Tour de France à la Voile 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf7yKWNA23s
Lite klipp från Tour de France à la Voile. Bertrand Pace plockade hem touren igen.

Done ! The tour for Nouvelle-Caledonie.
Groovederci 4th and Oman sail’s 5th

The two last race of the tour de france à la voile ended today in La Seyne sur mer did bring some changes to the overall ranking, but not to the top three. After yesterday’s cancellation nothing but a miracle could have prevent Bertrand Pace, skipper of Nouvelle Caledonie to win a seventh title.


Nouvelle Caledonie makes a beautiful winner. Bertrand Pacé even add some maestria to his domination, winning the very last inshore race of the Tour. The former match race world champion had his grasp on the first place before the fleet left the english channel. And since the fleet sails in the med in never let his major opponent sailing alone. Well, Courrier Dunkerque skipped by Daniel Souben, succeed at least to escape the tight control today and won the first race of the day. So the winners of the day both won a race to end one month race around France. Needless to say they were a little bit over the top. The boat ranking third is TPM Coych from the city of Hyeres wich very close to the arrival of the tour. Even though the Fabien Henry crew were really brilliant in the Med, they didn’t succeed to overlap their handicap with the two leaders.

Now, today was a good day for the two English speaking team of the race. First for the American boat Groovederci who sailed two steady races and secure it’s fourth place. “It was really fun today, we love this kind of wind “ explained Deneen Demourkas back in La Seyne harbour. Admiting she was a little bit disappointed not to be in the final top three, she said she regrets the lack of winds of this Tour de France. “Maybe our boat wich is the newest of the fleet is too rigid and surely our carbon mainsail is. With less than seven knots of wind we had some difficulties taking good start but when the wind is over eleven knots, we just fly !. I would have loved to do better but being fourth is not a bad result”. The same philosophy was expressed by Rod Greenhalg, the skipper of Oman sail’s Renaissance “Being in the five best boat is quite an achievement, assuming we are only three pros onboard and we made no rotation”. Oman sail ‘s Renaissance was very impressive in the spring, winning the Normandy sailing week. But the tour de France is something very special. Because of the mix between the short inshore races and the long offshore legs. And because it last one month : “the level was quite high and we were not at ease with the light winds but we will go for the top three next year. Our omani crew will have one more year training and we can improve some things”said Rob Greenhalg. Oman sail’s was sixth this morning and finished five because of a poor result for Region Ile de France.

Other changes occurs in the amateur ranking. The dutch boat Mummaduck was just one point ahead the swiss Ville de Geneve this morning. By the end of the day, Mummaduck was third among the ams. So they were feeling a little bit miserable but they shoudn’t forget that they did a great tour, winning three races and finshing eleventh overall. The mood was better onboard Purflo Thermes de Saint Malo who did second on the first race of the day and finished first in the amateur ranking. The swiss team onboard Ville de Geneve had to wait for the jury later on to know their final ranking : 10th overall and second in he amateur section. Not bad but they would have won if they hadn’t been penalised by the jury for a change of spinnaker. Things were easier in the student class for even if they had a rather bad day on the water, starting late and sailing on the wrong side of the race, the Safran boat stay first. They even keep their ranking : 8th just in front the first amateur boat..

So here is the end of the xx tour de france à la voile , the last one to have been sailed with the Farr 30. The new M34 built by Archambault is the one design selected for the 2011 edition. From what we saw yesterday and today in the breeze, we may already say that the nex tour will be even faster !

Too much wind, too much speed : Race cancelled after two dismasting

It was supposed to be windy this last offshore leg from Marseille to La Seyne : but not that much. With 35 knots of wind and after two boats dismated, the race was cancelled to avoid more drama.

Soon after the start, the wind began to built up. From 15 knots to 20, 25, 30 knots and more. The waves were getting higher and higher too, from one meter to 3 and even 4 meters. The boat were going really fast with their big spinnakers, surfing the waves at 16 knots and more (24 knots for Groovederci !). And suddenly Groovederci, ranking 4th overall, lost its mast. Luckily, no one was hurt and they were able to motoring to the end. A few minutes later, another top boat dismated : Courrier Dunkerque, ranking second. By the time the boat were arriving to Cap Sicié, the sea were really rough, 4 meters high but rather short. Just the way the med can turn abruptly into a nightmare for any sailor. And you still have to sail 7 nautical milles upwind to the arrival in La Seyne. So the Principal Race Officer had no choice but to cancel the race in order to prevent any other drama to occur. Too bad for the show but you can’t blame the RC for puting at halt a dangerous game. The fleet did the last milles upwind motoring and now another race has begun for Courrier Dunkerque and Groovederci. They have to change their mast before tomorrow morning if they want to have a chance to defend their ranking. Hopefully, they can rely on the help of the other teams to be ready for tomorrow. But nobody knows yet if the wind will have decrease. Let’s hope we will have some good sport in the Toulon harbour to end the Tour de France. It is going to be the last day of show for the Farr 30 and we all expect the whole fleet to give it’s best.