Southampton Institute enter Tour Voile

News of a British student entry in the French classic

Wednesday April 30th 2003, Author: Glen Harris, Location: United Kingdom
A crew of fifteen students from Southampton Institute face a month of intense racing, when they compete in the 26th, internationally renowned, Tour de France à la Voile, which begins on 26th June from Dunkerque.

The crew, which is comprised of students from France, England, Italy and Germany, study BSc (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design and BSc (Hons) Yacht Manufacturing and Surveying and they are currently in training throughout the week with their Mumm 30 boat, sailing in the Solent waters.

The Tour de France à la Voile is an international competition where the biggest and best specialists go to sail, with many competitors who have previously sailed in the Admiral's Cup, raced around the world, or the America's Cup. However, the regatta is open to anyone and the Institute crew will race in the student category in their boat, Southampton Institute - Alfa Laval.

Two students manage the project: Yoann Richomme and Antoine Cardin and Yoann explains why they entered the competition:

"It is because The Tour de France à la Voile is the greatest race in France, possibly Europe. The greatest teams go there and we will be racing against the best in the world. It is a wonderful learning experience and our athletic level allows us to set ourselves goals, such as a place in the top five of the students' ranking, in addition to some good one-leg performances."

The 2003 course will be about 1,000 miles long and includes 13 stopovers, which covers the whole French coastline, from the Belgian border to the Riviera. The team will have a chance to race in the Channel, the Atlantic as well as the tricky Mediterranean and express themselves in different types of racing styles (Olympic, coastal and offshore).

The budget to enter the competition has come from money raised from personal sources and through sponsorship by Alfa Laval, BP, Gites de France, CIBA Vision, Royal Southampton Yacht Club and other smaller sponsors.

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