Victory again for Pahun
Jimmy Pahun (above) sailed into St Nazaire last night at the end of the long offshore race to take his a third victory in the Tour de France à la Voile 2002. Pahun and his all-star team now leads overall from the local boat Nantes-St Nazaire.
Pahun's Région Ile de France crossed the finish line of the 240-mile race from Paimpol in first just ahead of Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention, skippered by Etienne David and Thierry Bouchard's Défi Partagé. Previous overall leader, Nantes St-Nazaire skippered by Pierre-Loïc Berthet, finished in seventh position and are now second overall with only a few points lead over the Swiss.
Rob Greenhalgh and Panther Team GBR came home in fifth.
Jimmy Pahun was exhausted as he stepped of the boat but was really happy with this third victory. "I know why we're strong in offshore races. I've said before and it has proved once again to be right. I have a great crew made of offshore specialists and it pays off. When I found out what the course was this year. That is with long demanding offshore legs, I decided to choose my crew among the Figaro sailors who are my friends anyway", commented Pahun who had not only Figaro sailors such as Jérémie Beyou and Erwan Tabarly on board but also former around the world single-hander Isabelle Autissier.
The Swiss also had a good race. For this leg, they welcomed onboard Stève Ravussin, winner of the last double-handed transatlantic race Jacques Vabre with Franck Cammas. "It was good fun. It was a close battle. That's what is so nice on this event. With one-design boat, it is neck-to-neck racing the whole way through", commented Stève Ravussin.
"We had a good start and were in the lead for a long time. Stève was really helpful especially through the tricky Chenal du Four. He gave us confidence and helped with the navigation. It was a great race and we're in really good form though it was a long race", said Etienne David who looked amazingly fresh after such a long race.
Rob Greenhalgh, skipper of Panther Team GBR looked pretty tired: "It was quite long and tiring for everyone. It was a tough race up to the corner (Brittany's head). Then we were happy to hoist the spinnaker and caught up a few boats."
Student boat Force EDC, skippered by Australian Simon Sutherland came home as first student boat. Though slightly disappointed because they had been in second position for a while, the team comprised of Brits, Australians and Dutch were pleased. "We're inexperienced and did not know exactly what to do tactically. So we lost quite a few boats over the night and through the Chenal du Four. But we've learnt a lot sailing at night along Brittany," said Simon Sutherland. "Today we had a good day again. We had a good run in the sun into St-Nazaire and picked up a lot of distance on the leading
pack," added the young Aussie skipper.
Provisional overall ranking
1. Région Ile de France / Jimmy Pahun 686,5
2. Nantes-St-Nazaire / Pierre-Loïc Berthet 67'
3. Ville de Genève-Carrefour Prévention 663
4. Dieppe Seine Maritime 624,5
5. Défi Partagé / Thierry Bouchard 600,5
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