Vascotto victoriousThe fleet of the Tour de France à la Voile raced in typical Mediterranean conditions today off Sète. It was a hot and sunny day with a shifty light breeze of just 6 to 8 knots. The light conditions forced the race committee to introduce course changes and several times they had to adjust the position of the course.
Cassis Maugio Carnon, skippered by Bernard Mallaret with Italy's Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, snatched victory in the first windwards/leewards.
The first race started at 13:33. Once again the crews were like horses in their starting boxes and overenthusiasm prompted a general recall. The gun fired again at 13:42 and saw the 40 Mumm 30s get off to a good start. As there was more pressure to the left, the boats that started at the pin end got quickly into the lead.
Cassis Maugio Carnon rounded the top mark in first and maintained her lead all through the race. She crossed the finish line ahead of Etienne David's Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention and Jimmy Pahun's Région Ile de France.
"We had a good race. We wanted to favour the left and therefore wanted a good start at the pin end. We managed to do it and it paid. The crew sailed very well and we seem to have had good speed in light air," commented a happy Vasco Vascotto after the end of the first race. The Italian Mumm 30 World Champion re-emphasised his pleasure in sailing in the Tour de France à la Voile: "It's the best one-design event and I really hope to be able to come with an Italian team next year."
Marseille, skippered by former 49er sailor Dimitri Deruelle, was the second winner of the day. She crossed the finish line in first after having led the whole race.
Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention retains the red spinnaker. But the gap is closing up within the top three overall with Région Ile de France having had a good day. She put in two third places - their best results in inshore races so far.
The Mediterranean boats have again shown their form on this second day of racing in the Med with four of them ending up in the top ten in both races.
Rob Greenhalgh's Panther Team GBR finished the first race in 11th and 6th in the second race.
The amateur British boat Royal Thames skippered by Owen Modral had a much better race than yesterday. She came home in 12th position in the first race and in 13th in the second race.
Hoever it was a most disappointing day for Force EDC, skippered by Australian Simon Sutherland. The student division leading boat scored
two of their worst results. But they should not be disheartened. It was also a disappointing day for 60ft trimaran champion Franck Cammas (left) on his first day helming Dieppe-Seine Maritime - they finished in 24th and in 19th.
Tomorrow, the second Med 75-mile offshore race to Marseilles will start at 06:00. Strong winds are forecast.
Overall results after Race 23 before jury with one discard
1. Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention / Etienne David 1367,5 points
2. Nantes-St-Nazaire / Pierre Loic Berthet 1360,5 points
3. Région Ile de France / Jimmy Pahun 1333,5 points
4. Ville d¹Antibes NEC / Julien Farnarier 1231,5 points
5. Défi Partagé / Thierry Bouchard 1227,5 points
6. Dieppe-Seine Maritime / Gildas Philippe 1195,5 points
7. Panther Team GBR / Rob Greenhalgh 1190 points
8. Marseille / Dimitri Deruelle 1181 points
9. Côtes d¹Armor Toztes Voiles dehors / Vincent Biarnes 1167 points
10. Force EDC / Simon Sutherland 1138 points
15th Cassis Maugio Carnon / Bernard Mallaret 1046,5 points
18th Royal Thames / Owen Modral 969 points
1. Force EDC / Simon Sutherland 746 points
2. Cap Université St-Quentin en Yvelines / Jean-Marie Gout 687 points
3. Estudines.fr -Port de Commerce La Rochelle / Yann Dube 621,5 points
1. CSC Essec / Hervé Gautier 718,5 points
2. Dinard La Pachanga / Eric Basset 713,5 points
3. Royal Thames / Owen Modral 665,5 points
See here for full results
See page two for more photos...