Pahun set for further victory

Isabelle Musy reports from the long offshore race of the Tour Voile

Tuesday July 9th 2002, Author: Isabelle Musy, Location: France
Jimmy Pahun on board Région Ile de France is about to win the third offshore race of the Tour de France à la Voile 2002, the longest one from Paimpol to St. Nazaire.

The skipper from Brittany and his all-offshore stars crew did not start the race very well. They rounded the first mar in 35th position. They had come back to 7th position by Monday night at the rounding mark Lizen Ven Ouest just off the north coast of Brittany.

This morning, Région Ile de France got into the lead as the fleet was passing a mark near the Glénans islands.

The original leader, Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention, skippered by Etienne David, was in second position followed closely by Marc Thiercelin onboard Kenzo.

"We started to sail very hard before the Chenal du Four. We know the area very well. We beat a little bit longer than the others in order to bear away and slide down in front the fleet," explained single-hander Figaro sailor Jérémie Beyou, tactician onboard Région Ile de France.

On board Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention, Stève Ravussin said he was surprised to see Région Ile de France ahead of them this morning: "I wonder
where they've gone to come back. As far as we're concerned, we sailed hard all night. It was a nice race close to the rocks. We didn't want to take any risk tactically. We've been doing well from the start."

The foreign boats are doing pretty well. At the last official mark rounding, Panther Team GBR of Rob Greenhalgh was in seventh position. Student boat Force EDC skippered by Australia¹s Simon Sutherland had dropped from second to eleventh position and Owen Modral¹s amateur class boat Royal Thames was in 14th position.

The expected wind shift occurred at about 02:00 am. It allowed the crews to hoist the spinnaker. Ever since, the boats have been running along the western coast of Brittany at an average speed of 8-9 knots.

The first boats are expected to cross the finish line off St-Nazaire at about 19:45.

There have been a few breakages during the night. Belgian boat T-Service Intérim Région Bruxelles Capitale broke two shrouds. Ville de Bandol Casino de Bandol has de-masted and Estudines.fr-Port de commerce la Rochelle broke her boom.

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