– All 12 M34s are back on the water in Dunkirk, France
– The entire fleet has been measured and approved for one design racing
– Tomorrow: Practice Race (12.30pm departure time at the docks)
The Tour de France à la Voile 2013 is clear to start: all measurements are approved and all craning operations complete. Tomorrow’s practice race will not count towards the overall ranking but it marks the official start of the 36th edition.
Earlier this afternoon teams were busy polishing the bottoms of their hulls as race officials completed final measurements before the official start the 1,200-mille long 2013 route. All 12 M34s are now docked alongside Hollandais Pier in Dunkirk marina.
« “All M34 are good to sail,” says Class Controller Yves-Marie Leroux. “From the winter measurements on hulls, keels and masts to the sail controls and the additional measurements done today on all keels, there is not much else we can do to make sure it’s one design. We’ve done our best to ensure a perfect equality.”
The Tour de France a la Voile kicks off with a practice race on Friday. The 96 sailors – eight per M34 – will compete in front of the Malo-Les-Bains beach. The race – which will not count towards final standings– will provide the eight professional teams a chance to flex their muscles and the four amateur teams a final opportunity to hone their teamwork. The start of Friday´s triangle course will begin at 2:00pm and conditions are forecasted to be less than 10 knots of breeze from the NNW.
Shane Hugues, Team OmanSail trimmer :
“We’re checking all OmanSail components today. Boat captains are leading the work and we –the sailors– take responsibilities for our areas. We surely want to do well in tomorrow’s practice race but our main objective is to make sure our sailing level is back at its best, make sure of our pace speed wise. It’s my fourth Tour, the third with the Oman team. There are a couple of new Omani guys onboard and a new French man too, Guillaume Béranger. But the group remains more or less the same and that’s a good thing: consistency is key.”
Christiane Dittmers, Iskareen skipper :
“Our boat just got her measurement approved, she is officially a M34! It’s the third Tour for our German team and this time we trained for six weekends in Kiel. We also chose to enter one of the pre-season races, Normandy Sailing Week. Five TU Delft sailors joined us – these Dutch guys are excellent navigators. Another important thing, we had 28 crewmembers to turn over last year and we are 16 in total this time around. It’s going to be much better. I hope we can aim to finish in the top three of the amateur ranking.”
Teams TFV 2013 : ??
Iskareen. Skippers : Christiane Dittmers et Sönke Bruhns???
BELGIUM / MARTINIQUE?
Martinique – BE. Brussels. Skippers : Mathieu Moures et Delphine Wolters
Bretagne Crédit Mutuelle Élite. Skipper : Nicolas Troussel??
Courrier Dunkerque 3. Skipper : Daniel Souben??
Groupama 34. Skipper : Franck Cammas??
Nantes Saint Nazaire/E.Leclerc. Skipper : Corentin Douguet??
Normandie. Skipper : Baptiste Choquenet??
Sodebo. Skipper : Thomas Coville??
Toulon Provence Méditerranée/COYCH. Skipper : Jean-Baptiste Bernaz???
Team Omansail. Skipper : Cédric Pouligny???
Bienne Voile – SRS. Skippers : Luzius Peter et François Kunz
Ville de Genève – Carrefour Addictions. Skippers : Elodie-Jane Mettraux et Nicolas Groux