Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

Tour de France a la Voile - First offshore leg to Dieppe

by ASO/Sail-World.com on 5 Jul 2012
@JMLIOT / TFV / A.S.O. - Tour de France a la Voile © Jean-Marie Liot
Today was the start of the first offshore leg to Dieppe for the M34 fleet competing in the Tour de France a la Voile.

It was an unusually strange atmosphere for this morning's briefing as the sailors seemed both happy to leave the dock and worried about the unknown.

The weather forecast was for five knots of south-south-east breeze with humidity, rain, some storms and a strong current. These conditions promise a long and technical race, with a possible mooring to avoid going backward against the current.

The teams however are hoping for a sea breeze – even if it’s light! – to make the transition around Cape Griz Nez (North Pas de Calais). This leg is 95 miles-long, with the first part of the race in a rather narrow band between the coastline and the forbidden maritime rail and a larger playground after Gris Nez.

It was a good start for the 15 M34's.

Région De Bruxelles. Capitale/Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest and Ile de France were to leeward while Nantes St Nazaire E. Leclerc, Bred/La Normandie and Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite were windward of the committee boat.

The Belgians controlled their rivals and rounded the final inshore mark first, followed by Iskareen and Île De France. Spinnakers were hoisted and yachts increased in speed as the crews sailed towards Dieppe, hiking on the rail.

Immediately after the start the wind was almost 10 knots from the west-north-west flow, and yachts had around five knots of boat speed. After a long upwind tack on starboard, sailing west along the Northern coast, the 15 teams reached, ten miles away from Calais. The wind shifted a little to the right. Three boats lowered their spinnakers as the fleet headed upwind - Daniel Souben’s men in front of Côtes d'Armor Bretagne and Fascinating Seas International.

The tactical game was on, as were the sail changes. In the early afternoon, the fleet had already sailed 20 of the 95 miles.

Ile de France took the lead again off Calais. The leaders were very close to each other and this leg was looking like a tight one.

'Everything is fine onboard,' said Alexis Littoz (Île De France). 'Studious mood, we’re sailing in eight knots from 315, heading west, towards Gris Nez, with the fractioned spinnaker up. We’re really happy, the wind is keeping up and we may be able to cross the Raz (strong current area) with the current in the good direction. We ate; some guys even got to rest for a while down below. Now let’s control our rivals behind and hold the pressure.'

Similar mood for TPM Coych, delighted to be with the leaders. 'Because of the wind configuration, we know it was hot and we know there is a bit of a sea breeze effect, it’s a very good thing! We’re all over it, pushing the boat,' says the skipper and navigator Fabien Henry.

Courrier Dunkerque 3 and Côtes d'Armor Bretagne went North but were almost three miles behind at the ‘Calais Approche’ mark.

'We are with Courrier Dunkerque 3, we enjoyed it a lot and are focused on the objective and the strategic choices,' says Arthur Le Vaillant, navigator of Côtes d’Armor Bretagne. 4.5 miles behind the leaders are the Russians of Fascinating Seas International.

The fleet had not yet reached the light air. At Blanc Nez, TPM Coych played with the rocks while trying to overtake Nantes St Nazaire. At Gris Nez, the fight was tough between the first five boats - TPM Coych, Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, Nantes St Nazaire E. Leclerc, Ile De France and BAE Sytems.

Once they sailed past the Cape, they will turn south and sail with their spinnakers up towards Dieppe.

The weather conditions are good enough not to worry too much about the current and a possible mooring. The sea breeze will drop at the end of the day and with the night will come squalls and showers.

The M34s could arrive in Dieppe tomorrow morning.

Alexis Littoz – Ile de France: 'Everything is fine onboard. Studious mood, we’re sailing in eight knots from 315, heading West, towards Gris Nez, with the fractioned spinnaker up. We’re really happy, the wind is keeping up and we may be able to cross the Raz (strong current area) with the current in the good direction. We ate; some guys even got to rest for a while inside the boat. Now let’s control our rivals behind and hold the pressure.'

Fabien Henry – TPM: 'Because of the wind configuration, we know it was hot and we know there is a bit of a sea breeze effect, it’s a very good thing! We’re all over it, pushing the boat'

Arthur Le Vaillant – Côtes d'Armor Bretagne: 'We are with Courrier Dunkerque 3, we enjoyed it a lot and are focused on the objective and the strategic choices.'

Order at Cape Gris Nez / 17h27
1- TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE –COYCH (FRA 07) - Fabien Henry / Tugdual Becquemie
2- BRETAGNE - CREDIT MUTUEL ELITE (FRA 18) - Nicolas Troussel
3 -NANTES SAINT NAZAIRE - E.LECLERC (FRA 6) - Corentin Douguet
4- ILE DE FRANCE (FRA 1) - Vincent Aillaud
5 - BAE SYSTEMS (OMA 4) - Cédric Pouligny
6- BRED / La NORMANDIE (FRA 15), skippé par Arthur Herreman / Baptiste Choquenet
7-VILLE DE GENEVE – CARREFOUR PREVENTION (SUI 19) - Jérôme Clerc / Elodie Mettraux
8-ISKAREEN (GER 11) - Christiane Dittmers / Sönke Bruhns
9-BIENNE VOILE - SRS (SUI 22) - Lorenz Mueller / François Kunz
10-REGION DE BRUXELLES - CAPITALE / BRUSSELS HOOFDSTEDELIJK GEWEST (BEL 2) - Bertrand Pacé
11-MARTINIQUE - MEDIABAT (FRA 2) - Mathieu Mourès
12 - COURRIER DUNKERQUE 3 (FRA 08) - Daniel Souben
13- TU DELFT (NED 1) - Pieter Van Notten
14 - CÔTES D'ARMOR BRETAGNE (FRA 14) - Josselin Le Moine
15-FASCINATING SEAS INTERNATIONAL (RUS 023) - Léonid Klepikov
Naiad/Oracle SupplierWildwind 2016 660x82T Clewring One Design

Related Articles

Close fight around Wight on Day 6 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
20-25 knot winds and glorious sunshine made for one of the most memorable races around the Isle of Wight on record With a win for Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine (despite destroying a kite), and a second for Daniel Andrieu's Sun Fast 3200, Cifraline 4, France Blue have leapt ahead in the overall results, now holding a 35.5 lead margin over the second placed Flanders North Sea Team.
Posted today at 8:11 pm
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Azzurra concludes with a win
Azzurra closes PPSW, the third event in the series with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come Azzurra closes the PPSW in Mallorca, the third event in the series, with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come. Quantum is the Series’ current leader, followed by Azzurra.
Posted today at 7:30 pm
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing takes the prize
Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted today at 7:16 pm
Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted today at 6:40 pm
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted today at 4:28 pm
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted today at 3:46 pm
Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am