The 2012 Tour de France a la Voile is currently underway in Dunkerque with the day’s racing resulting in victories for Ville de Genève, Région de Bruxelles –Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest and BAE Systems.
Tour de France a la Voile 2012
Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention did well yesterday in the coastal race. Jérôme Clerc’s Swiss men did it again today, winning the first technical race of the day in front of TPM Coych. Another foreign team, Région de Bruxelles –Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest won the second leg; the Oman team won the third and last race in the Dunkerque bay.
Dunkerque has been rather windy since the start of this Tour de France à la Voile 2012. Today was different – the 15 boats left the tide gate in eight knots of South-South-West winds - nothing better to test the teams’ navigation skills. The current was equally important – a parameter for the tacticians to take into account in their strategic decisions.
The start sequence is key in such light airs and many individual calls were made on the start line. Position, protection, control: starts are one of the things the crew are the most focused on. The first meters you give away in light wind are the toughest ones to gain back.
Elodie Jane Mettraux and Jérome Clerc’s Swiss team lead the first technical race of the day. They rounded each mark in front and have a comfortable lead. A great victory and they edge closer to Côtes d’Armor Bretagne in the amateur ranking. They want their pink spinnaker…
Martinique Médiabat’s crew are keeping their promises with a fifth place. Mathieu Mourès’s team is helped by Rodrigue Cabaz, a Laser specialist now at the helm of their M34.
The second technical race was a tough one. Several lead changes – from Pacé’s Belgian crew to Bred / La Normandie and Pouligny’s Oman guys. Région de Bruxelles –Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest took the lead in the last upwind bit and cross the line first. First victory in 20 years for the guys from Brussels! The presence of Pacé onboard surely boosted the team managed by Mady Fobert.
The third race saw another foreign success. The Oman guys of BAE Systems were already third following the two first races and were in control last one. They lead all the way and finish 16 seconds ahead of Courrier Dunkerque 3, who had a difficult first two races. A brilliant day for Oman and their tactician Aymeric Chappellier.
TPM Coych take the overall lead blue spinnaker – Courrier Dunkerque 3 is now tied for the second place with BAE Systems, four points between the new leader and its rivals.
BAE Systems take the technical ranking red spinnaker back. Ville de Genève Carrefour Prévention get the pink one for their new lead in the amateur ranking.
Tomorrow, the 15 boats will start the first offshore leg of this Tour de France à la Voile 2012 for Dieppe, Haute-Normandie. 95 miles, coefficient 2 for the overall ranking – a tough offshore fight to come.
Cédric Pouligny – BAE Systems: 'We are cool! In such light airs with a strong current, the start is key. That’s what we did! Then tactics were great and we are back in the match. A day like this one is good for the moral, yet, let’s not forget the tour is won by the most constant ones. We got to keep doing well.'
Mathieu Mourès – Martinique Mediabat: 'We were euphoric this morning, a bit less this afternoon! We’re really happy and it reassures us on our ability to do things well. Now, let’s work our constancy. Rodrigue Cabaz is very helpful to us – he knows the game and his presence alone is a positive factor: he calms the team down.'
Mady Fobert – Manageuse de Région De Bruxelles – Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest: 'I’m happy! It shows that everything is possible. I always said we had a potential, we just needed a leadership! It’s a beautiful reward for this 20th anniversary.'
Bertrand Pacé - Région De Bruxelles – Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest: 'We started off well, the wind was shifty. We picked the good side and were rather luck in terms of strategy. Truth is, I put a bit of pressure on them onboard and they’re improving step by step. I think they start to understand what the high level could be. You don’t get that in a day, it’s not only a matter of skills. I’m trying to teach them strictness and concentration.'
Provisional general ranking after seven races:
1- Toulon Provence Mediterranee –Coych (FRA 07) - Fabien Henry / Tugdual Becquemie / 158 pts - Blue Spinnaker
2 - Courrier Dunkerque 3 (FRA 08) - Daniel Souben / 154 points -
3 - BAE Systems (OMA 4) - Cédric Pouligny / 154 pts
4- Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Elite (FRA 18) - Nicolas Troussel / 151 pts
5 -Nantes Saint Nazire - E.Leclerc (FRA 6) - Corentin Douguet / 139 pts
6-Ville De Geneve – Carrefour Prevention (SUI 19) - Jérôme Clerc / Elodie Mettraux / 134 pts
7- Ile De France (FRA 1) - Vincent Aillaud / 128 pts
8- Bred / La Normandie (FRA 15), skippé par Arthur Herreman / Baptiste Choquenet / 125 pts
9-Region De Bruxelles - Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijik Gewest (BEL 2) - Bertrand Pacé / 124 pts
10 - Cotes D'Armor Bretagne (FRA 14) - Josselin Le Moine / 123 pts
11- Tu Delft (NED 1) - Pieter Van Notten / 110 pts
12-Martinique - Mediabat (FRA 2) - Mathieu Mourès / 103 pts
13-Iskareen (GER 11) - Christiane Dittmers / Sönke Bruhns / 101 pts
14-Fascinating Seas International (RUS 023) - Léonid Klepikov / 98 pts
15-Bienne Voile - SRS (SUI 22) - Lorenz Mueller / François Kunz / 70 pts
Previsionnal amateur ranking after seven races:
1 - Ville de Genève - Carrefour Prévention, Elodie Jane Mettraux / Jérôme Clerc, 134 pts- Pink Spinnaker
2 - Bred / La Normandie, Arthur Herreman / Baptiste Choquenet, 125 pts
3 - Region De Bruxelles - Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Bertrand Pacé, 124 pts
Previsionnal technical ranking after six races:
1 - BAE Systems, Cédric Pouligny, 133 pts - Red Spinnaker
2 - Toulon Provence Méditerranée - Coych, Fabien Henry, 133 pts
3 - Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Troussel, 131 pts
Previonnal offshore ranking after one race:
1 - Toulon Provence Méditerranée - Coych, Fabien Henry, 25 pts
2 - Courrier Dunkerque 3, Daniel Souben, 24 pts - Green Spinnaker
3 - Ville de Genève - Carrefour Prévention, Elodie Jane Mettraux / Jérôme Clerc, 23 pts