40th Tour de France à la Voile !
When Bernard Decré created the Tour de France à la Voile in 1978, the fleet navigated along the Canal du Midi to join the Mediterranean. French sailing legends like Eric Tabarly, Michel Desjoyeaux, Jean-Pierre Dick, and more recently Franck Cammas, François Gabart, Armel Le Cléac’h and Loïck Peyron have all played a role in the history of this race, that became one of the biggest summer sporting events.
Eight classes have served on the TFV since 1978, always based on the same principle : one-design. The Tour de France à la Voile is up to the sailors, not the boats.
Five new Acts
This year again, Tour de France à la Voile will visit some of the most beautiful seashores. After 2016 and its Mediterranean oriented course, the event will spend more time on the North-West coastline and have two stops in Normandy : Fécamp, and Jullouville, that the TFV will visit for the very first time. With its new format and the Diam 24 trimarans, the event has now the possibility to set the Paddocks and the technical zone directly on the beach, as well as in ports. Note that the Act in Jullouville will climax with a unique Coastal Race in the Bay of Mont Saint Michel !
TFV will then stop in Brittany, in Arzon and Le Crousty, just outside of the Gulf of Morbihan, with a coastal race in the Bay of Quiberon, and a last Atlantic Act in Les Sables d’Olonne, before visiting the Mediterranean coastline, including a stop in Le Grau du Roi-Port Camargue which will welcome the event for the 12th time.
An extended and varied line-up
More than ever, the TFV will gather professionnal sailors, amateurs, young talents and experienced sailors from offshore racing, olympic racing or match racing. Entries have opened last Monday and the event has already received a large number of forms, which could lead to a record participation in 2017.
Last year’s champion Team Lorina Limonade – Golfe du Morbihan (Quentin Delapierre et Matthieu Salomon) will defend its title with Amateur team mates Lorina Mojito – Golfe du Morbihan. Swiss Geneva CER team will come back on the Tour with Elodie-Jane Mettraux and two boats in competition for their 30th participation ! And this year, the TFV will be even more international with a British team skippered by Piers Hugh Smith, and a Polish team led by Piotr Weltrowski and Filip Walczak.
Approved racing format
In 2014 the Tour had a revolution with the introduction of the Diam 24 trimaran and a change of racing format in 2016 : stadium racing and coastal racing alternating, black-flag starts, Grand Final… The event new racing format was widely approved last year and will be renewed in 2017.
The event will also introduce a Women’s ranking in order to highlight 100% female teams and support their participation in the TFV.
Jean-Baptiste Durier, Tour de France à la Voile Director :
« We are going to celebrate the Tour de France à la Voile 40th anniversary.We are very proud of this legacy. In 2015 we decided to reinvent the race and to lead it towards a faster, more spectacular and more public orientated way of sailing, in line with the America’s Cup. This new racing format delivered a fantastic event last year and was approved by the whole Tour community : sailors, sponsors, medias and also the public who came and visit us in July. From Dunkirk to Nice, we are expected hundreds of thousands of spectators to come, meet the crew and watch the thirty boats offering us an outstanding sailing show ! »