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news - Tour de France à la Voile : in the Mediterranean

July 22 2013

Kite Runners

The fleet left Roses motoring to the Selva port on Sunday 21st July, 41 miles away from the finish line. The start gun went off once six knots from the northeast came in. Courrier Dunkerque rounded the offset mark first after an upwind tack and then they were off downwind.

First the fractional kites. The sea breeze kicked in, reaching 15 knots, but its direction was not as east as planned. This factor affects sail choices. Bigger spinnakers came in before being taken down again and replaced by the fractional ones.

“We were the first ones to hoist the fractional kite again and that paid very well,” said Sodebo helmsman Mathieu Richard. “We couldn’t sail the direct route anymore with the bigger one and with the fractional kite we were faster and sailing straight to Gruissan. That put us into third place.”

Another key sail change happened around 4:00pm. “Courrier Dunkerque was in the lead,” said Cammas, “and we overtook them by changing our kite before them and moving windward.”

All these spinnaker choices were crucial to yesterday’s offshore leg, scored with a factor of 2: Groupama’s victory, Courrier Dunkerque’s second place – they are closing the gap with Bretagne Crédit Mutuel, second overall and 7 points ahead –, Sodebo’s podium. And Normandie’s 4th place: the amateurs sailed with three women sailors onboard yesterday, including Figaro’s Claire Pruvot, and they are delighted with this result.

It was time to pack all kites before sailing three in-port races in Gruissan today, weather permitting.

Daniel Souben, Courrier Dunkerque 3 skipper : “We took off with a great start and led at the offset mark. We did the first sail changes well but then the wind didn’t shift as planned. We had to go from the big kite to the smaller one and we waited a bit too long… Groupama was on the windward side and overtook us then. They took the lead and we never caught these three or four lengths back. We are disappointed not to win this one but it’s not a bad one overall: we are getting closer to the second place, 7 points behind Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite.”

 

Overall ranking

1 GROUPAMA 34, CAMMAS Franck

2 BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ELITE, TROUSSEL Nicolas

3 COURRIER DUNKERQUE 3, SOUBEN Daniel

4  SODEBO, COVILLE Thomas

5 TEAM OMANSAIL, POULIGNY Cédric

6 TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE - COYCH, BERNAZ Jean-Baptiste

7 VILLE DE GENEVE - CARREFOUR ADDICTIONS, METTRAUX Elodie-Jane and GROUX Nicolas

8 NANTES - SAINT NAZAIRE - E.LECLERC, DOUGUET Corentin

9 NORMANDIE, CHOQUENET Baptiste

10 MARTINIQUE - BE.BRUSSELS, WOLTERS Delphine and  MOURES Matthieu

11 ISKAREEN, DITTMERS Christiane and BRUHNS Sönke

12 BIENNE - VOILE – SRS,  PETER Luzius and KUNZ François

© Jacques Vapillon

© Jacques Vapillon