Tour de France à la Voile 2013
13 teams will be on the start line of the 36th edition of the Tour de France
Daniel Souben, Franck Cammas and Thomas Coville around France with top crews
jeudi 23 mai 2013 –
Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [français]
Once Le Havre’s race is over, Cammas, Coville and Souben will head to the Tour de France à la Voile, a major event in the M34 circuit. There will be 13 one-design boats to race along the French coast, where high-level and amateur teams will sail altogether. But who will take the title of Fabien Henry and TPM Coych, who won in July 2012 for the third time ? Groupama 34, Courrier Dunkerque 3 or Sodebo are the obvious favourites, but they will still face serious competition with Nicolas Troussel (Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite) and Omansail skippered by Cédric Pouligny.
Impressive favourites and tough competitors
The three favourites were meeting in Paris today, speaking about how impatient they were to begin the month-long race. Franck Cammas, who has been very well since he joined the class, foresees “a very tight race because of a highly competitive fleet.” His objective is clearly to win. Also seeking victory, Thomas Coville has gathered a strong team around him. “The team Sodebo has a total of 26 victories on the Tour de France à la Voile ! With the quality of the crew gathered here, our goal clearly is to compete with the leaders.” Meanwhile, Daniel Souben is keeping a similar crew to last year. That method worked well at the beginning of the season and, as in 2008 and 2009, he is keen to take the Tour’s trophy again. “We are delighted to race against competitors such as Cammas or Coville. They are spoiling us with a true sport challenge. It’s a great opportunity for us to have international names on the Tour. That being say, we are obviously aiming to win !”
These three teams capture much of the attention but their competitors also showed their ambitions at the beginning of the season. Cédric Pouligny and his Omani crew are getting better and better on the Tour de France à la Voile. Nicolas Troussel finished third last year and has once more gathered some very talented sailors around him, including offshore and strategy experts Dimitri Deruelle, Christian Ponthieu and Eric Peron ; Troussel calls them the “executives.”
Corentin Douguet is once again mixing experience and learning onboard Nantes Saint Nazaire E. Leclerc. The spirit of the project is untouched and Douguet, seventh in 2012, hopes to get the best out of his 15 crew. Elodie Jane Mettraux is also coming back with Ville de Genève Carrefour Addictions. The Swiss won the amateur ranking last year and they are aiming for the overall ranking this time.
Last year’s winner TPM Coych has changed entirely, with the project now managed by the youngsters of the club. French Sailing Team Laser athlete Jean-Baptiste Bernaz will lead with two other helmsmen, Mathieu Frei (French Sailing Team, 49er) and Cédric Boeri (COYCH). Alexis Littoz and Pierre Brasseur will bring navigation experience to the offshore legs.
Rookies, veterans and diversity
On the amateur side, Team 85 is made up of youngsters from Vendée. Skipper Pierre Casaux took part in the Tour several times with Mady Fobert’s Belgium team (a feature of the race since 1993).
Normandy, another region close to the Tour de France à la Voile, will also have an entry at the start in Dunkirk. 23-year-old Baptiste Choquenet will once again lead this youth project.
Last year Mathieu Mourès led a Martinique team and he returns this year to sail under his island’s colors and… the Belgian colors too, joining forces with Mady Fobert on a boat named Martinique BE Brussels.
Finally, two foreign teams are entering the amateur competition. The faithful Swiss team, Bienne Voile, is back once again. Sönke Brunhs and Christiane Dittmers’ German team, Iskareen, has been training in Kiel and will begin the season at Normandy Sailing Week.
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