Toulon Provence Mediterranee COYCHyères increases lead after Leg 2

After a tight finish against the race favourite Toulon Provence Mediterranee COYCHyères, Ville du Port Bred la Reunion finally crossed the finish line of Leg 2 of Tour de France à la voile 2005 ahead in Honfleur, at 1954 local time last night.

Marc Guessard and his crew are first to finish but have not won the leg. The Mumm 30 from La Réunion had an individual recall after the second start yesterday morning (under the Z I flags and received a 20 per cent penalty at the end of this offshore race. After jury’s decision, the ranking shows Ville du Port Bred la Reunion in seventh position.

Despite this penalty, the top three in the overall ranking remains the same, but allows Toulon Provence Mediterranee COYCHyères to increase their lead over Bouygues Telecom and Dieppe Seine Maritime.

Marc Guessard, skipper of Ville du Port Bred la Reunion, and double winner of the Tour de France à la Voile (1995 and 2002) commented: “We are very happy with this result. We made some good tactical decisions all though the race. In the channel, the fight was very tight with Toulon. Five miles before the finish they were ahead and we managed to come back slowly. Hundred metres from the line, they are hoisting the spinnaker. I think this is what made the difference? The most important is to win on the water, not necessarily to get the points. We wanted to win this leg.”

Fabien Henry (skipper Toulon Provence Mediterranee COYCHyères) said: “We didn’t have a good start and we rounded the show mark in 29th position. Then we concentrated on the trimming and we won metre after metre. We also made some good tactical decisions between the marks of Paluel and Antifer. We played with the wind and the currents. Seven miles before Antifer, we decided to move to the left and that was the perfect time for it because we were first at this mark. The Tour de France à la Voile couldn’t start better than this for us. We won three races and we are finishing second today.”