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MOD70 European Tour - Foncia increases overall lead

'Foncia in Marseille - 2012 MOD70 European Tour Leg 4'    © Mark Lloyd / MOD S.A

Now that all five of the 2012 MOD70 European Tour teams are in Marseille, following the most mentally demanding stage yet, skippers and crew were keen to immediately catch up on their required rest. After Race for Water and Foncia finished second and third, Spindrift racing finished fourth and Groupe Edmond de Rothshcild fifth on Leg 4. The stage from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean proved the longest yet in terms of duration, with long periods becalmed, or close to it, especially for the later arrivals.

Third placed skipper Michel Desjoyeaux quipped this morning that in last night’s blustery 30-35kt winds Foncia made more distance in twelve hours than they did in the previous two days.

In terms of the overall standings for the MOD70 European Tour, with 79% of the maximum available points now allocated, Foncia sees their lead over Spindrift racing increase by a net two points to 8pts.

The combined effect of winning the Cascais City Race series and then Leg 4 into Marseille this morning sees Musandam-Oman Sail up to third place overall – tied on points with Stève Ravussin’s Race for Water.

Conversely two offshore fifth places in a row for Groupe Edmond de Rothschild finds Sébastien Josse’s team now down to fifth on the leader board seven points off third. Spindrift racing’s skipper Yann Guichard will have his ribs checked this afternoon after hurting them during last night. Success in the Marseille City Race series Friday and Saturday is essential to Spindrift racing. Guichard concluded: 'The goal here is to get back to within four points of Foncia here, then whoever wins the last leg, to Genoa, wins the MOD70 European Tour.'

Times Musandam-Oman Sail:

Finish time: 07h 11min and 34sec (local)
Elapsed time: 3 days 16 hours 11minutes and 34seconds
Average speed for the 1030 miles course is 11.35 knots
Average real speed is 13 knots on 1147 miles actually sailed

Times Race for Water:

Finish time: 09h 39 min and 41 sec (local)
Elapsed time: 3 days 18 hours 39 minutes and 41 seconds
Average speed for the 1030 miles course is 11.04 knots
Average real speed is 12.36 knots on 1121 miles actually sailed
+ 2hrs 23m 7s after winner

Times Foncia:

Finish time at 09h 57 min and 06 sec (local)
Elapsed time: 3 days 18 hours 57 minutes and 06 seconds
Average speed for the 1030 miles course is 11.04kts
Average real speed of 12.45 knots on 1132 miles actually sailed
+2hrs 45m 32s after winner

Times Spindrift racing:

Finish time at 12h 45mn 41sec
Elapsed time 3d 21h 45mn 41sec
Average speed for the 1030 miles course is 10.68kts
Average real speed 12.74 knots over 1195 miles actually sailed
+ 5h 34m 7s after winners

Times Groupe Edmond de Rothschild:

Finished at 13h04' 12'
Elapsed time is 3d 22h 4mn 12sec
Average speed for the 1030 miles course is 10.64 kts
Average real speed of 12.48 kts over 1174 miles
+ 5h 52m 38s after winners

Standings after Leg 4, Cascais to Marseille:

1 Foncia, FRA, Michel Desjoyeaux, FRA 225pts
2 Spindrift racing EUR,, Yann Guichard FRA 217pts
3 Musandam-Oman Sail, OMA, Sidney Gavignet FRA 193pts
4 Race for Water SUI, Stève Ravussin, SUI 193pts
5 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, FRA Sébastien Josse, FRA 186pts

Stève Ravussin SUI, skipper Race for Water: 'I think now as a fleet we are all in the same place, at a good level and so second is good for us. We did not win this time. We were close to Oman at Cape St Vincent, less than one mile away, and after that there was no catching them. They took ten miles from us. Sometimes it is about a good feeling for going fast. It is good to be ahead of Foncia, it is the second leg we have fought so close to him. In the last leg he killed us, this time we beat him. It is satisfying after a long, hard leg like that, the hardest in the light winds and then the last few hours hard and windy.'

Franck Cammas FRA, navigator Race for Water: 'Not being the skipper is fun, you do not have the pressure and you are there to really discover this kind of racing. I had no specific ambitions but then this boat is good and we all want to win. This time I got the impression that Stève wanted to win more than I did. It is interesting being navigator on board and then leaving the things that are not so nice to do to the skipper! But it was interesting navigating on this leg with the light conditions with such complicated weather and then directing the boat where to go with so many options. We are not perfect but we try and make fewer mistakes than take good options.'

Michel Desjoyeaux, FRA, skipper Foncia: 'At the start we were already a little tense, becalmed nervously… We were physically tired along with the nervous fatigue and there you go, we were toast.

Last night, we went further in distance than we had done on the three first days when we were becalmed! In the last hours, we were in a fight with Race for Water and were trying to hang in there. Yesterday afternoon, Race for Water had nearly 20 miles on us. And at the Omega buoy, this morning, for the last little part of the course at Iles de Marseille, we were just 1.5 miles behind. We spent a night at full speed, in a tricky sea state… I think that we reached 38.4 knots! We were pumped, well positioned and it was hot. We did the first broach with the boat. Xavier was at the helm and I was listening to the wind, we held our position, but we wanted to be on the attack. At the end, we have a good position in the overalls. The game is not over, there’s everything to play for between the City Races here and the final leg. That said, we are in a good position ….

Yann Guichard FRA skipper Spindrift racing: 'It was a leg which really was not easy, especially for us. It was a break at Cape St Vincent and from there we failed to get back into. We tried different things but nothing worked. So it was hard being becalmed at the back without being able to do much.

I hope I have not broken ribs. Last night I was sleeping on the floor when Pascal Bidégorry somersaulted into me. I have a sore left arm too. On the boat everything is OK though we broke the gennaker tack strop just before Gibraltar and we lost Foncia there, suddenly it was 10 miles and we could not get that back and it grew.

Overall it was neither good nor bad. The overall is still tight with Foncia with eight points of difference. Everything can go down to the last leg but these last City races will be important. The goal here is to get back to within four points of Foncia here, then whoever wins the last leg, to Genoa, wins the MOD70 European Tour.'

Sébastien Josse FRA skipper Groupe Edmond de Rothschild: 'It was a complicated leg with lots of traps. We knew that it would be difficult. Oman wriggled away at Cape Saint Vincent. There were two transitions like this, the second at Gibraltar and there the fleet stretched. At each sched we lost 30 miles. But in the end we had a good match against Spindrift and you can forget the big picture a bit when you are having a good race. But it is true that for about 36 hours we hardly did more than a know, and like that you have to let off steam at times. But this is the second time we have been fifth and that is not satisfactory, because we have the tools to do the job. We have not taken the opportunities when they presented themselves.'

MOD70 European Tour website


by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

  

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5:06 PM Mon 24 Sep 2012GMT


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