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5 October 2006, 10:38 am
First Win For IdeaArgo
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Les Voiles De Saint Tropez 2006
St. Tropez, France

The first boat of ideaArgo - the project aiming to take an international team of disabled sailors to the 33rd America's Cup - won her first regatta at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez in France. Lars GRAEL (BRA) and Marc PAJOT (FRA) led French Kiss to a historic victory.
The crew was formed just in time for this event, and it was immediately clear on the water that none of the teams were there just to participate: everyone was eager to win.

Double Olympic medallist GRAEL and Olympic medallist and three-time Cupper PAJOT lead the crew composed by several disabled athletes. A part from GRAEL himself, Umberto PANERAI, Olympic medallist for the Italian water polo team and Pierangelo VIGNATI (ITA), cycling Paralympic champion. Loic TOUZE (FRA) participated in the training session and will be back for the next race. IFDS World Disabled Sailing Champion in the 2.4 Metre, Heiko KRÖGER (GER) is also part of ideaArgo project.

Watershed

The 3 October 2006 will remain a watershed in ideaArgo history. The Italian Challenger had only bought the boat on 20 September, just managed to register for 'Les Voiles' and still managed to get off to a flying start on its mission to challenge for the 33rd America's Cup.

In St. Tropez no one could imagine the great show put up by French Kiss at their first race, where the team faced Challenge Twelve, one of the most competitive boats in the 12 Metre class, and right from the start had to fight continuously for the lead.

French Kiss and Challenge Twelve managed to build a good advantage over the rest of the fleet and soon engaged in a match race for the entire three hours of the competition.

Closest Of Finishes

Challenge Twelve managed to catch a good shift towards the finish to overtake French Kiss, but PAJOT was not to be beaten, pulling off a series of gybes to cross the line a ting two seconds ahead.

'I will never forget yesterday,' said ideaArgo President Antonio SPINELLI, 'Because we won a regatta which was like a match race, but the main reason is that we did a good thing and, that is my opinion, we will do something great.'

ideaArgo (As Amended By ISAF). Image, French Kiss in action:© ideaArgo/google.com
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