Big changes in store for Tour de France a la Voile

Tour de France a la Voile 2008 logo
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With a new regatta director Alain Fedensieu (13 participations, one victory), the Tour de France a la Voile event will change considerably for the 31st edition.

- The event is more condensed, starting on the 28th of June in Dunkerque and finishing in Hyeres on the 24th of July.

- Fewer, but longer offshore legs in the Chanel and Atlantic, with three legs over 180 miles. Host cities are Dieppe, Granville, Perros-Guirec, Lorient and Royan.

- More inshore racing in the Mediterranean, with transfers between host cities under motor at night.

- Only one Mediterranean offshore leg from Port Barcares to Marseille. Host cities are St Cyprien, Port Barcares, Marseille and Hyeres.

- Teams will discard their worst five races instead of worst two as in previous years.

The event is attracting renewed international interest from foreign teams that is expected to push entries well above the usual fleet of 30 to 32 Mumm 30's. New entries are expected from Australia, Finland, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the USA.

Alain Fedensieu, new Regatta Director for the Tour de France à la Voile. 'The 2008 edition is really condensed, with no downtime during the whole event. We've tried to reward well prepared teams by setting an intense rhythm from the start. At the beginning of the event, teams will spend almost every second night at sea, which will be very hard on the crew. Obviously the team that wins the Tour de France à la Voile 2008 will need to be incredibly strong.

'The inshore racing is planned to suit the normal weather conditions. We know that wind is almost inexistent at night in the Mediterranean. For that reason we will use the evening to transfer the boats between host cities, and maximize time available for inshore racing during the day. The objective is clear, to increase the number of inshore races.'