Defi Partage Marseille increases lead at halfway stage of regatta 14/7/07

At the halfway stage of the Tour de France à la Voile competitors spent a relaxing day in La Roche Bernard yesterday competing in friendly regatta on the Vilaine River. This race was not included in the overall ranking but it gave crews the opportunity to warm-up before the next offshore leg which starts today taking the fleet towards Port Bourgenay in Vendée.

Cotes d’Armor won this Corporate Regatta in front of Toulon Provence Mediterranee Coychyeres, but the third place is taken by an Amateur team, Ville du Port Bred La Reunion, supported today by the French windsurfer Raphaëlla Le Gouvello who commented: “I am very proud with our result. This place is beautiful and the course is very tactical. It’s quite impressive to see the guys doing tack after tack. The wind approach is the same but it’s a bit scary to see all these Mumm 30 manoeuvring so close from each other.”

After 15 days of racing in the English Channel and in the Atlantic, one team is slowly breaking away from the pack. Defi Partage Marseille is leading the overall ranking 16 points ahead of Ile de France. “We are first now but it doesn’t mean much, said Maxime Paul, one of the three skippers with Dimitri Deruelle and Thierry Bouchard. There are still a lot of legs to race and we will have to stay on top of it. But after finishing twice second on the last editions, our ambitions are a bit higher.”

On the second step of this temporary podium, Ile de France is in an attacking position. “We prefer to be behind and go on the offensive, said the skipper Jean-Pierre Nicol. When we had the Red Spinnaker, we tended to take less risk and we were losing points, so it’s better this way. Last year, our team finished fourth overall. Now we definitely want to end on he podium.”

The fleet will set off this morning on Leg 7 – a 64-mile leg from Talmont-Saint-Hilaire to Bourgenay Port in the Vendée. When they arrive tomorrow they’ll take in two more in port races before heading off on Sunday to Royan.