The UK student Team win Leg 6 of Tour de France à la voile 2005

After more than 18 hours racing along the South Brittany coasts on Leg 6 of the Tour de France à la voile, the students from the naval design Institute in Southampton crossed the finish line off Le Crouesty harbour in first position yesterday afternoon. They finished almost two hours ahead of the second and third boats Alpes-maritimes mandelieu theoule and BOUYGUES TELECOM.

The light winds forced the Race Committee to delay the time limit, but despite this decision, six boats did not finish, including the Dutch team van uden tudelft and the two Belgian teams, t service interim region de bruxelles-capitale and stad gent / ville de gand. In the overall ranking, BOUYGUES TELECOM has taken the lead over TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE COYCHyères, 19th on the finish line.

For their third participation in the Tour de France à la Voile, the French, British and Italian students of ALFA LAVAL are making their dream come true. “We are so happy, said french skipper Yoann Richomme. We knew we could have a good result. We were ready for it. But we didn’t expect to do that well. This is amazing.”

Nineteenth at the second buoy after the start in Douarnenez on Tuesday evening, ALFA LAVAL worked hard all night to catch up the leaders. “In the Bay of Audierne, we went offshore and managed to get some wind, while everyone else was stuck in no breeze. Perpignan was about 10 minutes behind us and in the morning, they fell in another windless patch, so we increased the gap ahead.” At 1616, an hour and 42 minutes after the winner, Alpes-maritimes mandelieu theoule crossed the finish line in second position. According to the skipper, Sylvain Chtounder, doing well on this leg it was a question of luck and stamina: “I think we managed to deal with the fatigue pretty well. In the end, we were still wide-awake and this is maybe the reason why we managed to overtake Bouygues, about 20 miles from the finish line.”

Eight minutes later, BOUYGUES TELECOM finished third. Pierre-Loïck Berthet and his men have the lead of the overall ranking, in front of TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE COYCHyères. “We won more than 60 points over them in three days, said the skipper. This is a new start in the race.”

Today, for Bastille Day, the boats have stayed in harbour allowing crews to rest a before starting again on Friday afternoon, heading to Les Sables d’Olonne, for the next offshore leg of this 28th Tour de France à la Voile.