After amazing finish in Genoa, Michel Desjoyeaux takes overall victory
When they crossed the finish line, east of the entrance to the port of Genoa at 07h 36min 54 sec local time, this morning (Tuesday 2 October) in second place FONCIA skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) took overall victory in the MOD70 European Tour.
FONCIA left Marseille on Sunday afternoon needing to protect their six points lead from Spindrift racing by ensuring that, at worst, they finished directly behind Yann Guichard’s crew.
When Spindrift racing actually crossed the finish line of the 651 miles course from Marseille first it first it looked like they had done enough to win overall. Desjoyeaux’s crew were in fourth 1.2 miles behind but had positioned themselves to the west of their rivals. The breeze filled better from their side of the course and the double Vendée Globe winner and his crew were able to narrowly cross ahead of Race for Water and Musandam-Oman Sail
Just as the conclusion of the first leg from Kiel into Dun Laoghaire was extremely close in light winds, with three boats finishing within 77 seconds then, so too the finale into the Italian finishing port was very incredibly hard on the nerves. Over the last 10 miles of racing, the four top MOD70s struggled against each other in exceptionally light winds through the very early morning.
At seven miles to the finish line, making around 2 knots of boat speed Race for Water, Spindrift Racing and FONCIA had only 0.3 of a mile between them.
Guaranteed second overall Yann Guichard and his Spindrift racing crew played their best option by staying with leg leader Race for Water to the north east of the bay while FONCIA maintained their course heading initially more directly to the finish line.
When they crossed the finish line the Spindrift racing crew, winners also of the Dublin to Cascais offshore stage, cheered loudly but then had an agonising wait to watch FONCIA steal overall victory in this first ever MOD70 European Tour.
Throughout the 651 miles final leg, once again the five one design MOD70 trimarans remained in close visual contact with each other, whether on a high speed 30kts run down from Marseille to Menorca, through a four hour spell of random stormy squalls between the Balearic island and Corsica and for the incredible chess match finish on the Bay of Genoa. Four of the five MOD70’s lead the final leg at different stages, but in the end overall victory – when it came – was FONCIA’s.
Finishing in third on Leg 5, Stève Ravussin’s Race for Water take third place overall on the MOD70 European Tour.
Read Elaine Bunting’s overview of the MOD70s and their ambitious circuit here