Pace wins Tour de France a la Voile
The two last races of the Tour de France à la Voile ended today in La Seyne sur Mer brought some changes to the overall ranking, but not to the top three. After yesterday’s cancellation nothing but a miracle could have prevent Bertrand Pace, skipper of Nouvelle Caledonie from claiming his seventh title.
Appropriately Nouvelle Caledonie won the very last inshore race of the Tour. Bertrand Pace, the former match race world champion, took first place even before the Tour Voile fleet had left the English Channel. And since the fleet has enteed the Med has never let his major opponent alone. Courrier Dunkerque skippered by Daniel Souben, did succeed at least to escape Pace's tight control today to won the first race of the day. So the winners of this Tour Voile both won a race to end the one month long race around France. In third place is TPM Coych from the city of Hyeres. Even though Fabien Henry and his crew performed well in the Med, they didn’t succeed to overcome their deficit on the two leaders.
Today was good for the two English-speaking teams of this year's Tour Voile. First for the American boat Groovederci sailed two steady races to secure fourth place. “It was really fun today, we love this kind of wind “ said Deneen Demourkas, admitting she was a little bit disappointed not to be in the final top three. She said she regrets the lack of wind in this Tour de France. “Maybe our boat, which is the newest of the fleet is too rigid and surely our carbon mainsail is. With less than seven knots of wind we had some difficulties making good starts, but when the wind is over 11 we just fly! I would have loved to do better but being fourth is not a bad result”.
The same was expressed by Rob Greenhalgh, skipper of Oman Sail’s Renaissance. “Being in the five best boats is quite an achievement, given we are only three pros onboard and we made no rotation”.
Oman Sail’s Renaissance was very impressive in the spring, winning her class at Normandy Sailing Week. But the Tour de France is something very special, because of the mix between the short inshore races and the long offshore legs. And also because it lasts one month: “The level was quite high and we were not at ease with the light winds. But we will go for the top three next year. Our Omani crew will have one more year training and we can improve some things,” concluded Greenhalgh. Oman Sail’s Renaissance was sixth this morning and finished fifth because of a poor result for Ile de France 2010.
Other changes occurred today in the amateur class. The Dutch boat Mummaduck was just one point ahead the Swiss on Ville de Geneve this morning, but by the end of the day, Mummaduck had dropped to third among the amateurs. So they were feeling a little bit miserable but they shouldn’t forget that they sailed a great Tour, winning three races and finishing 11th overall. The mood was better aboard Purflo Les Thermes Marins Saint Malo which came second in the first race of the day and was first in the amateur class. The Swiss team aboard Ville de Geneve had to wait for the jury later on to know their final position: 10th overall and second in he amateur class - not bad, but they would have won if they hadn’t been penalised by the jury for a change of spinnaker.
Things were easier in the student class for even if they had a rather bad day on the water, starting late and sailing on the wrong side of the course, Team SOG Safran remained in first. They even keep their overall position: 8th just in front the first amateur boat..
So here is the end of the 33rd Tour de France à la Voile, the last one in the Farr 30. The new M34 built by Archambault is the one design selected for the 2011 edition. From what we saw yesterday and today in the breeze, we may already say that the next Tour will be even faster!
Overall results :
1 Nouvelle Calédonie (Bertrand Pacé / Vincent Portugal) 129 pts
2 Courrier Dunkerque (Daniel Souben) 160 pts
3 Toulon Provence Méditerranée - COYCH (Fabien Henry) 192 pts
4 Groovederci (Deneen Demourkas) 222 pts
5 Oman Sail's Renaissance (Rob Greenhalgh) 245 pts
6 Ile de France (Jimmy Pahun / Vincent Aillaud) 251 pts
7 Manche Basse Normandie (Benoit Charon) 308 pts
8 Team SOG - SAFRAN (Julien Villon / Quentin Ponroy) 364 pts
9 Purflo Les Thermes Marins - St Malo (François Lebourdais / Pierre Hingant / Quentin Grueau) 368 pts
10 Ville de Genève - Carrefour Prévention (Jérôme Clerc / Bruno Barbarin) 369 pts
11 Mummaduck (Laurent Pagès) 376 pts
12 CSC - HEC - Ecole Navale (Hervé Gautier) 412 pts
13 Normale Sup Lagardère (Eric Brezellec) 424 pts
14 Côtes d'Armor (Stéphane Letertre) 489 pts
15 TU Delft (Bert Schandevyl) 500 pts
16 Ville du Port - Région Réunion (Thomas Terte / Thomas Pasquier / Noé Delpech) 501 pts
17 Brest Grandes Ecoles - ENSIETA - ESCB - ISEN (Tangi Mahé) 528 pts
18 BRUNEL (Peter Jan Postma / Bart Verwerft) 568 pts
19 Nantes - Saint Nazaire (Jean Queveau) 580 pts
20 INSA SOPRA TSP TEM (Thomas Rahier / Nicolas Andrieu) 588 pts
21 Bred (Eric Drouglazet / Christophe Bouvet) 609 pts
22 Port de plaisance de Roscoff - CCI de Morlaix (Julien Berthélémé / François Liron) 633 pts
23 Bienne Voile - SRS II (Lorenz Muller) 655 pts
24 ESSEC – Hanploi (Damien Seguin) 680 pts
25 Bienne Voile - SRS I (Stefan Seger) 735 pts
26 Région de Bruxelles Capitale Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Cyril Michel / Laurent Declercq) 821 pts
27 Arts et Métiers - Centrale Paris Défi SEP (Clément Hochart) 833 pts
28 SUPELEC (François Isopet / Pierre Joly) 989 pts