Simon Shaw's British University Sailing Team came ninth in yesterday’s race, helping the only British entry in the Tour Voile to climb into third place of the student ranking
Simon Shaw’s British University Sailing Team came ninth in yesterday’s race, helping the only British entry in the Tour Voile to climb into third place of the student ranking.
The fleet left Cherbourg and sailed the 105 miles to Perros Guirec upwind. The sea was pretty rough as they passed through the famous Raz-Blanchard because the strong current was against the wind. Then the fleet split up as one group of 7 boats, among which was the winner Marseille TBS and British University Sailing Team, went through the Big Russel west of Sark Island. The others went east of the island.
After a tight battle until the finish, it was Alain Fédensieu aboard Marseille TBS who had the last word. His red Mumm 30 crossed the finish line at 0502 a.m. This was the first leg that Alain has won since the beginning of the regatta. “Eventually!”, said a happy Alain Fédensieu. “We had had enough of hearing people’s comments about our bad results. Our boat has been really well prepared and we have a good speed. There were two different strategic options. We had always planned to go through the Big Russel, but at the end of the day both ways were even. I think it was our tenacity that paid off. It was uncomfortable rather “vertebra compression”! But, we old veterans somehow cope better”, added the skipper of Marseille TBS.
Surprisingly, it was the amateur boat Codiam CODIAM ENSP, skippered by Jean-Claude Nicoleau that came second. Ahead of Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-Saint-Raphaël-Générali, Michel Desjoyeaux, navigator aboard Dick’s boat, had puffy eyes but was smiling as he jumped off the boat. “If I hadn’t made a mistake due to a computer break-down we could have done better”, commented the Vendée Globe winner.
The British team were the most exhausted when they arrived, but were rather pleased with their ninth place. “It was good, though on the nose the whole way. Everyone was being sick. But it was a good race. We had a very good start and a good beat. But then we had problems with our stacking system again so we lost a few places because of that. It also took us a long time to figure out that it was paying to go right. When we realised that, we went right offshore and went through the Big Russell. Ninth is a consistent place, it is the sort of result we’re looking for”, commented Simon Shaw, skipper of the BUSA entry.