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Courrier Dunkerque is attacked from all sides!

'Tour de France à la Voile'    © Jean-Marie Liot

Current leader Courrier Dunkerque (Daniel Souben) left the Atlantic with a comfortable advance on the other competitors. Souben is now only eleven points ahead of Elcimaï – Ville de Marseille (Dimitri Deruelle).

A shifty SW’ly wind blew between 10 and 15 knots on Saint-Cyprien. Today’s three races were tactically difficult for the sailors. Student crew VanUden TUDelft VanOord (Suzanne Leinders / Michiel Van der Meulen) won the first one. After two victories yesterday, Bâtisseurs du Morbihan (Nicolas Pauchet / Victor Lanier) won the second leg. Nouvelle-Calédonie (Vincent Portugal / Ronan Dreano / Bernard Mallaret) was the winner of the last one. The M 30s will leave Saint-Cyprien tonight for Port-Barcarès.

The leader gets down…
'It’s a bit hard for us since we arrived in the Med, we had many bad results. The crew was not really into tactics and we took bad departures. However, we remain in the lead in the overall ranking, so everything is all right!' Despite these bad results, Daniel Souben is still optimistic: 'Courrier Dunkerque is still in the match!'

It’s getting closer in the leading group
Elcimaï – Ville de Marseille (Dimitri Deruelle) finished fourth, second and sixth today, and finishes therefore second in the overall ranking, just before Nouvelle-Calédonie (Vincent Portugal / Ronan Dreano / Bernard Mallaret). 'It was a good day for us, because our adversaries didn’t do so well. We start to get on well all together with our new crew which arrived in the Med' says helmsman Morgan Lagravière. As far as Bernard Mallaret is concerned (Nouvelle-Calédonie), he has a good feeling too: 'it’s getting closer, and despite a slight mistake on the second race, we did a very good day'.

Val Thorens keeps it up!
Val Thorens (Lucas Millieret / Alexis Littoz) did an astonishing performance today: 'we took a bad start on the first leg, we had troubles with the shifty wind and we finally touched the buoy after the first beating leg! We were next to last, but we wouldn’t abandon: we had a very good speed and thanks to our determination, we managed to finish second!' It wasn’t easy to do, as explains helmsman Johan Barbarin: 'the weather conditions were quite difficult: the wind shifted rightwards and leftwards all the time'.

The students are still fighting!
Hervé Gautier’s crew CSC – HEC – Ecole Navale was used to being in the first place since the beginning of the race. It’s a bit hard for them to see INSA – Sopra Group (Simon Troel) doing such good results in the last days: 'we’re a bit under pressure of course… we’re not worse, but INSA – Sopra Group is incredibly better! Hopefully it will get better in the forthcoming days', says number one Eloi Desrippes. Simon Troel (INSA – Sopra Group) for his part is untroubled: 'we start to do good sailing. We lacked confidence at the beginning of the race, but three good races since Lorient showed us that we were capable of the best!'
Still in the student ranking, VanUden TUDelft VanOord (Suzanne Leinders / Michiel Van der Meulen) won the first race of the day, after being second yesterday.

The twenty-seven M 30s leave Saint-Cyprien tonight for 13 nautical miles of sailing bound to Port-Barcarès. This will not be a race, as the conditions aren’t met for the competitors to sail in good conditions. The races will start again tomorrow at noon, in a moderate SW’ly wind.

by Anatole Lucet


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11:13 AM Fri 18 Jul 2008 GMT

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