The leader of the French Challenge team, Orient Express Racing, will participate in the preliminary boat race in Jeddah, starting on Thursday. He decodes the issues.
On October 12, 2024, the 37th will start in BarcelonaH A copy of the America’s Cup. This legendary final will pit defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand against the top five competitors selected during the Louis Vuitton Series starting on August 22. Until then, the six teams participating in this legendary event dating back to 1851 will compete (in the fleet) from Thursday to Sunday in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) during a second preliminary event on monohull vessels smaller (40 feet) than those in Cup (75 feet). foot). These innovative boats, devoid of a lead keel, are capable of traveling at incredible speeds on their stabilizer foils. On the third step of the podium during the first event held at the end of September in Vilanova (Spain), the French challenge titled Orient Express Team Racing aims to continue the fight with the New Zealanders, Americans, Swiss, English and Italians, in order to score goals. Brains on the road to the cup. Quentin Delapierre, pilot of the AC450 and then the AC75 (currently under construction and to be launched next May), speaks to Le Figaro.
Le Figaro. – How important is this second race for you on the road to the America’s Cup?
Quentin Delapierre. – This is the last time we will face our five AC40 opponents before the real cup. So we don’t want to miss the opportunity and we want to prove once again, after our podium finish at the Villanova event, that we are in the game. We got to this first after just nine days of cruising on our AC40 and it was very positive to be up to speed and handling. Our strategy of developing a simulator and finishing on the podium has yielded a great start that has spread positive energy throughout the team.
What has changed since this ordeal at Villanova?
We have sailed a good deal, and must be thirty days away now. We feel we are more advanced technically, and have made good progress in looking at the details. It is up to us to focus on the basics in Jeddah.
What is the main thing?
It’s the ability to race, learn to sail these boats, and master them as much as possible, so we can play with the wind and let our sailors’ instincts do the talking.
At Villanova, the Silver Jug was on a boat and meant something to the teams, sailors and fans. It is an attraction in itself
Why these complicated boats?
These are amazing, very complex boats, with a lot of systems on board. You have to understand how things work. In particular the automatic flight pilot which works very well but requires a ‘bounds’ selection.
While you also sail on the Sail GP circuit (50-foot catamarans were used during the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda), what differences do you see with the America’s Cup?
The cup is a heritage, and we feel the weight of its history that extends more than a century. At Villanova, the Silver Jug was on a boat and meant something to the teams, sailors and fans. It is an attraction in itself. I’m very proud to be involved and I’m sure we have a great chance to do well.
Do you think any of your five opponents are already clearly ahead of you?
Emirates Team New Zealand, the defender, who set the rules and designed the AC 40, is clearly ahead and very good, because it has sailed more than the others. With their win in Villanova, the America Magic showed they are in the game. Behind him, things are tight and we are all in trouble.
So what is your sporting goal for this second preliminary regatta in Jeddah?
Obviously we came to win, and we are here to show that we are in the game. This is our ambition and we have to be opportunistic in light of the little heat breeze blowing here. Anyway, it will be a great show.
“Proud explorer. Freelance social media expert. Problem solver. Gamer. Extreme travel aficionado.”