Mark Lloyd / MOD SA

Foncia clinches European Tour victory in final seconds

As Spindrift Racing is first into Genoa

Tuesday October 2nd 2012, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: none selected

A second place finish in Genoa this morning on the final leg of the MOD70's European Tour was just enough to secure Michel Desjoyeaux and the crew of Foncia overall victory in this inaugural event. 

Foncia left Marseille on Sunday afternoon at the start of leg five needing to protect their six point lead over Yann Guichard's second placed Spindrift Racing. With each place in the offshore legs worth four points, the double Vendee Globe winner and his crew had to ensure that, at worst, they finished directly behind Spindrift and this is in fact exactly what transpired with Foncia crossing the finish line, east of the entrance to the port of Genoa this morning at 05:36:54 UTC to secure 12 minutes 32 seconds astern of Spindrift, winner of leg five.

However the finish was a nailbiter. When Spindrift Racing  crossed the line it first looked like they had done enough to win overall. At this point Desjoyeaux’s crew was in fourth place, 1.2 miles behind but positioned themselves to the west of their rivals. The breeze filled in better from their side of the course and Desjoyeaux and his crew were able to cross narrowly ahead of Race for Water and Musandam-Oman Sail to claim second.

Just as the conclusion of the first leg from Kiel into Dun Laoghaire was extremely close in light winds, when three boats finished within 77 seconds, so too the finale into the Italian finishing port was very incredibly hard on the nerves. Over the last 10 miles of racing, the four top MOD70s struggled against each other in exceptionally light winds through the very early morning. At seven miles to the finish line, making around 2 knots of boat speed Race for Water, Spindrift Racing and Foncia had only 0.3 of a mile between them.

Guaranteed second overall Yann Guichard and his Spindrift Racing crew played their best option by staying with leg leader Race for Water to the northeast of the bay while Foncia maintained her course heading initially more directly towards the finish line.

When they crossed the finish line the Spindrift racing crew, winners also of the Dublin to Cascais offshore stage, cheered loudly but then had an agonising wait as they watched Foncia steal overall victory from them in this first ever MOD70 European Tour.

Throughout the 651 miles final leg, once again the five one design MOD70 trimarans remained in close visual contact with each other, whether on a high speed 30 knot run down from Marseille to Menorca, through a four hour spell of random stormy squalls between the Balearic islands and Corsica and for the incredible chess match finish on the Bay of Genoa. Four of the five MOD70s led the final leg at different stages, but in the end overall victory – when it came – was Foncia’s.

Finishing in third on Leg 5, Stève Ravussin’s Race for Water take third place overall on the MOD70 European Tour.

Leg 5 Results - Marseille-Genoa

1/ Spindrift racing (EUR), Yann Guichard (FRA),
finished 7h 14m 22s local (GMT/UTC+2hrs),
elapsed time 1d 15h 21m 22s
sailed 680 miles at real average of 17.29kts

2/FONCIA (FRA), Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA),
finished 7h 36m 54s local (GMT/UTC+2hrs),
elapsed time 1d 15h 43m 54s,
sailed 676 miles at real average of 17kts
+ 22mins 32 secs behind leader

3/ Race for Water (SUI) Stève Ravussin (SUI)
finished 7h 40m 03s local (GMT/UTC+2hrs),
elapsed time 1d 15h 47m 03s,
sailed 667 miles at real average of 16.77kts
+ 25mins 41 secs behind leader

4/ Musandam-Oman Sail (OMA), Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
finished 7h 40m 03s local (GMT/UTC+2hrs),
elapsed time 1d 15h 50m 25s,
sailed 676 miles at real average of 16.97kts
+ 29mins 03 secs behind leader

5/ Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Sébastien Josse (FRA)
finished 8h 28m 59s local (GMT/UTC+2hrs),
elapsed time 1d 16h 35m 59s,
sailed 672 miles at real average of 16,55
+ 1 hour 14mins 37secs behind leader

Final standings, provisional
1/ FONCIA with 284 points
2 / Spindrift racing with 282 points
3 / Race For Water with 244 points
4/ Musandam-Oman Sail with242 points
5 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with 228 points

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