Tour de France à la Voile 2015 – They crossed the finish line more than five minutes ahead of second boat Beijaflore Sailing. Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Jarlegan and Quentin Ponroy snatched victory hands down in the 32 mile long Coastal Race in the Bay of Le Pouliguen. Their third win in a row since the beginning of 2015 Tour de France à la Voile.
Groupama was fast on the water today. They took a good start, showed faultless team work, and read the course perfectly. “Our boat is very powerful, and our speed was well above the others, even though the level is very tight”, admits skipper Pierre Pennec after the race.
“I know why we are fast, but I am not going to tell you because I don’t want the other teams to know. Quentin Ponroy prepared the navigation with our coach, Maxime Paul. He was comfortable with the currents, headings and depths. All I had to do was to drive the boat with Arnaud Jarlegan. Tomorrow the stadium racing will be harder, with 11-12 knots of breeze coming from the land. It will be tight.”
With a third win over four days of racing, Groupama is inflicting a psychological blow on their rivals. But Nicolas Bérenger, skipper of Beijaflore, is not overly impressed. “I think Pierre Pennec is bluffing about their speed. I don’t think he really knows why they are so fast. But we know why we are not as fast as him. We are not multihull specialists, as opposed to them, so we are still learning. And we are very happy with our day today. We are improving race after race and our efforts are paying off“. Nicolas Bérenger competed in the Tour de France à la Voile more than ten times, and his experience could play in their favour. “I did the Tour many times, but my teammate Fabien Henry won it five times, so he knows all the playing grounds very well”. Beijaflore scores its best result so far and climbs up the leaderboard, from eleventh to seventh.
With another podium position today (third) Spindrift is getting closer from Grandeur Nature Vérandas on the Tour’s leaderboard. “There is still a long way to go on this Tour, and we are in the game. We are on the podium at the finish of the coastal race and that’s what we wanted, so we’re a happy with our day”, said skipper Xavier Revil.
After nearly a week of competition, the crew are finding their marks with their new Diam 24. Only non-french team in the line-up, Team OZ also scored their best result since the beginning of the event (19th). Rod Waterhouse, Brett Dryland and Evan Darmanin are going up four ranks in one hit overall, going from last place to 25th.
Tomorrow will be the second and last day in Pornichet, and the fleet will sail in Stadium Racing format, right in front of the beach.
First qualification race will start at 11.30.
more info ………tourvoile.fr