Longest leg

Tour Voile Mumm 30s en route to St Malo from Honfleur

Friday July 8th 2005, Author: Flavie Caulier, Location: France
The 30 boat fleet of the Tour de France à la Voile left Honfleur early this morning to take the start of the 3rd offshore leg, to Saint-Malo, Brittany. This 155 mile race (coefficient 2,5) is the longest of the event and will be very demanding for the crews and their Mumm 30. At the last poll, off Barfleur (17.00 local time), Toulon Provence Méditerranée Coychyères was leading, followed by Bouygues Telecom and Region Isle de France. The first boats are not expected in Saint Malo before tomorrow morning.

The longest leg of this 28th Tour de France à la Voile has started this Thursday morning at 06:07. The WNW wind was quite strong, with gusts reaching 30 knots. The fleet sailed along the landing beaches of Normandy upwind, on one tack, before tacking on port to head to Barfleur. Within a few hours, both crews and boats are getting tired, cold and wet. This was going to be a very long day.

At 16.00, Cotes d'Armor broke their forestay and headed into Cherbourg to effect repairs. And the race was not over yet! At the Basse du Rénier mark off Barfleur, the boats were still 94 miles from the finish and they were about to face a strong current two hours hence, as they sail passed the Raz Blanchard.

“The ETA for the finish in Saint Malo is between 5.00 and 10.00 in the morning (local time)," says Race Director, Sylvie Viant. "The boats will have to sail against the current for the next six hours, so they won’t be very fast for a while”.

In these circumstances, the Race Committee has decided to delay tomorrow’s race (an Olympic race) in the Bay of Saint-Malo. Originally planned at 9.30, the start is delayed to 15.00 in the afternoon. The boats will leave the dock at 12.00.

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