TOUR DE FRANCE À LA VOILE: Courrier Dunkerque 3 wins in Brittany!
St Cast Le Guildo tonight: Courrier Dunkerque 3 wins the second offshore leg of the Tour de France à la Voile.
The Northern team is happy: after 33 hours upwind, a terrible tacking and nerving battle ends at 7.36pm when they cut the line first. After the three technical races won by Daniel Souben in Dieppe, this new victory is ranked with a coefficient 4.
Dockside, his face says it all. He has a well-deserved drink and says “it was a very difficult leg, a long and demanding one. It was tough from the start with 195 tacks during the first part of the leg, between Dieppe and Fécamp, in rough conditions!”
TPM Coych couple of lengths away
It’s a matter of minutes before TPM Coych cross the line and moor alongside the dock. Fabien Henry and his team have red eyes because of the salt water and the tiredness. The long hours upwind marked them! “Aaah, the finish was really stressful. We sailed well but we had to fight with a fishing pot at the start and seaweeds at the end. We hung it there even though they were all pushing behind, but it’s slightly frustrating not to be able to catch up,” confesses the skipper Henry. “We lost the lead in the Somme bay and Courrier Dunkerque overtook us. We never managed to get this lead back. Now that we know each other well, we’ll stop letting boats go between us and the line (laughs).”
Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention push the rankings around
Podium completed by Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention. The Swiss are euphoric and show their national flag – they now lead by far the amateur ranking. They’ve been in front since Dieppe, even rounding first the final inshore mark. They don’t loose the rhythm and really manage to sail with the leaders.
“Tough, really tough! But to be able to sail in the right group after 180+ tacks proves how good is our team. Our navigator did an exceptional job! We sailed all night long with competitors nearby, it’s difficult mentally speaking but it does help to push the boat as much as possible. The goal is now clear: finish in the first 5 overall of the Tour de France à la Voile!”
At 9.30pm, the Russians of Fascinating Seas International are the last ones to cut the line. Lorenz Mueller’s Swiss team won’t finish this leg. They retired to sail to St Malo and fix their main sail, ripped shortly after the start.
The teams won’t have much time to discuss that leg neither. Once ashore, they quickly ate something before to go and rest. The race starts again tomorrow. At 12.30am, they will take part to at least two technical races in front of St Cast Le Guildo.