The last hurdle

Third at Mumm 30 Europeans, but Greenhalgh's Tour team remain punchy

Monday June 17th 2002, Author: Nigel Cherrie, Location: France

Rob Greenhalgh's Tour de France à la Voile team believe they are perfectly placed for next months event.

The big tournament gets underway in just under a fortnight and Rob Greenhalgh’s Tour de France à la Voile team is battle ready. While Greenhalgh himself was busy sweeping up at the 18ft skiff Nationals in Weymouth this weekend, six of his sailing squad have been in Holland contesting the Mumm 30 European Championship and are brimming with confidence after a telltale third place amongst many of their Tour rivals.

In Greenhalgh’s absence Mike Budd steered, with Duncan McDonald handling the mainsheet, money man Simon Sarsfield in the pit, Anthony Haines and Alec Frazer trimming with Simon Nadin on the bow.

"We’re perhaps a little bit disappointed as we were comfortably the fastest boat here [in Medemblik] but they held four races on the first day in two to four knots of wind and out of the four we had three bad results with no discards in the series," explained stand-in skipper Mike Budd afterwards from the Dutch sailing center.

On a month long event like the Tour, it will be important to quickly bury bad days and Budd and his boys seemed resilient. "Yesterday it was breezy and we were boat of the day with a first, two second places and a fourth. Today there was only one race in 12 knots of breeze and we won by about two minutes. We kept extending the whole way round the course."

"The boat is very, very quick and if it wasn’t for that light day we would of won quite easily. We’re the quickest by a knot in every direction," he added with confidence.

At the same time, the team still acknowledges their Achilles Heel of light wind sailing, although they do not believe it will be a major obstacle in their quest for victory around the coast of France. "We’ve always been weak in light winds as sailors and a team but they [the Tour race committee] are not going to hold races in four knots of wind. They’ll send us off to the next port so we’re very well set up."

Their steed Panthar AMG will be delivered back to Hamble tonight for some 11th hour finishing touches and a last gear check before heading to Dunkerque for the team weigh-in on Monday 24th June. Racing gets underway the following weekend and Greenhalgh will be keeping his fingers crossed for some breeze in the Channel and the Atlantic to propel his challenge into an early lead before they hit the light winds of the Mediterranean.

The Mumm 30 European title and second place overall went to two Italian teams on Cheyenne and Baque respectively. Both will compete in the Tour. Asterix, helmed by Briton David Evans, was fourth.

Overall results:

Place Name Owner/ skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Tot.Pt
1 Cheyenne Unicredito C. Recchi/ C. Silva 2 3 6 1 7 2 8 3 7 39
2 Baqua Finnat Andrea Cecchetti 3 14 2 6 4 6 4 4 5 48
3 Panther AMG Simon Sarsfield 11 11 4 19 1 4 2 2 1 55
4 Asterix Louis Browne 1 6 5 16 3 8 3 11 4 57
5 Alina Maurizio Abba 15 7 9 2 8 7 1 1 8 58
6 Minolta QMS / Overstag.com S.Wasserval 9 5 13 4 5 5 7 5 11 64
7 No Contact Peter Houtzagers 8 1 10 9 9 3 5 8 14 67
8 Mordilla Power Bikes Camilla Bert 5 9 11 13 2 9 12 6 3 70
9 Rainbow Bent Dietrich 10 2 3 7 11 10 6 10 15 74
10 Van Uden Logic Stichting Benodet 12 4 DSQ 8 6 1 13 12 2 81
11 Joe Fly Giovanni Maspero 13 19 1 21 14 12 11 9 12 112
12 Unquote Maarten van den Biggelaar 6 13 7 17 DSQ 13 9 7 17 112
13 MagiColor Fezi Khaleghi Yazdi 20 10 8 5 13 16 15 19 13 119
14 International Yachtpaint.com Johan Mast 7 15 15 12 17 14 17 15 9 121
15 Magi Jan Hagg 17 18 14 3 18 15 10 14 19 128
16 Royal Thames/ Bite The Bullet Owen Modral 19 8 12 11 10 DNF OCS 17 6 129
17 Pogo Bogo David Knight 14 16 19 14 12 18 16 13 10 132
18 Highlander Gregor Logan 4 OCS 18 15 15 11 14 16 16 132
19 Offbeat Ian Gill 18 17 16 18 19 19 18 18 20 163
20 Varuna Marc England 16 20 20 20 16 17 DNF DNF 18 173
21 Aeolus Bert Dalmolen 21 12 17 10 DNS DNS DNC DNC DNC 175
22 Belvedere/ Cassis Vincent Portugal DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 207

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