Bretagne Credit Mutual Elite first into Lorient
The Tour de France a la Voile fleet left Brest yesterday at 20:00, sailing in 10-15 knot northeastery wind. All twelve M34s gybed through the Toulinguet rocks under spinnaker. Once they rounded Ile de Sein they hardened up and reached down past the Glénans overnight.
It was a complicated ride with crew constantly switching between the jib and the fractional kite.
At dawn the boats were at the Jument mark with Courrier Dunkerque 3 in the lead, ahead of Sodebo and Nantes St Nazaire E.Leclerc. Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, which was OCS in Brest, was holding 8th.
And then the final upwind tacking battle began. Nicolas Troussel and his Bretagne team decided not to follow the eastern route with the rest of the fleet and dove south. “We picked another route,” explains the skipper. “We were not very well placed at that time and we believed in our option.
“We took an option right after rounding the southern Glénan mark and went another direction than the other ones. I’m not responsible for it: it’s all Jeremy (Beyou) and Christopher (Pratt) fault! We believed in our option and it paid back. Very happy we won the leg – especially as it finishes in Brittany.”
Bretagne Credit Mutual Elite was in the right place when the wind shifted to the right and they eventually crossed back ahead of the fleet, clear in the lead. Sodebo took second, Groupama 34 third and Courrier Dunkerque 3 fourth. Team OmanSail was ahead of Nantes St Nazaire, which had been leading most of the leg. Normandie, 7th, is the first amateur and can keep the amateur pink spinnaker.
Thomas Coville, Sodebo skipper siad: “A great fight. We would have never taken that route, but Nicolas is famous for being able to take those kinds of risks. We thought we were leading ahead of Courrier Dunkerque and Groupama this morning – it wasn’t a pleasant surprise to see Crédit Mutuel crossing four lengths ahead of us thanks to a risky decision. That’s what the game is about: they believed in it and they gave it a try. Well done!”
Overall the gap between Groupama 34 and Bretagne Crédit Mutuel hass closed overall with 31 points now between both teams. Sodebo lies now third overall.
Tomorrow the fleet will sail the 25 mile course around Ile de Groix for 25 (with a co-efficient of 2). For this Vendée Globe skipper Jean-Pierre Dick will sail onboard Martinique BE Brussels.
Overall positions after 18 races:
1 GROUPAMA 34, CAMMAS Franck 719 pts - Blue spinnaker
2 BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ELITE, TROUSSEL Nicolas 688 pts
3 SODEBO, COVILLE Thomas 671,8 pts
4 COURRIER DUNKERQUE 3, SOUBEN Daniel 670 pts
5 TEAM OMANSAIL, POULIGNY Cédric 637 pts
6 TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE - COYCH, BERNAZ Jean-Baptiste 574 pts
7 VILLE DE GENEVE - CARREFOUR ADDICTIONS, METTRAUX Elodie-Jane et GROUX Nicolas 560 pts
8 NANTES - SAINT NAZAIRE - E.LECLERC, DOUGUET Corentin 560 pts
9 NORMANDIE, CHOQUENET Baptiste 521 pts
10 MARTINIQUE - BE.BRUSSELS, WOLTERS Delphine et MOURES Matthieu 488 pts
11 ISKAREEN, DITTMERS Christiane et BRUHNS Sönke 483 pts
12 BIENNE - VOILE – SRS, PETER Luzius et KUNZ François 455 pts