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Sail-World.com : Tour de France à la Voile - Leg 4 now underway
Tour de France à la Voile - Leg 4 now underway

'Tour de France a la Voile 2012'    @JMLIOT / TFV / A.S.O    Click Here to view large photo

The fourth offshore leg of the 2012 Tour de France a la Voile, from Roscoff to Talmont St. Hilaire, is now underway. Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite and BAE Systems were leading at Aman Ar Ross, some 21 miles from the start, with the boats expected tomorrow, late afternoon, in Vendee.

The fourteen teams are now on the rail, hiking under a light rain off the Brittany coast. The fourth offshore leg got underway amid familiar conditions, but it’s not as rough as the previous legs - with the boats expected to speed up in the coming hours. It’s just the beginning of the 238 mile long leg. Let’s toughen it up!

Speedy sailing is what they are all looking for, but competitors still need to make the most out of the first bit. The 14 M34s departed Roscoff, Finistère, around 11am this morning. There was 10 to 15 knots of southwest wind to start with and some upwind sailing through the rocks, the fishing pots and the seaweeds of the northern Brittany coast.

Tonight, Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, BAE Systems, TPM Coych and Courrier Dunkerque were leading the fleet in these conditions. The amateurs of Ville de Genève were just behind them at Aman Ar Ross.

All of them wish for some downwind sailing, yet they are still hiking hard, with a stick to take the seaweeds ready on the rail. All of them tacked along the coast to protect themselves from the current.

The angles will open at the Four (northwester tip of Brittany) in the early evening; and they will be properly sailing downwind after Penmarc’h (south-western tip). Estimated time of arrival: tomorrow, late afternoon in Vendée.

Greg Evrard – main sail trimmer, Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite: 'We are in our favourite conditions since the Tour started – a bit of rain, the wind is building up and we are tacking in the rocks waiting for the tide change. Yet, these are holidays compared to the conditions we had in the last legs! We are fighting for the lead with BAE Systems. We aren’t resting yet, we keep all our eyes open to avoid the fishing pots and the rocks; the navigation plays a big part and it’s quite windy. We’re trying to enjoy it and we ate a delicious chicken and fries!'

Pim Nieuwenhuis – TU Delft: 'It’s upwind again for a change! We’ve seen plenty of upwind so far so we look forward to put the bow down and get a bit more speedy sailing in. Apart from that it’s been pretty good. We’ve managed to hang on to the fleet, still 200 miles to go, and we keep an eye on the big rocks around us.

Enjoying the tourism or racing? 'A bit of both! There are couple of guys onboard, who haven’t been sailing here before so for them it’s a new thing. But of course we are racing as hard as we can. Of course everybody is on the rail ‘cause we’re sailing upwind with the bow up. We have a great chef and we just had lunch.'

Provisional general ranking after 17 races:

1 - Courrier Dunkerque 3 (Fra 08) - Daniel Souben / 479 Pts -Spi Bleu
2 - Toulon Provence Mediterranee –Coych (Fra 07) - Fabien Henry / Tugdual Becquemie / 458 Pts
3 - Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Elite (Fra 18) - Nicolas Troussel / 443 Pts
4 - Ville De Geneve – Carrefour Prevention (Sui 19) - Jérôme Clerc / Elodie Mettraux / 435 Pts
5 - Bae Systems (Oma 4) - Cédric Pouligny / 426 Pts
6 - Nantes Saint Nazaire - E.Leclerc (Fra 6) - Corentin Douguet / 411 Pts
7 - Ile De France (Fra 1) - Vincent Aillaud / 398 Pts
8 - Côtes D'armor Bretagne (Fra 14) - Josselin Le Moine / 353 Pts
9 - Bred / La Normandie (Fra 15), Skippé Par Arthur Herreman / Baptiste Choquenet / 345 Pts
10 - Tu Delft (Ned 1) - Pieter Van Notten / 323 Pts
11 - Region De Bruxelles - Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Bel 2) - Bertrand Pacé / 319 Pts
12 - Martinique - Mediabat (Fra 2) - Mathieu Mourès / 314 Pts
13 - Iskareen (Ger 11) - Christiane Dittmers / Sönke Bruhns / 305 Pts
14 - Fascinating Seas International (Rus 023) - Léonid Klepikov / 259 Pts
15-Bienne Voile - Srs (Sui 22) - Lorenz Mueller / François Kunz / 233 Pts

Provisional amateur ranking after 17 races:

1 - Ville De Genève - Carrefour Prévention, Elodie Jane Mettraux / Jérôme Clerc, 435 Pts- Spi Rose
2 - Côtes D'armor Bretagne, Josselin Le Moine, 353 Pts
3 - Bred / La Normandie, Arthur Herreman / Baptiste Choquenet, 345 Pts

Provisional technical ranking after 13 races:

1 - Courrier Dunkerque 3 (Fra 08) - Daniel Souben / 299 Pts
2 - Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Troussel / 285 Pts Spi Rouge
3- Bae Systems (Oma 4) - Cédric Pouligny / 269 Pts

Provisional offshore ranking after four races:

1 - Toulon Provence Méditerranée - Coych, Fabien Henry, 217 Pts Spi Vert
2 - Courrier Dunkerque 3 (Fra 08) - Daniel Souben / 212 Pts
3 - Ville De Genève - Carrefour Prévention, Elodie Jane Mettraux / Jérôme Clerc, 201 Pts

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6:44 PM Fri 13 Jul 2012GMT


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