The Lance Armstrong of sailing?

Nigel Cherrie talks to skiff turned Mumm 30 sailor Rob Greenhalgh about his plans for the Tour Voile
With all the recent hype and British interest in the Volvo and GBR Challenge, one of the most impressive small boat projects of the year has been quietly gaining momentum almost unnoticed. Two years ago Adrian Stead and his crew on Barlo Plastics rewrote the book on winning the Tour de France à la Voile, and this season Rob Greenhalgh has pieced together a remarkable campaign that is firmly on course to emulate that success. madforsailing caught up with Greenhalgh last week. "The Tour is one of the most exciting events in the year," he begins, clearly excited by the prospect of 30 days of inshore and offshore racing in July of this year all around the French coast. "The British would look at it as an inshore event and do the offshore as penance. The Froggies look as it as an offshore and they do the inshore as penance. We are looking at doing well in all of it and none of it is a penance," he jokes. "The offshore racing is basically inshore racing, but on a long course. It is flat out, very intense. There will be no time for breaks and no time for sleeping". The project is financed by entrepreneur Simon Sarsfield, who is the presently bankrolling it himself out of his desire to compete in the race, but will hand over naming rights to any sponsor who wants to come on board. "Simon is a top guy," enthuses Greenhalgh. "He sails on the boat while we are training and really enjoys it but if it is better for the team he will jump into a RIB. It is great having someone who is paying for it that is enjoying the campaign and appreciates how it is run. He gets real enjoyment from the sailing and likes the fact