The second offshore race in the Tour Voile took just 14 hours for the fleet to complete the 88-mile route from Cherbourg to Dieppe

Jean-Pierre Dick’s Mumm 30 crossed the finish line at 0122, ahead of Mathieu Richard’s Nantes-St-Nazaire Bouygues Télécom and Jimmy Pahun’s Région Ile de France. Sun Microsystems Team New Zealand Racing Crew came in eighth, The Kiwis were pleased with Gildas Morvan’s navigation but suffered lack of boat speed. Simon Shaw, skipper of the British entry commented that his team enjoyed the close racing but were disappointed to finish in 19th.

Once again, it was a fast race as it only took 14 hours for the fleet to sail the 88 miles from Perros Guirec to Brest. Though the wind was on the nose almost the whole way, the crew weren’t as tired as after the previous offshore race from Cherbourg to Dieppe.

Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-St-Raphaël-Générali snatched victory as she crossed the line just in front of Mathieu Richard’s Nantes-St-Nazaire Bouygues Télécom. Dick and his crew made a huge come back as they were a mile behind the rest of the fleet after missing a course mark. Michel Desjoyeaux, navigator aboard Dick’s boat explains what happened: “We had a good start, were third at the passing mark and then we made a big mistake as we missed two course marks! We looked silly far behind every one else off Perros Guirec”.

“We did our best to catch up. We gained a lot of places, but then we made another mistake. After that, we decided to sail offshore in order to go and get the wind shift to the right that was forecasted. So we went far to the right without knowing if it was going to pay and where exactly were the others. And all of a sudden we crossed ahead of Nantes-St-Nazaire Bouygues Télécom and Région Ile de France”, added the Vendée Globe winner. Jimmy Pahun was most impressed: “They took a big risk. Their option could have been a disaster. But when it comes from Michel Desjoyeaux, it is a stroke of genius ! Well done!”

According to Isabelle Autissier, things more or less happened as predicted: “It was windy and humid! But the wind didn’t shift to the right as much as forecasted. We started near the shore before to sail further offshore. When Virbac-St-Raphaël-Générali remained offshore for a longer time”. The Kiwis were disappointed as their Sun Microsystems Team New Zealand Racing Crew crossed the line in eighth after having been second for a while. Though, they had a good navigator, Figaro sailor Gildas Morvan, they had a boat speed problem.

“It was a good race. We went to the right place but we were not fast. We have a speed problem upwind”, commented Cameron Appleton. Gildas Morvan, nicknamed the green giant, enjoyed this ride with the blacks. “It was nice to sail with them. But we didn’t have good speed. I don’t know exactly why”, said Gildas Morvan. “It was a matter of speed. We were slow against many boats. Maybe we need some adjustment with our mast. But it was a nice race. The pink cliffs are beautiful, absolutely gorgeous”, added Grant Beck.

Simon Shaw’s British University Sailing Team weren’t very happy either as they finished 19 th, but looking on the bright side, the British skipper remarked, “Most importantly, we didn’t get sick! The start was a beauty.” Reflecting on where they went wrong, Simon continued, “But we didn’t get leads round the shifts and went too much into tides. We got a great shift and gained lots of places, but then got greedy and a squall blew us sideways and that’s where we lost out. After that it was a game of follow the leader.”