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news - Tour de France à la Voile : Courrier Dunkerque 3 seizes the opportunity !

July 21 2014

Courrier Dunkerque 3 seizes the opportunity !

It was supposed to be a windy leg, but when the fleet left Gruissan at 8am on Saturday, the wind was not exceeding 8 knots. And a few miles further, it was even worse. Groupama 34 and Courrier Dunkerque 3 were sailing at the front of the fleet with deflated spinnaker. Daniel Souben had a bit more luck and they seized the opportunity, finding a wind corridor et escaping alone in the lead.

After Cape Creus, the wind started to build up and the fleet took off full speed downwind all the way to Gruissan, reaching more than 10 knots of boatspeed.

At 15.09, Courrier Dunkerque crossed the finish line in first, followed by Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite and Groupama 34 a few minutes later. The finish order in this offshore leg doesn’t change the ranking, but the leader Courrier Dunkerque recovers four of the five points he lost yesterday over Groupama, and Bretagne Crédit Mutuel is now only 1 point behind Oman Sail fighting for 3rd step of the podium.

Daniel Souben, skipper of Courrier Dunkerque
« It just came down to the light wind patch in the Bay of Cadaques, just before Cape Creus. We were sailing very close with Groupama and we were fighting hard to get the advantage. Which we did. We got lucky. We managed to take off and fly away from the coast and from the rest of the fleet. Then the wind started to build and we finished the course in one gybe under spinnaker all the way to Gruissan. It’s always nice to collect a few more points as we know it’s going to be tight until the end in Nice next week. It could have been better because at some point, there was more boats between Groupama and us, but it’s still good to take. Sure we were lucky but we seized the opportunity. We were on the right side and we knew the wind would build up from there ».

Sidney Gavignet, skipper of Team Oman Sail
« We made a few mistakes. Under full spinnaker, we passed Groupama knowing that the wind would build up and we were too late hoisting the smaller spinnaker. Bretagne hoisted it first. Then we had a no wind patch and Groupama passed us. We are disappointed because we could have finished 2nd and in the end we are 4th and we are losing four points. It’s frustrating ».

1 Courrier Dunkerque 3, Daniel Souben          669 pts
2 Groupama 34, Franck Cammas 651 pts
3 Team OmanSail, skipper, Sidney Gavignet     627 pts
4 Bretagne - Crédit Mutuel Elite, skipper Nicolas Troussel          626 pts
5 Ville de Genève – Carrefour Addictions, Nicolas Groux 586 pts
6 Normandy – Acerel, Baptiste Choquenet        564 pts
7 Toulon Provence Méditerranée, Florian Simonnot       553 pts
8 Nantes Saint-Nazaire, Jean-Baptiste Gellée 526 pts
9 Be Brussels Bienne Voile, Delphine Wolters et Yann Burkhalter           487pts

© SM

© SM