, Thomas Coville, Aymeric Chappellier, François Morvan and their skipper win 5 of the 6 races ran this weekend in the bay of Brest. A good way to launch the season that gives them a 9-point lead in the overall ranking before the second Episode of the Pro Sailing Tour that will start this Wednesday in La Rochelle.
Crédit photo : Anne Beaugé / ilsaimentlamer
SIX VICTORIES FOR THIS FIRST COMPETITION
After only a few days of training, Sam Goodchild, Aymeric Chappellier and François Morvan, who were eager to start racing, have won the « Tout commence en Finistère » challenge on Thursday morning after sailing head to head with Arkema all night. Chasing the boat led by Quentin Vlamynck for most of the race, the Leyton trio did not give up and managed to pass them in the last few miles before the finish line.
A very good start according to Sam Goodchild: “We’re happy because we’ve sailed pretty well. We are still in a learning phase when it comes to the boat. The rest of the competition is going to be close…”
And what a competition it was! On Saturday, the complete Leyton crew (joined by Laurane Mettraux and Thomas Coville) won 4 races in optimal conditions (20 knots, flat sea). Too eager on the first coastal race, the orange and blue boat took an early start and had to cross the start line again. The first race was also marked by the dismasting of Primonial.
On Sunday morning, only one coastal race was ran due to strong weather conditions. Ahead for a long time, Arkema 4, Leyton’s main rival, finally gave up the lead on a mistake while rounding a mark. Sam and his crew grabbed the opportunity and crossed the finish line in first position.
“The conditions weren’t easy today, it was the first time that we sailed in that kind of wind with the boat. The idea was to sail as we had done all weekend and not take too many risks. It’s what we did and it paid off. I think that the overall level is going to improve, and it won’t be easy for the next episodes but it’s a great start!”Sam Goodchild
Sam Goodchild, skipper and helmsman
Aymeric Chappellier, navigator
Thomas Coville, trimmer
Laurane Mettraux, number 1 / trimmer
François Morvan, tactician
EPISODE 1 RANKING
DECLARATIONS AFTER EPISODE 1 IN BREST
Sam Goodchild, Leyton skipper
“We are extremely happy of this first episode in Brest, we have won 6 of the 7 races. We came here with a goal to sail well and that’s what we did.
It’s the first event of the season, there are still a lot of new things so we’re going to try and stay on top. Our goals were to sail well and to communicate well with each other. We’re glad to be improving so quickly. We are going to keep fighting to stay ahead.”
Laurane Mettraux, number 1 / Trimmer
“It was great ! The courses were interesting. Today we had great conditions and great battles with our competitors: coastal races, with quite a few marks to round, quite challenging sometimes when it came to the manoeuvres. It‘s great to be able to progress on these subjects. It wasn’t easy to catch up with Arkéma this morning. They were ahead at the start but luckily for us they made a mistake at the last mark!”
Thomas Coville, trimmer and Sodebo 3 skipper
“The first impressions are excellent especially when you look at the results of the weekend. We are pleasantly surprised because we didn’t know what our level was compared to the rest of the fleet.
Brest is a great city for this championship. If I were 30 like Sam Goodchild I would sail on an Ocean Fifty. It’s the most interesting fleet right now, sportingly and technically. I really like this boat, it’s a great support and the level is excellent.”
Caroline Villecroze, Marketing, Communication and CSR director of the Leyton Group:
“This first Episode of the Pro Sailing Tour lived up to its expectations. On the sports side of things, with an amazing performance of our crew for the first event of the season, but also for Leyton’s collaborators who were invited in Brest. They were able to discover sailing on the beautiful boats that are the Ocean Fifty and also to see some great racing by the teams. We cannot wait to race again in La Rochelle for the second episode.”