Toulon Provence Mediterranee CoychHyères still holds the overall lead going into the 6th offshore leg of the Tour de France à la voile 2005

Light winds forced the Race Committee to cancel yesterday’s Tour de France à la voile inshore race in the Bay of Douarnenez. This gave the crews the opportunity to rest and prepare before heading to Vannes for the 6th 107-mile offshore leg later in the day.
“The difficult side of this [offshore] leg,” said Figaro sailor Jeanne Grégoire onboard Eminence Marseille, is to deal with the day breeze (offshore) and the night breeze (inshore). We will have to find the right position in the fleet. The positive side of it is that everyone will have an opportunity to do well until the last minute on the finish line.”

Some teams already have a race strategy. This is the case of Alfa, the student crews from the Southampton Institute. Yesterday after the last offshore leg between Paimpol and Douarnenez, they took the lead of the Student ranking in front of Port de Commerce la Rochelle. Now they will have to keep this lead. “We want to keep the control over the other boats, said the navigator, Coriolan Roussel. “We just had a good night of sleep so we are in good shape to keep fighting. The race is far from being over. I think we are going to have a nice competition up to Menton.”

In the overall ranking, Toulon Provence Mediterranee CoychHyères is still leading, but after their victory the previous day, Bouygues Telecom is motivated to come back in the match. At this critical stage of the race, Pierre Loïc Berthet and his crew are welcoming onboard Loïck Peyron. “We will have to be careful and not take too many risks,” says the French skipper. The team of Bouygues Telecom is very experienced. They are the world champions so they have a big pressure on their shoulders, but they know perfectly how to deal with it. I hope I can bring a part of my sailing experience too.”