Toulon ahead

Tricky, slow leg from Dunkerque to Dieppe on Tour Voile

Monday July 4th 2005, Author: Flavie Caulier, Location: France
After a long and tiring day, Toulon Provence Méditerranée Coychyères won the first offshore leg of this year's Tour de France à la Voile between Dunkerque and Dieppe.

Fabien Henry and his crew crossed the finish line at 3.58.57 local time. It took them almost 20 hours to cover the 95 mile course in very unsettled weather conditions, but even so the fleet remained tightly bunched with only 50 minutes between the first and the last Mumm 30.

“We had a very good start and we were in the leading pack," said Fabien Henry. "We were near Dieppe and Ville de Genève, and Défi Partagé joined us off Calais. We were four boat lengths ahead up to Cape Gris Nez, then the wind died and the fleet spread out. We had a thunderstorm. The end of this leg was very hard."

The local team of Dieppe Seine-Maritime finished second, less than two minutes behind the leader. Skipper Romain Gibon was very happy, even if he admitted being a bit lucky: “We are delighted with this result because the day was very hard. We’ve been last, then first, then in the middle of the fleet, and in the end, we came back in the leading pack. The start of the race was fine, but then we had a thunderstorm. I think you needed a good deal of luck to do well today”.

Bouygues Telecom crossed the finish line in third position.

After this leg, Toulon Provence Méditerranée Coychyères is still first overall, increasing their lead over second-placed, Bouygues Telecom. Dieppe Seine-Maritime, who was fifth before this offshore race is now third.

Today, the start of the two next legs off Dieppe (Olympic or inshore races) will be delayed until 14.00, instead of 12.30. The Mumm 30 will leave the docks at 13.00.

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