In the Tour de France a la Voile, Groupama 34s landslide performance earned them the 2013 Tour title when they reached La Seyne, but they went ahead and won the last offshore leg from La Seyne to Marseille anyway. Sodebo took second, coming close to a podium position. Courrier Dunkerque is now second overall, just ahead of Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite (third overall).
Tour de France a la Voile 2013 - La Seyne, Marseille
It was a stunning 35-mile run along the coastline of Provence. Sailing conditions were ideal with 15 knots from the southeast making for a downwind run. With one day to the end of the event points were at stake -with a scoring factor of 2- and all boats sailed the race in less than five hours.
'Our strategy was to stay in the windy areas along the coast. Groupama led from the start, we tried to catch them but then we had to secure our position controlling Sodebo, TPM and Courrier Dunkerque' said Majid Almageni who took second with Team OmanSail.
Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, Nantes St Nazaire and Bienne Voile went offshore looking for stronger wind. 'We were wrong from the beginning,' confesses Nicolas Troussel. 'We thought a lot about this option but we quickly lost a lot of ground. We were not careful enough.' Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite eventually took seventh and Courrier Dunkerque took fifth, scoring four more points than Bretagne and taking second overall, three points ahead of them. Sodebo took second between Groupama 34 and Team OmanSail and is now 12.3 points away from the podium. TPM-Coych took fourth, a great result for the young local team, and Martinique BE Brussels amateurs are delighted with their sixth place.
Three in-port races are scheduled tomorrow off Marseille. Departure time from the dock 9:00am; racing start at 10:00am.
Franck Cammas, Groupama 34 skipper: 'Every victory is a pleasure. We sailed well today and are happy with what we did. I’m pleased to come back to Marseille with the Tour – I came here last year with the MOD70. I wanted us to do well today and so did we. We’re going to attack tomorrow and the day after tomorrow as well: we want to win Sunday’s pro-am race too!'
Daniel Souben, Courrier Dunkerque 3: 'Happy to take points over Bretagne Crédit Mutuel and to be second overall: it has been a long time since we've been in that position! But we are also disappointed not to do better even though we had the opportunity to. This leg is always a stunning one with sun, wind and great sights.'
Majid Almageni, Team OmanSail crewmember: 'We are happy and unhappy with our third place. Happy because we kept the pressure on through the race and it was a good race. Unhappy because couple of things didn’t go as planned onboard and we missed the second place. Our strategy was to stay in the windy areas along the coast. Groupama led since the start, we tried to catch them up but then we had to secure our position controlling Sodebo, TPM and Courrier Dunkerque 3'.