Tour Voile 2001

Plans are already being laid for next year

Friday October 6th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
The rules for the Tour Voile 2001 have just been published, and the first entries accepted. The Mumm 30 has been confirmed as the boat right through until 2005, but perhaps the most interesting announcement is the introduction of prize money. The prizes will go to the overall top three and the winners of the amateur and student classes - in total a million French Francs are up for grabs, around £100,000. Adrian Stead reckoned his budget for this year's winning - not to say dominant - Barlo Plastics campaign came in at around the same figure. The prospects of getting a sizeable chunk of it back might entice a few more top skippers into the fray, in a year when the Tour will have to compete for attention with the Admiral's Cup.

The organisers are hoping to announce the first entries at the Paris Boat Show in December, and the target figure is 50 boats on the line in the next couple of years - this year there was 34. The coverage has also improved with a hundred hours of television, extensive radio coverage and 800 articles published. In addition, for the two of the fifteen stopovers that were analysed, there were around 64,000 visitors - which would put the total at around half a million people. But, perhaps unsurprisingly given its growth as the best medium to cover sailing events (we're not biased, of course) the Tour website was the biggest success with a 70% increase over the previous year, that's around 1.2 million page views and 200,000 unique visitors. More information is available on the Tour Voile website.

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